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Do you keep hearing no? This might be the reason why.

One of the biggest problems that happens at the end of your sales presentation is the customer telling you the product or service is too expensive. I know this is a problem because it’s probably the most common question I get. “I’ve got a string of bad luck. People keep telling me no because my product is too expensive. Help me out.” What’s happening here is these sales professionals are failing to build value. Look, I know this isn’t groundbreaking information. Any sales coach worth their salt online is going to say the same thing. But that’s because it’s true. In theory, we all know we need to build value, but it’s falling apart in practice because we aren’t doing it well. They don’t understand that value precedes price, and they don’t truly understand what builds value.

Identify their pain point

The value your customer will see in your product or service is based on the pain they have. If you sit with your prospect and go through your methodology, you will uncover a problem. That’s where the building value piece starts to fall apart for a lot of sales professionals because they hear the problem and they breeze right past it. When you ignore the problem they reveal to you, you’ve missed the golden opportunity to build value. You’re ability to quantify their problem is what is going to get them to say yes. It happens because we get caught up in the things we have planned leading up to a presentation— we need to talk about the features and benefits, we need to talk about advantages, we need to ask more questions— and we let that golden opportunity just pass us by.

Ask the golden question

What you should do instead is ask the golden question: “How does that impact you?” The reason you ask that question is it get them to further divulge information that matters to them. It isn’t important to the script you’re following, or your boss, or your sales contacts, or the bells and whistles, or the goals. It’s important only to your prospect. When you ask that question, you are expressing a heightened level of empathy. I’m letting them know I want to understand where they are coming from and I want to solve this problem.

Quantify the problem

The magic is in the next step. You have to quantify the problem. I’m going to walk you through what that would look like. Let’s imagine you’re selling computers, and you’re sitting down with a graphic designer.

Graphic designer: The biggest frustration I have is my computer is incredibly slow. My graphics aren’t up to speed and it processes too slowly.

Sales professional: How does that impact you?

GD: Well, my billable hours are long and my profit margin on the projects I’m working on are lower.

SP: How does that impact you personally?

GD: Ugh it really sucks. It’s super frustrating.

SP: (digs deeper) How many hours do you think you’re wasting because your computer is slow?

GD: Easily 5 hours a week I guess.

SP: And how much do you bill per hour?

GD: I bill $100 per hour.

SP: So you’ve potentially got a $2,000 per month problem because you’re spending time waiting for a slow computer to process. That’s potentially $24,000 per year of lost billable hours.

GD: That’s a lot of money.

SP: How does that make you feel?

In this scenario I’ve literally walked the prospect through the problem they were experiencing and put a dollar value on it. I asked them multiple times how it impacted them. I built value by quantifying the problem and I made sure I got that quantification right. And then if I have a $2,000 product and the graphic designer has a $24,000 problem, suddenly my product is a real bargain. That’s value. When they tell you the problem, you pour salt in that wound. That’s what we do as sales professionals. We don’t coerce people or convince or trick, we point out the obvious problem and solve it. That’s how you build value. That’s how you end a slump.

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