“To get it, you’ll have to ask for it,” Joe said. “It’s amazing how many so-called salespeople don’t. One study found that 64 percent of all salespeople fail to ask for commitment when completing a call. They present their product, they quote a price, the client says something like, ‘I’ll think it over and get back to you,’ or ‘Can I keep the brochures for a few days?’ and these comedians say, ‘Gee, sure, here’s my card, thanks for your time, bye.’ They’re strictly amateurs, no matter how long they’ve been selling for a living.”
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“Are you kidding?” Tony exclaimed. “Even if I can earn a customer’s loyalty, I have to work hard to keep it. Never mind the fact that we’ve got serious competitors who want loyal customers as badly as we do, and who are always trying to beat our prices, or forge better relationships, or both. Even when the competition isn’t pressing me to come up with more creative solutions, the customers themselves are. In this case, my competition is the client’s own technical staff.”
“Right. I need to differentiate myself, and I don’t want the differentiating factor to be price. I want to offer a solution that adds value in the customer’s eyes — something that gives the client a reason to buy from me even though I might charge more for something like a bottle of disinfectant. I want to take the focus off which supplier is offering the lowest price this month. I want the competition’s next flyer to be irrelevant.”
Whoa! You’ve done everything right, you’re cruising toward a major sale, you think it’s in the bag, when suddenly, for no reason that seems to make much sense, the customer balks and the deal goes up in smoke. What just happened?
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