Timing is everything. In sales, waiting until price discussions to articulate the Features, Advantages and Benefits of your Solution will cost your dearly. In his recent Forbes blog, The No. 1 Reason Why Salespeople Leave Money on the Table, Stephen Meyer makes a compelling argument for sales professionals to “shut up” once they’ve asked for the business and shared price. Meyer cites research that reveals buyers feel they are being pushed into a corner when the salesperson adds justifications as part of the price presentation, and will actually push back on those justifications. Notice his use of the term “justifications,” because that’s how Features, Advantages and Benefits are perceived when delivered in tandem with pricing. Meyer writes, “Justifications are perceived by the buyer as an attempt to take control. Just stating your price and remaining silent leaves the buyer in control. For whatever reason, buyers who feel they’re in control are less likely to undermine your value proposition and demand a lower price.”
Think about this insight in the context of the *DPS Presentation Diamond™, in which the Proposal, Solution and Summary Steps provide the appropriate opportunity to confirm the GAP, and then share the Features, Advantages and Benefits of the proposed Solution. Response Checks throughout these steps prevent pushback later in the Close step, when price is attached to the proposed Solution. Meyer writes, “… there is of course an appropriate time to lay out your value proposition – early in your discussions as you’re conducting discovery (Exploratory Process) and mapping your product or service to customer needs (Proposal, Solution steps). Just don’t do it late in the sales cycle when you’re negotiating price.”
Often it isn’t a case of the sales professional waiting until the Close/pricing discussion to identify FABs, but feeling compelled to articulate the FABs AGAIN as s/he is sharing price. As Meyer put it, “As hard as it may seem, you’ll get a higher price if you just say, ‘Here’s what it costs,’ and then shut up.” To put it in kinder terminology, once you’ve shared pricing associated with your Solution, less talking will reap more reward.
*DPS – Dimensions of Professional Selling sales training program by Carew International