An axiom is defined as “a self-evident truth that requires no proof.” Over the years, I’ve heard and read lots of sales advice, both good and bad. But there are a handful of axioms I’ve adhered to that have never let me down.
When I was 14 years old, when the Internet was still ARPANET and “Amazon” was a female warrior from Greek mythology, I discovered science fiction. Satisfying my craving for new and exciting stories each week meant riding my bike to the nearest bookstore, which was just over three miles away, but felt more like ten. Soon, however, the ache in my legs (and posterior) began to pale in comparison to the joy of getting lost in a bookstore. An hour or more of searching the shelves for “just the right book” was all part of the experience, and the discovery was at least as satisfying as devouring the book once I got home.
Is the recession officially over? Most economists are saying that the recession ended somewhere between July and September of 2009. Maybe I missed something. Or maybe economists just make good money. How does that saying go…? “It’s a recession when your neighbor loses his job; it’s a depression when you lose yours.”
Just in case we didn’t get the memo and the recession really is over, here’s the first item on the post-recession agenda.
Don’t be too quick to hop on your sales cycle and pedal over to meet with that “hot prospect.” Understanding the consumer buying process will save you time and energy.
Determining exactly where people are in the buying cycle can save you a lot of frustration and grief. It makes no sense to dress yourself in the appropriate business attire, then drive clear across town (or to an entirely different town) to meet with someone who’s merely “interested.” Ideally, you’ll want to meet with those who are in the “desire” or “action” stage of the buying process. But how can you tell?
Do higher prices mean less business? Or can increasing your rates actually bring in more business?
Last week, I explored the idea that raising prices can actually increase business. To many business owners, this is counter-intuitive. Most believe higher prices means less people will do business with them. But is that really the case? Some people have too much business because they charge too little. Others don’t have enough for the exact same reason.
Is quoting a ballpark price always a losing proposition? Here’s how to turn a potential losing situation into a win.
It has all the markings of a lose-lose situation. Quote too high a price and you probably won’t ever hear back from him. But if you under-estimate the cost, you’ll look shady if you actually bid for the job and your proposal comes in higher. So what’s a poor web designer to do? Bite the bullet and throw out a number? Or tell him you can’t quote a price without knowing exactly what he needs? Here are a couple of approaches you can try…
Even during prosperous times, it’s suprising to hear this. Yet, even in an economic downturn, some customers will tell us, “I have more business than I can handle.” Some think that’s a good thing… while others are overwhelmed by it. When we tell them that they ought to “raise their prices,” we often receive a puzzled stare back in response.
The website FreelanceSwitch has posted a list of the “Top Ten Signs You May Be Charging Too Little.”
10. Your clients mistake your daily rate for an hourly one.
9. You’ve won every job you’ve ever bid on.
8. Even though you work 80-hour weeks, your income level qualifies you for welfare payments.
7. New clients are always asking what “the catch” is.
6. Clients pay your invoices in cash from their wallet.
(You can read the rest here.)
The Marketing Blogspot has an interesting and informative post on the concept behind how raising prices can actually bring you more business. The author says that most people believe that raising prices equals less business because fewer people will want to do business with them – when the exact opposite is actually true.
You’ve probably heard the saying, “It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it.” As a telemarketing manager, it used to baffle me how two telemarketers could deliver the exact same pitch and yet one would set five times more appointments than the other. I’ve come to believe that how we say it is at least as important as what we say.
I’m conducting sales training all this week, and one of the things I emphasize early-on is selling on value, not price.
Now that’s much easier to do because we’re not selling a product that we paid amount of money for, or that the customer can get from the store down the street. We sell advertising, and the value in advertising rests on one thing, and one thing only: Will I make more money in additional revenue than I will spend on this advertising?
So if you sell a service, if you are an account, an attorney, a web designer, or an architect… then here’s how you can sell on value and avoid the low-cost limbo.
Sales and marketing gurus are always talking about value — that in order to have a successful product or service, we must “create value” for the customer. But what exactly does that mean?
While the theory is absolutely correct, the concept of value is subjective and nebulous. What is valuable to one person may be completely irrelevant to another.
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Thanks for visiting. I’m a Marketing Evangelist, Blogger and Sales Trainer.
I get excited about geek stuff. But I’m also passionate about helping people and companies reach their fullest potential and becoming wildly successful.
That’s why I love helping businesses figure out how to market (especially web marketing) and why I train sales people to be the best they can be at what they do.