Whenever you make a purchase, especially a major purchase, people are looking for three things. The best price, the best quality, or the best service. In any sales situation (buying situation) you can never have all three. I know some of you may be thinking well, you are wrong. I will only buy if I can get all three. I would challenge you to think about this for a moment. You will only get two out of three when you make a purchase. As a sales person you should determine which two of the three you offer and focus on that as being your competitive advantage in the marketplace.
A car: There are literally thousands of cars on the roads. Different makes and different models at different prices. What is a car used for? To get us from point A to point B. So as long as it has an engine and four wheels almost any car will do, right? Well, I am not going to get into the emotional aspect of a purchase. This is an entirely different subject, and 90% of all purchases are emotional, but I am focused on the rationale behind purchases.
So the car. You may decide to purchase a more expensive car, because of its perceived quality. Typically you will pay more for a car that has a certain level of quality track record. So when a buyer is looking for reliability, less maintenance, and something with quality they are willing to pay more for it. So is your competitive advantage quality? How do you articulate or show that to your customers?
Service: People will spend more for better service. How do you describe better service? I describe great customer service based on an attitude of helpfulness, genuine interest, respect, and understanding. When a sales person has these attitudes towards these four things the experience will be the much better and the customer will be willing to pay more for their product if they know they are getting higher quality of service.
Recently I purchased some running shoes. I can go to Dicks, Champs, Foot Locker, etc. But instead I choose to go to a specialty shop focused on running. The reason I do this, is because I know that they will possess all the attitudes towards great customer service. They will respect me in what I think I want, they will show a genuine interest in me in heeling me meet my running goals, they will really try to understand what kind of shoes I feel like our best for me, but lastly, they will be very helpful in giving me information on what they think I should try buy based on all the information they gathered by asking me lots of questions. So am I willing to pay more for this level of service, ABSOLUTELY. Why, because it is worth more to me.
So as sales people what is that you offer in the marketplace with your product? Do you offer the best price? Can you offer the best price? If not, if you are premium, be premium, tell potential customers why you are a premium and then show them during the sales process. Ar you premium because of the quality of your product and the service? Decide what it is you delivering and be sure you deliver it.
We all know we can spend less money and not get as good of a quality and maybe we get some decent service. We can spend more money, and get great quality and service. Figure out what you are selling and sell it. I sell two premium products on a daily basis, but the quality and service outweigh the bigger expense that I charge. With these two products there are several very similar products in the marketplace that my customers can buy cheaper. But I know we deliver better quality and better service and I can prove it. I also sell a product that I have allowed to be looked at as a commodity and make it all about price as well, but that product I know I can deliver at the lowest price.
So what are you delivering to your customers? Are you able to offer the best price? Or do you deliver the best service and quality? Or do you offer a good quality at a good price, but your service is lacking? All of these scenarios can be true. Figure out what your competitive advantage is and sell it.