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Sales Strategies

Sharon Day is President of Greenville-based Sales Activation Group. They help companies who are frustrated with their current team’s performance and/or turnover, teaching a strategic process for revenue generation and employee development.  For more information call 864.293.6633 or e-mail: sharon@2activatesales.com

When Giving Isn't Good

In the pressures of today's business climate, sellers are constantly asked to submit their best prices in order to be considered for purchase.   While buyers and purchasing agents have become quite adept at making these demands, much needs to be considered before deciding to play along; and, even then you need to be careful your pricing doesn't undercut your purpose.  
If your plan is to sell high volume, it's likely that you're better positioned to provide competitive pricing.  Even so, you need to be specific as to your absolute bottom line price.
Likewise, those with inventory that spoils and can't be replaced can compete, as they're able to predict future spoilage and could elect to pre-sell that inventory at deep discounts.  If this strategy is sound, pressure will be placed on the remaining inventory allowing you to maintain your desired price levels there.
When you have several competitors providing essentially the same product, demands for lower pricing are greater.  If you don't believe in and are unable to prove your product's superior value and worth, the buyer won't pay a premium price.  You are now commoditized.  
Lowering your price in the hopes of unseating the incumbent creates the risk of hurting your entire industry.  How?  If the client has no intention of ever switching (they're best friends with their current supplier, etc), all you'll do is give them a reason to shop your low price.  The incumbent is pressured to lower their rates to match yours, concessions are made (lower rates, freebies) to keep the business, and then values fall across the board.   
Lastly your loss of leverage must be considered.   Far too often I work with sellers who struggle with this rule of business.  Every time you give something, you must get something in return.  If you must negotiate rate, know what you will ask for in return, i.e., a signature on a long-term contract, etc.  You must also know the pricing threshold you will not cross and be willing to walk away if they ask you to cross it.   This requires belief in your product's value and courage to demand it.

Now more than ever it is critical to have a sales and pricing strategy in place to ensure that your business is presented properly and protected.  It would be our privilege to help you craft that plan.

12/17/2012 10:01AM
When Giving Isn't Good
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