Tips and stories to add value to you and your organisation
Black Friday. Cyber Monday. Boxing Day sales. Summer discounts. Clearance sales. Hmm…they all purport to offer us a great deal, so that we decide to make a purchase, instead of walking out of the shop, or clicking away to another website.
If we stop for a moment and consider the best way to sell a Rolls Royce jet engine (other engines are available, as we say in radio) then it’s obvious that simply publishing a price list and hawking our wares round the world’s airlines is a bit of a blunt instrument. When people are buying something as significant as an engine they want to know how it will be maintained and repaired, what our service provision is and if there is a bit of a discount if they choose to buy 100 engines in one go. Curiously, the airline buyers don’t get swayed by the marketing hype of Black Friday, they prefer to do their homework and hammer out a good deal for their organisation.
So it is for us and our sales work. People want to buy from us and price is but one factor in their purchasing decision. If all we do is sell on price then we run the risk of failing to connect at a more emotional level and that’s where the deal comes in. Cyber Monday convinces us we are getting a good deal and so we feel great …and who wants to feel bad when buying something?
A fixed price mentality may work against us, because people like to deal and if they can’t do that then they may walk away. When I started in business, over 12 years ago, I realised that people didn’t know what coaching was all about, making it hard for them to sign up to. To get round this I used to offer an introductory deal …3 hours of coaching for the price of 2 and a free Learning Styles profile booklet too. The booklet helped to make the intangible tangible and had a high face-value as it wasn’t the sort of thing you could easily buy yourself.
Some people asked if they could have 2 hours for the price of 1, or just have the Learning Styles profile with an extended validation and learning discussion. Yes and yes! If someone wants to buy then our job is to find a deal that works for them. It lowers the emotional decision making barrier and allows them to hop over it and spend money with us.
If I’m selling books to people I always say that if they buy it and don’t like it I will give them a 100% refund to include any P&P they have spent, so that for them there is no cost risk to their purchase. I also offer to not invoice at the end of a coaching session if someone says it had zero value for them. I’ve never had a client say it had no value, but neither of us could know that for certain at the start. Oh and my prices often include zero fees for mileage and no cost for unlimited email and telephone support 24/7 so that the client feels they have my support whenever they need it. People hate being charged for every last item, it can feel mean, so having a package deal makes life simpler and creates a higher sense of value for money.
Selling becomes much easier when we step away from a fixed price mindset and move to a deal making, value for money mindset. We can keep our rates high if we like, this isn’t about silly cyber-hyper-social-media influenced discounts (which are often fake anyway) …rather, it’s about involving our clients so that they make an emotional decision, based on them getting value for money.
This week have a think about your pricing policy and what you could do differently, or next time you buy a lunch-deal or take advantage of a 3-for-2 offer, ask yourself if you’re buying because it feels good, or if you’d rather just pay a fixed price for every item?
Next week: Sales Secret No.5
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