In many business-to-consumer (B2C) industries—such as the insurance industry—pricing is everything. But if you’re in B2B sales, and your deals are consistently being won or lost based solely on price, you’re doing something wrong. If you’re consistently having to undercut your competitors’ pricing, then you’re probably telling the wrong sales stories.
Here’s the truth: customers are happy to pay more to buy from a vendor that they deem credible. They are also happy to pay more for solutions that provide a unique selling point. Fail to establish credibility and differentiate yourself from the competition and you’ll find yourself in a price-slashing war. And that’s the kind of battle that has no winners.
Here are a few ways that B2B sales reps can close more deals without having to slash profit margins.
I think a lot of B2B salespeople could learn a thing or two from a waitress I had over the weekend. I was at a trendy restaurant in downtown Los Angeles. I had just played an hour of table tennis and was thirsty, so I asked our waitress for a beer recommendation. She launched into a story about a French ale that was made during winter but tasted “like cycling through the French countryside in summertime.” Was it the least expensive beer on the list? Far from it! But I ordered it anyway because she told story that intrigued me. I didn’t even think about less expensive alternatives. If you tell your prospects the right story, then pricing will almost always be a secondary factor.
I recently checked out one of RingLead’s webinars on establishing credibility in sales. In the webinar, sales author Tim Dunne said some wise words: “every meeting should end with the salesperson being useful to the client.” B2B sales is all about establishing credibility and offering value. In sales, establishing credibility requires a healthy dose of sincerity, friendliness and, most importantly, expertise. One of the best ways to demonstrate your expertise is by knowing something about your prospects’ industry and specific pain points. If you find yourself selling into specific industries take the time (even if it’s not during “work hours”) to understand those industries and how your offering can specifically benefit customers in those industries. If you understand their pain points and offer a viable solution (i.e. provide value), you’ll be much more likely to walk away with a sale.
Hopefully there are some things that your offering does better than any of your competitors. Focusing your pitch on key differentiators helps customers identify what could be lost by going with a different—even less expensive—offering. As an example, if you’re selling an SEO tool that has unrivaled mobile optimization features, then you’d definitely want to weight your pitch heavily on those features. Focus your pitch on what your company does best and pricing will almost always be secondary.
Watch out B2B sales prospecting webinar!
Jesse WestDirector of Lifecycle MarketingringDNA
Jesse Davis West is Director of Lifecycle Marketing at ringDNA, focusing on improving the experience and maximizing the lifetime value for customers across their entire journey. Drawing on 9 years of B2B marketing experience, Jesse is passionate about communication, branding and strategic marketing. He also plays a mean lead guitar and can throw down at karaoke.