Monthly Archives: May 2017

The Dreaded Price Objection

In today’s commodity-driven world it is easy to fall prey to discounting your product or service in an effort to capture the sale. However, there are better ways to deal with the dreaded price objection.

First, make sure that you invest sufficient time at the front end of the sales process learning about your prospect’s current situation, problems, concerns, goals and objectives. Although this sounds basic and fundamental, too many sales people skate through this process so they can pitch their product or service. Unfortunately, this is one of the reasons they encounter price objections.

Demonstrate the value of your product, service or solution.  Chances are you spend the first five to 15 minutes of your sales presentation telling people why they should buy from you or giving them background on your company. This approach is one of the LEAST effective ways to demonstrate your value. If you truly want to demonstrate value then you need to tailor EVERY sales presentation so that it addresses the key issues your prospect is facing. Here are two simple steps that will help you modify your presentation.

Step 1: Start every sales presentation or proposal with a summary. This summary must highlight their issues, concerns and situation. Focus your attention on demonstrating that you clearly understand their problem, the impact of that problem on their business, the implications of not addressing the problem, and the value to your prospect and his/her company when the problem is solved. This does not mean talking about your product! You are not actually presenting your solution yet. You are simply showing your prospect that you have listened to them and that you understand their situation.

Step 2: Now it is time to present your solution! Start by showing how your product, service or solution will address the issues that you mentioned in your summary. Start at the beginning and make sure that you clearly demonstrate how the prospect is going to benefit from buying your product or implementing your solution. Please note: you do not accomplish this by simply spouting off features and benefits.

These four strategies can help when discussing price.

Strategy 1: If someone says your price is too high, ask “Compared to what?” This will give you their perspective and help you understand why they think your price is too high. You can then respond accordingly.

Strategy 2: Remain silent. Do not say anything for at least five seconds. In many cases, your prospect will make a statement or concession or even withdraw their statement. It sounds too easy, doesn’t it? Here is the challenge. It is a difficult concept to apply because most people find it difficult to deal with silence. However, if you can condition yourself to become comfortable with these short periods of silence, your results will improve.

Strategy 3: Another strategy is to remove an element of your product or service and then drop your price. Position it like this “Mr. Bloggs, I can lower my price to, or by, this much. Unfortunately, that means I cannot include (whatever you plan to eliminate).”

Know what you don’t Know about sloppy strategic

Don’t let pride get in your way: Bridge knowledge gaps. One of the biggest growth barriers that business owners face has nothing to do with weak sales, sloppy strategic planning or lacklustre personnel. It’s a psychological hurdle: knowing what you don’t know.

The ability to recognize holes in your knowledge — and find ways to plug them — propels your business. Otherwise, you might see yourself as a jack-of-all-trades and repeatedly take on duties for which you’re unqualified. Making decisions when you lack understanding or familiarity with the issues can lead to disastrous results. It sounds simple: Admit your weaknesses and address them. Yet when events unfold at breakneck speed, chief executives of young companies may feel that they lack the luxury of time to sit back, assess the situation, recognise their knowledge gaps and fill them.

Overcome the obstacles

What makes it so hard for founders to confront what they don’t know? For starters, they grow so accustomed to improvising that they assume they’ll learn whatever they need to know by doing. They assume part of running a growing business is rendering judgments without having all the answers.

Have you fallen into this trap? See if the following statements sound familiar:

  • I’ll never have all the information I’d ideally like to have, so I need to do my best with what I know
  • I don’t have anyone critiquing my performance every day. There’s no one around telling me, “You don’t know enough about this. Learn more before you plunge in”
  • Launching a business is a leap of faith. I’m busy drumming up excitement in our future. Obsessing over what I don’t know isn’t going to help us grow

What’s more, business owners cherish their independence. They may reject unsolicited input from others, especially if outsiders try to tell them what to do or how to do it. Unless entrepreneurs schedule periodic meetings with a mentor or advisory board, they may operate in a vacuum and lose perspective on their own strengths and weaknesses.

Self-confidence is a prerequisite for building a business. But too much confidence can convince you that you know what you’re doing when you really don’t, causing you to stray far from your field of expertise. Another obstacle is the temptation to assume you can muddle through on your own. Telling yourself, “I can get by for now” or “I can figure this out myself,” prompts you to accept your limitations without attempting to patch up knowledge holes. Even if you accept your knowledge gaps, you might not want to dwell on them because it makes you uneasy. Feelings ranging from misguided pride to flaring anxiety can lead you to forge onward rather than taking the time to confront unknowns.

Starting out in Farming

The agri sector needs young, well-educated people to provide vibrancy and fresh thinking to aid industry progression, but entry isn’t always easy, particularly for those who don’t inherit a farm.

 

In the latest edition of AIB Agri Matters two young progressive farmers offer advice to aspiring young farmers in setting up a new farm enterprise or starting out in farming:

 

1.      Know exactly why you’re doing what you’re doing – if you don’t it’s hard for anybody else to know. Explore the options and pick the one that suits you best. Seek advice from others to see what worked for them.

 

2.      Establish a good track record when you’re young – in work, in college and with the Bank – it gives others more comfort you have the credentials to deliver on your plans.

 

3.      Put your best foot forward when meeting the bank – prepare well in advance. Don’t sell yourself short – Have your costing’s and have your research done. Show you understand your business and its profitability and most importantly ensure your lender understands it.

 

4.      Treat the farm as a business – if you don’t look after the business, financial management is useless. The opposite is also true. Costs and cash flow must be controlled and monitored to ensure the business remains profitable and bills can be paid, when they fall.

 

5.      Have a simple system – more easily expanded, and helps ensure consistency and accuracy – especially important where additional labour is employed.