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Jeff's Selling & Success Newsletter
March 2007

Dear Jeff,

Thanks for reading my newsletter. If you find it valuable I'd greatly appreciate your forwarding it to a friend or colleague via the forward link at bottom of the page.

  • Ask Jeff!
  • Can't We Just Lower Our Prices?

  • Can't We Just Lower Our Prices?

    As a trainer I often have salespeople approach me with the following statement:

    "Jeff, if the company would just lower our prices I know I would sell more." Really? Ya think? This is a perfect example of what Zig Ziglar calls "Stinkin' Thinkin'." Allow me to explain why.

    The company you work for charges money for the product or service you sell. Unless you work for thieves (and I know a few of you might) the price you are required to charge your customer has been thought about, discussed and analyzed. Your company made a decision to charge whatever you charge based on many things including what it costs the company to produce the product or service as well as how much they have to pay you (and all other employees) and how much profit the company needs to make.

    By thinking you'll make more sales if your company lowers their prices you're buying into the incorrect thought that the number one thing customers care about is price. WRONG! If all the customer cared about was price, the lowest priced competitor would get all the sales. But do they? Nope. If that was true, Vonage would get all the telecom customers. Netzero (are they still in business?) would be everyone's Internet provider. While there are some customers that will cut your legs off at the knees in order to save a nickle, that's not most people. Customers buy two things: Value and Relationship. (hint - that's such an important concept I bolded it, italicized it and underlined it!)

    Look at your own life to see if this is true for you. The last time you went to buy a car did you look for the cheapest car you could possibly find? Unless you bought a 20-year- old used car it's unlikely you bought your car based on price. Okay, so maybe you wanted a new car. Unless you bought a Saturn or a Kia you probably didn't choose your car based on price either.

    Since I like the car example let's stick with it a little longer. I'll bet some of you own nice cars. Very nice cars. Mercedes, BMW, Lexus, Porsche. If you own one of those, my question is: "Why didn't you buy a Saturn?" I'll bet if we were talking to each other right now you could give me lots of great reasons why you chose the car you bought instead of a Saturn. (btw - I have nothing against Saturns or Saturn owners - I'm just saying it's a relatively inexpensive car compared to many) Perhaps you'd tell me that your BMW is a better built car, that it has a better warranty, it's more comfortable, will last longer, have better resale value, is more impressive to your friends and neighbors and a whole host of other reasons why you spent $70,000.00 for your car instead of 16k. And my point is not that I think you were foolish to spend $54,000.00 more for a car than you needed to. My point is that you saw $54,000.00 more value in owning a BMW over owning a Saturn. That's what your customers use to make buying decisions too. Value. Which means it's our job as salespeople to be able to clearly show the value of what we offer in a way that the prospect absolutely understands.

    What part does relationship play in the buying decision? You've probably heard that people buy from people they like and trust. In almost every case that's true. Would you buy a product or service from someone you didn't like or didn't trust. Probably not unless there was absolutely nowhere else to get it and it was something you absolutely had to have. Haven't you ever paid more for something, knowing that you could get it somewhere else for less, because you like the salesperson? I know I have. I've been using the same mechanic to work on my cars for the last 8 years. He's not the closest to where I live, in fact he's rather out of the way for me. For sure he's not the cheapest. I can get an oil change, and most repairs, done for less. (not always a lot less, but usually less) So why do I go to this particular mechanic? Simple. I trust him. I believe he's amazingly knowledgeable about cars and what makes them work (or not work) and I believe he'll never do a repair that I don't need. He's proven this on numerous occasions. I've come to him telling him I think I need a brake job and he's shown me the noise I was hearing was simply something caught in my hubcap. Another mechanic might have agreed with my uneducated diagnosis and done an unneeded, and expensive, brake job. To me, and I'll bet to you and your customers, knowing that I'm in good hands and won't be ripped off is worth a few extra dollars on each transaction.

    Want to be a better salesperson? Want to close more business and make more money? Want to turn prospects into customers and customers into raving fans? Spend less time on perfecting your brilliant presentation. Spend less time on learning closing tricks that don't work anyway. Spend more time on establishing, developing and nurturing relationships with your prospects and customers. Spend more time learning about their world (what they've done in the past, what they're doing now, what their trying to accomplish in the future) and spend more time figuring out how to show your prospects the value of what you offer and the brilliance of buying it from you, even if your price isn't the lowest.

    Call or e-mail if you need help in this area or have questions about how to develop better relationships or how to show value.

    Make It Happen,


    Ask Jeff!
    Resized Headshot

    If you'd like to ask me a question and have it answered in this column e-mail me at jeff@jgsalespro.com.


    Thanks for the great newsletter. I sell life insurance and I'm very good at it. My biggest challenge, though, is getting everything done each day that needs to be done. There never seems to be enough time. Any advice on being more effective in this area?

    Roy L. - Syosset, NY

    Dear Roy,

    Wow! You couldn't have asked me a better question because I'm currently co-authoring a book on time management. Since I'd like you to buy the book when it's finished I won't give away everything but here are some ideas that should help!
    1) Protect Your Time.
    When you're in the office beware of time grabbers. I'm not advising you to be anti-social but in many offices there's almost always something, or someone, who wants to use your valuable time. Whether it's extended breaks, the "do you have a minute" question or just someone who wants to talk about what they watched on TV last night, these things will steal your time. Protect your time like a mother lion protects her cubs. "Yes Bob, I did watch American Idol but I'm in the middle of writing a million dollar proposal right now. Why don't we have lunch together and talk about it?"
    2) Be Organized.
    Each day, at the end of the day, plan for tomorrow. Make a list of all the things you need/want to accomplish, then prioritize that list. We tend to do the things we enjoy most first but those might not be the things that are most likely to produce income. Assign the proper amount of time to each task and stick to it.
    3) Make Commitments.
    Make promises to someone (your manager, a co-worker you respect, etc.) about what you will absolutely, positively accomplish tomorrow and then follow-up with them at the end of the day to let them know you fulfilled on your promise. I find that I'll break a promise to myself but I'll nearly kill myself before I'll break a promise to someone else.

    Try these three things and while you may not always accomplish everything you need to, you'll be far more productive than you are now.

    Feel free to call or e-mail me if you need more help with this.

    Make It Happen,


    jeff@jgsalespro.com jeff@jgsalespro.com

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