This week I was delivering a Business Simulation Workshop™ (BSW) to one of CCS Europe’s key customers. The BSW is a 24 hour simulation game of a complete sales project, where several sales teams compete against each other to win the business from a fictitious customer – portrayed by a team of CustomerCentric Selling™ trained executives from the customer’s organisation.
One of the competing sales teams in this weeks simulation – the Blue Team – was very eager to win the business and resorted to giving large discounts and other concessions – and they weren’t really trying to get anything in return. Now, every salesperson should know that inadvertent discounting is very bad indeed – both for credibility in front of the customer and sales margins.
It’s a Question of Mind-set
A salesperson who resorts to heavy discounting or other concessions without expecting something in return from the customer has a serious attitude problem. The salesperson should remember that he or she is not looking for a favour or a hand-out. Instead, he or she is providing a valuable service to the buyer and offering a valid solution to the buyer’s problems.
I strongly believe that the salesperson should strive to create a two-way reciprocal relationship, where he or she (and his or her company) should get something in return for giving something – such as a discount. This is what we call the “quid pro quo philosophy” in CustomerCentric Selling.
If quid pro quo becomes a habit for your salespeople and it is used early in every customer relationship, the salespeople can become more efficient negotiators and consistently deliver more profitable business. This truly is a “gift that keeps on giving”.