Nine Reasons Salespeople Discount When They Shouldn’t

June 30th, 2015

Reasons Salespeople DiscountOne of the most frequent complaints I hear from sales directors, VPs, and CEOs is that their sales team—whether it’s internal or their distribution channel—discounts too much and too often.

While it’s maddening, it’s also excruciatingly common. Here’s what drives that behavior:

1. Fear of losing the sale
Every salesperson fears losing the sale. So when a prospect asks for a discount, the salesperson often thinks the sale hinges on whether or not they give one. Salespeople rationalize to themselves that a small commission is better than no commission at all.

2. Fear of confrontation
Many salespeople—and even more professionals and business owners—hate confrontation. And because they see negotiating at confrontational, they acquiesce to discount requests in order to avoid it.

3. “Everybody does it.”
In many industries, discounting is the perceived norm. When salespeople believe they have to discount because everyone else does, discounting simply becomes part of the expected process, both for the buyer and the seller.

4. Don’t understand why they shouldn’t
Too many salespeople don’t understand the damage that discounting can do to a company’s profitability. And too many professionals and small business owners—most of my coaching clients among them—don’t even know what their profit margin is. As a result, they discount because the see a short-term benefit—a quick sale—rather than a long-term problem.

5. Don’t appreciate the product’s—or the company’s—true value
Value is subjective. We all value the same products and services differently based on our likes, dislikes, priorities, fears, biases, experiences, tastes, and more. So sellers often don’t see the value of what they’re selling the same way buyers do. This is especially true in B2B sales, where salespeople are often selling things—chemicals, machinery, software, advertising, business services, etc.—that they would never buy personally. When salespeople don’t fully appreciate their product’s, service’s, or company’s value, they cave to discount requests due to ignorance or even guilt.

6. Unable to articulate the value
Even when the salesperson does appreciate the value of what they’re selling, too often they are unable to communicate that value to their prospect. That results in pressure to discount.

7. It’s the easiest thing to do
Articulating value, justifying price, and negotiating require time, knowledge, and skill. By contrast, discounting is fast and easy.

8. Their managers encourage them to
Pressure to discount doesn’t just come from buyers. All too often, sales managers—either tacitly or overtly—pressure their salespeople to discount. Sometimes through their own example!

9. No one has taught them any other way
While some salespeople discount just because it’s the easy way out, many do it because they don’t know any other way of handling discount requests. Nobody has ever trained them how to deal with buyers pressuring them for discounts. (When I conduct training seminars, it’s always one of the biggest frustrations attendees have.) In the absence of training, people do the only thing they know how to do—say yes to a discount.

The good news is that all these issues can be resolved through effective training. Buy a book for everyone on your sales team, invest in some audio or video training programs for them, or bring a speaker in to your company to speak to them.

Buyers will never stop asking for discounts, for the simple reason that it’s in their best interest to. Salespeople need good reasons to be able to say no.

19 Ways to Be of Value to Your Buyers

June 16th, 2015

Ways to Be of Value to Your Buyers in SalesValue is crucial to sales success, and not just in the obvious way. Sure you need a strong value proposition to justify your price and distinguish you from the competition. But it’s also important to deliver value both before and after the sale.

Because delivering value to your buyer builds rapport, improves confidence, creates appreciation, and earns trust. All of which help you make the first sale as well as future ones.

So whether you’re trying to land a new client or looking to strengthen your customer loyalty, here are 19 ways you can be of value to your prospects and customers:

1. Educate them about your industry
2. Tell them what not to buy
3. Send articles, e-books, podcasts, and videos that relate to their needs, issues and interests
4. Provide a buyer’s guide
5. Invite them to events
6. Promote them
7. Send gifts
8. Feed them
9. Give them sneak peeks or free samples
10. Provide a free consultation, inspection, evaluation, or audit
11. Make them laugh
12. Give them referrals
13. Show them how to save money
14. Show them how to make more money
15. Alert them to risks they weren’t aware of
16. Support their favorite charity
17. Educate their distribution channel
18. Upgrade them
19. Connect them with others who can help them

You don’t need to employ all of these tactics of course, but the more of them you use, the stronger your relationship with your buyers will be. So determine which items on this list are appropriate for your company and your customers, and create a plan for implementing them. You’ll achieve more sales, more loyalty and more profits.

Four People You Need to Trust to Boost Your Sales

June 4th, 2015

Four People You Need to Trust to Boost SalesTrust is vital in business. And if you want to boost your sales, there are four specific people you need to trust. Who are they? And why is it so crucial?

Listen to my appearance on Breakthrough Radio with Michele Price. In this 9½ -minute segment, I discuss who these people are and why it’s so vital to trust them. I also reveal which of these four people we have the hardest time trusting.

To listen, just click on the link below. Or to download the segment to listen later, right-click the link and select “Save Target As…”

Four People You Need to Trust to Boost Your Sales: Don Cooper on Breakthrough Radio (mp3)

To learn more about Michele Price and listen to her interview other business experts on Breakthrough Radio (which I highly recommend), check out WhoIsMichelePrice.com.