Direct Marketing Article
Never Drop Your Prices Again! How to Stop
Selling on Price
By Marc Wayshak
I was recently at Lord & Taylor with a close friend of mine when she held up
two pairs of high-heeled shoes. Both pairs were black, appeared similar and
looked pretty to me. "What do you think each pair of shoes costs?" she
"Well, this is a nice place, so I'm guessing that they both cost about
$150," I replied.
She smiled at me as if she were watching a puppy hopelessly barking at the
moon. "Actually this pair," she said, holding up the shoes in her left hand,
"I was close!" I said defensively.
But then she continued. "Now this pair," she said, holding up the shoes in
her right hand, "costs $650."
"What?!?!? But they look so similar!" I exclaimed in surprise.
Upon further reflection, I began to see the parallels that women's shoes
have with selling on price versus value: Products or services that are
fundamentally the same can sell for drastically different prices. It all
depends on the way they're sold.
Let me introduce you to two salespeople: Don and Liz. Both have been selling
bathroom accessories for 20 years. However, they each sell in a completely
Don is all about price. He'll walk into a prospect's office and say, "I see
that you're working with Grohe, and I can show you how you can save 50% by
working with me instead…"
Liz, on the other hand, is all about selling on value. She'll walk into a
prospect's office and begin a conversation by saying, "I really appreciate
your inviting me in today. I want to tell you up front that if you are
looking for the lowest prices, I'm not your gal. My goal is to help my
clients create a bathroom that ‘wows' visitors. Does it make sense for us to
Both approaches lead to sales, but the difference in the average transaction
size and profitability is night and day. Liz wins, and she wins big.
If you're determined to sell on price like Don, then you should stop reading
this now. However, if you're open to selling on value like Liz, then stay
Here are four ways to stop selling on price:
1. Stop being a vendor: Don is a vendor to his customers, while Liz is a
strategic partner to her clients. Get away from just being another vendor
offering the best price. Instead, focus on how you can help provide massive
value to your clients. The prospects that just want the best price are not
who you want to work with. At least 60% of prospects want something more
than just the best price. Target those folks.
2. Be distinct: Both of the shoes my friend showed me appeared to be
similar, but one had a very distinct brand, while the other was essentially
no-named. You don't need advertising to be distinct - your approach to
selling can be what makes you stand out. While Don's approach was pretty
cheesy and predictable, Liz was bold and totally distinct from what the
prospect typically experiences. Immediately, the prospect is intrigued to
understand more about why Liz isn't the cheapest. Everyone knows that they
get what they pay for, so let them experience the best.
3. Create value in your conversation: Every qualified prospect has
challenges that you can solve. For example, in the case of Liz, her
qualified prospect might be a developer that has used cheap bathroom
accessories in the past only to find that they frequently break and need to
be replaced after only a year. By learning about the prospect's experience
and how much that cost him in lost revenues, Liz is creating tremendous
value for her products - before she ever even shows him her product line.
4. Pile it on: Good prospects are willing to pay more when they believe they
are getting tremendous value. That means that, in order to create that
value, you must think in terms of selling solutions and packages. For
example, Liz not only sells bathroom accessories, but she also offers custom
design and assistance with actually installing the accessories in order to
ensure that they last for many years. This perceived added value allows her
to charge a higher price than Don could ever imagine charging. How can you
add additional products or services to your offering to increase the
perceived value of your product or service?
Selling on price is never the only option for a company. By following these
four steps and thinking creatively about how to increase your value in the
eyes of the client, your sale size will increase dramatically.
About the Author:
www.marcwayshak.com is a sales strategist who created
the Game Plan Selling System. He is the author of two books on sales and
leadership including his latest book,
Game Plan Selling and a regular online contributor to Entrepreneur Magazine and the Huffington
Post Business section.