I was working with a client that was upset that there was a brand new competitor in his market offering an alternative to what he sells at a price that would put him out of business if he were to price match. The truth is, if you get into a price war, it becomes a race to the bottom which is a race no one should ever want to win. Therefore, what kind of strategy can one use to battle the price war?
First, one has to make sure that you are comparing apples to apples. Is what is being offered ‘exactly’ the same as you are selling? Does it have the same benefits as your product? Does it perform as well, or, in some cases, better than your offering? What is the quality like and are there public reviews on the product?
This is exactly what we determined when my client and I did our due diligence. The units were nowhere remotely the same. There were numerous benefits that my client’s units offered that the new item could not touch. As for performance, not even close in durability, accuracy, and service. Once we did a quick search for some reviews; well, let’s just say that there were very few favorable reviews for the other unit. However, how do we tell the customer that they made the wrong purchase without annoying or making them feel dumb for making the decision to buy the wrong product?
Secondly, and this is where your strategic questioning comes into play. From previous blogs as you may recall, I have stated that you must protect the customer’s dignity and self-esteem at all times. Therefore, you must always frame the question as if you don’t know the answer, even though you do know, and further, gently give them an alternative.
In our case, we knew that battery life was an issue in that the better unit had a 20 – 25% longer battery life. The question then becomes: “Bill, can you tell me what kind of battery life you get from those units?” Whatever number he gives you, your response should be: “That’s pretty good. Would a unit with a 25% longer battery life be of any interest to you?” Using the Rule of Three, you would focus on two more benefits that your product has that the competition does not.
In a lot of cases, after each benefit, the customer is going to in all likelihood say that yes, he would like that benefit, but how much more would he have to pay for it? This is where you have to stay strong and state something to the effect: “Before I tell you, can I just ask you another question?” You know the answer is yes and this is where you go the second and third benefit.
Third, recap your benefits and answer the pricing question in a manner such as this: “Bill, to recap, our unit has 25% better life, we have a full support line and we have a sub-3M accuracy vs. a 100M accuracy. How much more do you think our unit is?” In the high majority of cases, because there is NEVER a 100% guarantee, the answer is going to be higher than it actually is. You can follow-up with: “Well, not quite Bill. It is actually (whatever the number is) less than you just stated. Now, what is our next step?” How can Bill at this time not agree to take your unit?
That is what happened with my client. However, it does take some effort in educating yourself in what you are up against as well as the right questions to ask in order to be able to counter attack so that you don’t get into the race to the bottom in the price battle.
End result: if it’s too good to be true, it probably is.
Do you need the skill set to be able to ask the right questions at the right time? Go schedule your 30-minute complimentary strategy session to find out not only where you are, but where you want to be on your personal journey to your own personal success. Also, you may want to ‘check into’ The Action Suite where the ‘talking’ stops and the ‘doing’ gets done to move up to those levels quicker.