Customer Experience News & Trends

How to avoid the price-driven sale

If it seems that all your customers care about is price, maybe your customers aren’t the problem.

In a recent survey, customers reported they were faced with a group of salespeople seeking their business whose offerings all looked the same. The only place where customers could find a clear differentiation was in price.

If customers can’t differentiate one product or service from another, they will choose the one with the lowest price. Salespeople who can’t clearly differentiate their products or services from competitors may always face the price issue.

Four value drivers

The same survey identified four “value drivers” that helped salespeople become trusted advisers and encouraged customers to look beyond price. They are:

  1. The salesperson revealed to the buyer an Unrecognized Problem that the customer was experiencing. Help customers understand their problems, issues and opportunities in new and different ways.
  2. The salesperson established for the customer an Unanticipated Solution to the problem that customer was experiencing. Help customers arrive at better solutions than they would have arrived as on their own. Sharing knowledge to help customers avoid problems is the key.
  3. The salesperson created or revealed Unseen Opportunities for the customer. What’s being sold is more than just the product or service itself – it’s a bundle of values, including service, reliability, continuity and problem solving. Customers want to now what the salesperson will do once the problem is solved. How will the salesperson apply knowledge to help that customer’s business grow?
  4. The seller served as more than just a vender of products or services but served as a Broker of Capabilities. Become a broker of services and act as a customer advocate within your own organization. In a 24/7 world, customers demand that you’re there for them.

Precise definition of value

The survey reveals a precise definition of the concept of value. When a salesperson uses these selling tactics, three outcomes may be achieved:

  1. Price will become less important to the customer.
  2. The customer will erect barriers to the salesperson’s competition creating a long-term relationship.
  3. The salesperson will identify areas of opportunity available to them from each customer.

Communication truths

Two important conditions salespeople may want to keep in mind when communicating with customers were also pinpointed in the survey.

  1. Customers put a higher value on what they say and what they conclude than they do on what they’re told.
  2. Customers place a higher value on what they request than they do on what is freely offered.

Adapted from Rethinking the Sales Force by Neil Rackham and John DeVincentis.

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