Winning the classic skirmish of value over price means focusing on what’s important to the buyer, and showing them that that’s worth more than price considerations.
Don’t assume you know what someone wants — probe, test, and investigate. Careful observation, astute questioning, and empathic insight are the attributes that create sales success.
So what if the vast majority of insurance buyers are shopping price?
By understanding what’s important to each buyer you can redirect the conversation away from price and focus on other considerations that drive their behavior.
Often these are intangible values like prestige and status, or peace of mind, trust, and confidence. Sometimes you may need to instruct and edify a prospect to establish your authority so they feel comfortable giving you their business.
The skilled sales pro sees that the guy wandering around his used car lot wants safety and economy and is able to reinforce those needs and provide the perfect solution. The weaker sales person doesn’t understand what that guy really wants and wastes time trying to sell him a red convertible.
Consider the influence tactics used in the Netflix series House of Cards. In the first episode of the fourth season, ambitious presidential spouse Claire Underwood, (Robin Wright) tries to convince a political operative, LeAnn Harvey, to help her gain the support of a black congresswoman who’s held her seat for decades, but LeAnn is very reluctant.
As they’re walking together on the rolling meadows of the Underwood estate, LeAnn says she finds it hard to imagine that this congresswoman, who marched with Dr. King, is going to throw her support behind a privileged white woman like Claire Underwood.
“Well, I believe you can change her opinion of me,” Claire says.
Playing to LeAnn’s ambition and pride she turns up the heat, “When you started your consulting firm, your father told mine that he thought you were making a huge mistake, but you didn’t make a mistake, did you?
“You proved him wrong. Now a dozen consultants can tell me why this won’t work, but I think you can tell me why it can.”
Won over by Mrs. Underwood’s seductive praise, LeAnn agrees to go to work for her.
Your sales negotiations may not be quite as tense or dramatic, but there are many ways you can build your case and win accounts without having to just “sell price.”
What do you think your prospects care about?
What are their core motivations, challenges and concerns?
How can you show them all the benefits of becoming your client?
What bargaining chips can you use to win them over?