“They Can’t Afford It”
Had a preliminary meet earlier today with a sales manager at a packaging solutions provider. Their issue as an industry is buyers that only want to decide on price, when all the added value services (design capability, lead time, out of hours delivery, business empathy) are jettisoned from the criteria.
He often gets pulled in to meetings with buyers who simply say ‘we can’t afford to buy from you’. He’s got so frustrated with people buying on the wrong set of principles, that he’s started to say in reply “fair enough, you can’t afford us, we’ll walk away from your business”.
What he’s noticed, is that half the time, buyers say ‘hold on a minute, why you leaving?’ and he gets to start talking about the value added services they can’t afford, and get’s invited to stay and the conversation is turned.
I was so happy to hear about this. Yesterday, I listened to a sales guru cd a pal gave me and blogged that when people say they can’t afford you, he suggested you respond ‘you can’t afford not use us!’, so it was great to hear someone having the balls to say, less arrogantly, ‘sod you’ and get the balance shifting in his favour; ‘people pay us cos we save them extra money, speed up more time, make them more sales, or whatever’. It’s the usual thing about price never being the true criteria.
“Selling Number Seven”
And then, the owner of the business waltzes in, enjoying the scorching hot London day in shorts and t-shirt. He genuinely believes that price is only Number 7 on the selling list. (an interesting aside, is that if someone says they’re leaving your employ due to salary, that’s also only number seven) Which means there are in reality 6 proper reasons which all mean more to them. What are those six? That’s what you need to find out. I might even say that to someone next time it hits me between the eyes.