‘The greatest danger for most of us is not hat our aim is too high and
we miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it.’ ~ Michelangelo.
Here we are in the first full week of 2019, ready, willing and able to
go get those goals that we set for us, or in some cases, goals that someone
gave to us, however are those goals our real goals?
If we take a closer look at the quote by Michelangelo, are we kidding
ourselves by making an unrealistic goal? Not in the fact that it may be too
high, but rather is it one that does not stretch us?
There have been so many changes in the sales world in the past 10-15 years. Technology has certainly played a major part in it. However, the biggest and most recent change is the interaction between seller and buyer.
In his book, ‘To Sell Is Human:’ Daniel H. Pink talks about how the shift in information and the easy access to it has taken the simple transaction of caveat emptor to caveat venditor. In other words, we have gone from buyer beware to seller beware. It is the foolish and unknowledgeable seller that now must beware in how he not only conducts business but how he treats his customers and prospects.
“OMG!! That’s the eighth time we have had to do that this week!”
“Do what?” said I with confusion in my voice. “Match the price on a leaf blower that my competitor has on sale.” I will never understand why some make pricing the ultimate king in business. All pricing does is enable you to win the race to the bottom. A race no one should be anxious to win.
Businesses have to come to their collective senses. Those who have followed my blog for a while know that it is NEVER about the pricing. It is the value consumers seek. Do you win ALL of the business when pricing rears its ugly head? No, but you can win the majority of them by using creativity and by adding value to your product.
During the early 2000s, I dealt with forestry companies. Primarily with their engineering department as well as the forester’s themselves. These companies were very motivated by pricing and loyalty was as good as your pricing. They changed suppliers at a drop of a hat. However, later I did find out they did have loyalty.
They use a particular commodity that would retail anywhere from $0.81 – $0.95. There were a 100 units in a case. The average order for this commodity would be anywhere from 5-20 cases at a time.
A couple of weeks ago, during one of the classes of The Action Suite, one of my clients went off on a rant about something which happened to her a week or so earlier. What happened to her has been happing more and more today and with competition, be it from other businesses, or the one competitor which effects everyone, the internet; have businesses forgotten what ‘customer service’ is?
She had walked into a Starbucks and was the only person in line with three people working behind the counter. No one acknowledged her. No one addressed her even with a: “I will be with you in just a second.” One made direct eye contact with her and did not even nod to acknowledge her presence. Finally, many minutes later, someone came to help her. She let her feelings be known in no uncertain terms and left the store without purchasing anything.
Does anyone remember the days when you walked into a prospects/client’s office and simply stated what you had, what it did, how it did it, why they needed it and when did they want it? I do. I also know if you are doing this, you may not be getting the results you want, or need.
Those days are long gone and I for one am so happy they are. There was no ‘getting to know the prospect’ time. All we wanted to do was walk in, tell them all about the newest thing and get out with an order if we could. The sad part was, we walked out more often without the order than with. Then, things started to change and we began the ‘bonding and rapport’ process.
It was not a miraculous concept, it simply meant we started to get to know our clientele better. We slowed the process down. The end results were more sales orders than before.