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BILL LEE: How to Win the Prospect’s Favorable Attention

To acquire new customers, let value speak before pricing.

You don’t earn the long-term benefits of bringing in a new customer by leading with price. If you do, your image will be that of a non-professional. Salespeople who are insecure about either themselves or the products they sell know little else but to use low ball pricing as a prospecting tool.

Prospects express the highest attraction to salespeople who exude professionalism, salespeople who have value to offer that the salesperson they are presently buying from does not. Salespeople who have acquired the kind of value I’m talking about are difficult to say no to because they are so rare.

So the first step for a salesperson who wishes to take customers away from the competition is to acquire some knowledge the prospect will perceive to be of value.

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Take photographs of one or more ongoing problems the contractor is experiencing and may even be unaware of, i.e., excess material on the jobsite after that phase of the construction process is complete.

If your competitor’s driver dumps the material he is delivering in the middle of a mud hole, snap a photograph. Now, snap a photograph of one of your deliveries where the material is stacked neatly around the jobsite and use the comparison to illustrate the extra value your company offers.

Ask for a short meeting.
Offer evidence to the contractor (photos) and then explain how you prevent the excess, wasted or damaged material on your customers’ jobsites. Again, evidence is helpful: such as photographs, reference letters from current customers, etc.

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Unless the prospect asks for pricing, resist the temptation to quote prematurely. Try to avoid quoting a prospect until you believe the prospect is willing to at least consider making a change. You don’t want to appear overly anxious, so relax and let nature takes its course.

When you quote prematurely, you are also inviting a price negotiation. Rarely is the timing right to get into a pricing discussion on the first call.

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