Price Is ALWAYS the issue. Price Is NEVER the issue.

Always NeverPrice is awesome. It is part of every sale. Every customer wants to buy at a lower price. Every company (or most at least) wants to sell at higher prices. It’s a universal truth.

Recently, while teaching, I asked: “What are the reasons sales gives for losing deals?” The answers are always the same. Price and product. I usually follow this up with something like this: “These are rarely the issue, but even if they are, there is still so much more to learn.” Someone in class last week responded, “Yeah, but what if price IS the issue?” This question threw me back on my heels.

That question, and my subsequent answer, prompted the title of this post. Think about one deal. What if we did lose on price? What if we could have won if we had lowered our price? This makes perfect sense. But here’s the real issue. Price is only one side of the equation. The other side is value.

Imagine that we lose a sale because we are priced higher and the buyer went with the less expensive alternative. However, we forgot to tell the buyer that there are gold bars stored in every one of our boxes. If only the buyer had known, the choice would have easily switched to our favor.

Now, think of the gold bars as a feature of our product that our buyers would really value if they knew about it. If we make sure our buyers know all of our capabilities and how valuable they truly are, then they would be willing to pay more for our product.

On every deal, buyers want lower prices. But they would settle for paying higher prices if they know they get more for their money.

When a salesperson or a company believes that price is the reason we lose, it’s a lost cause. Erase that from your mind. The reason you lose is you haven’t created products with enough value or you haven’t communicated that value to your buyers. For successful highly profitable companies, price is never the issue. They focus on value.

Both of the statements in the title is true. Price is always an issue. It’s part of every transaction. But price is never an issue is the attitude we must take to create and communicate real value. It’s kind of like asking if the glass is half empty or half full. Depends on your perspective. My perspective: Focus on the value side. Price will follow.

 

Mark Stiving

Mark Stiving

Mark Stiving is an instructor at Pragmatic Marketing with more than 20 years of experience in business startup, development, management, turnaround and sales and design engineering. He has helped companies create and implement new pricing strategies to capture more from the value they create, and has consulted with Cisco, Procter & Gamble, Grimes Aerospace, Rogers Corporation and many small businesses and entrepreneurial ventures. He has led pricing initiatives as director of pricing at Maxim Integrated and as a member of technical staff at National Semiconductor. Mark also has served as president of both Home Director Inc. and Destiny Networks Inc. and as an assistant professor of marketing at The Ohio State University. Mark also is the author of “Impact Pricing: Your Blueprint to Driving Profits” (Entrepreneur Press, 2011). He can be reached at mstiving@pragmaticmarketing.com.


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