Sign & Digital Graphics

December '17

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22 • December 2017 • S I G N & D I G I T A L G R A P H I C S ARCHITECTURAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL RUNNING THE BUSINESS "I Can Buy It Cheaper Down the Block" Defending your price is a fundamental skill you must master Vince DiCecco is a business training and development consultant and owner of the Acworth, Georgia-based business, Your Personal Business Trainer, Inc. He has been sculpting his sales, marketing and training techniques since 1979, and he has shared innovative and practical ideas on business management excellence for two Fortune 200 companies, the U.S. Coast Guard, and in seminars at past NBM Shows. Since 2003, he has been serving small- to mid-sized com- panies in their efforts to strive for sustained growth and market dominance. Contact him via email at vince@ypbt. com or visit his company website, B Y V I N C E D I C E C C O Make it Your Business the six conditions discussed below must be true. So let us explore these six possibilities and learn how to handle the customer attempting to beat you up on price. Of Six Conditions, One Is True Years ago, I had the pleasure of attending a day-long seminar titled How to Sell at Prices Higher than Your Competitors. In it business management expert Larry Steinmetz, Ph.D. revealed the six most logical reasons why a customer would take the time to tell you, "This same stuff can be purchased at a lower price elsewhere." Consider the following: The customer can get it cheaper but, for some reason... • she doesn't want to. • she'd better not. • she really can't. The customer can't get it cheaper because... • she's lying. • it's unavailable. • it's not the same stuff. The first one is a no-brainer, but a significant one nonethe- less. She can buy the exact same thing at a lower price, but she really doesn't want to. Why? Because the lower-priced company is a pain with which to do business. Or it's clear across town and traffic is unbearable. Or there's something about the company that she just doesn't like or trust. She may even share the specific reason for her hesitancy. Regardless, what this customer is saying is that she really would rather do business with you, but she's not comfortable or not authorized to spend as much as you're asking. What should you do? Feel sorry for her? Lower your price and give up forever the chance to sell that item for what you know you need to get? You read it right: forever. Don't think she won't spread the word about what a great deal she got or how she compelled you to "work with her." She's proud of her horse-trading prowess and will want everybody she knows to be proud of her too. Ideally, you'll be able to demonstrate that the benefits of doing business with you are worth the selling price. But if you can't show this, consider instead changing the product itself, the delivery schedule, the terms or the conditions of the offer, as a balanced trade-off. Perhaps you could offer a less-expensive sign or simpler embellishment procedure to bring the price down. Or perhaps suggest increasing the quantity of the order to be able to offer a volume discount. In any case, when you make an adjustment in the quality, quantity, delivery or service, you can I f you've been in business for as little as six months, chances are you've encountered a customer mouthing some variation of the headline above. So, what's the underlying message here? Is this customer reporting the results of comprehensive market research? Hardly. The next time you hear this bogus claim, take a glance at your watch. Note the time. Within as little as five minutes, if this customer is still in your presence or on the phone, one of

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