Monday, May 11, 2015

Do this before giving a discount

Here's a simple idea that will result in more sales and better relationships with your customers.

If you find that you are doing most of the talking during a sales call, or if the conversation is not going your way, try this: Pull out your note pad and start taking notes.

Taking notes is an excellent way to slow down the process, especially when it is not going in your favor. I'm not talking about your iPad or your laptop. I'm talking about an ink pen and a pad like a detective uses.

Writing down statements that are confusing or upsetting is an excellent way to keep things in perspective. Rather than jumping right in with a response, tell the customer to hold on while you write down what they just said. They won't mind. Just the opposite, they will be impressed. Ask the customer to check what you have written to be sure that you got it right. The process of putting those words on paper almost always causes the customer to backtrack, amend, or, better yet, erase the words altogether.

Sales people don't like to lose. They fall in love with making the sale and ignore facts that are important to decision making. They let their own moods, or the moods of the prospect, rule the presentation, causing things to wander off course. These problems disappear when you pull out your pen and write something down.

It is especially important to slow down and do some calculating before you give into a price discount. Your moment of reflection gives the price discount some significance. You must treat the discount as significant, or you are not perceived as having given a discount. No price discount is unimportant. By emphasizing each discount in your own mind and on paper, you have not given ground for nothing.

A quick response robs the customer of the good feeling they get after making a good buy. A quick response leaves the customer feeling that they could have gotten more if they had been smarter. They will try to prevent that mistake from occurring the next time you negotiate, or they will compensate by taking a hard line on another aspect of the sale.

Some buyers use pressure to get what they want from a sales person. Sometimes the writing-a-note tactic is your only defense against being pressured into making a decision based on the buyer's deadline.

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