Sales and Sales Management Blog

June 1, 2011

Guest Article: “Change Your Words, Improve Your Results to Increase Sales,” by Leanne Hoagland-Smith

Filed under: Communication,Handling Prospect,sales,selling — Paul McCord @ 7:49 am
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Change Your Words, Improve Your Results to Increase Sales
 by Leanne Hoagland-Smith

Change or die writes Alan Deutschman. Yet many small business owners including crazy busy sales people continue to do what they have always done and then complain about not being able to increase sales.  This seems to be a continual whine especially from those engaged in coaching, consulting or those who provided other types of professional business services.

During the last couple of years as the market contracted due to global economic forces, more and more executives have faced early retirement to reduction in force. Many of these individuals have started their own consulting or coaching businesses, some by buying franchises and others starting from scratch.

With an even more crowded marketplace filled with hungry new small business owners, sometimes finding new clients willing to let loose of their profits to stuff into someone else’s pockets becomes a greater challenge.  So what is the eager entrepreneur supposed to do to avoid starving?

Maybe it is time to take a walk through a grocery store, some other retail store or even an automobile dealership to find that answer. What do you see?   Shelves, aisles and car lots filled with products. These products range from good, better or best. 

In grocery stores, you can purchase hamburger at 80% lean, 88% lean or 95% lean. Then you can hop over to your favorite retail store and find similar pricing.

Car manufacturers have this good, better or best product selection honed to a razor sharp edge. Even the most economical cars can quickly go from good to best with the additional equipment from automatic transmissions to sun-roof or is it moon roof?

What would happen if you or your organization embraced this good, better best approach with your pricing? And then instead of offering a multi thousand dollar project covering 4 months, provide monthly pricing for a six to 12 months. Given that execution is still a problem for many small business owners, by becoming a more long term supportive buying partner you have potentially demonstrated not only your value, but your understanding of your client’s cash flow.  You’re your trust and emotional connections have been even more firmly established. Sales Training Coaching Tip:  Trust and emotions are Sales Buying Rules One and Two.

If a potential client wants to improve his or her situation, why should that want have a negative impact on his or her cash flow?  Of course, the ego driven, I need sales quota now individual sales person or sales manager may respond with “We don’t do that!” or “This is our firm and non-negotiable pricing!”  At this juncture, the salesperson or sales manager’s wants are going before the potential customer’s wants.  This desire is not a good way to earn a sale or better yet repeat business.

Case Study on Good, Better, Best

The Problem

A business coach required a quick infusion of new sales as cash flow was becoming a serious challenge.  He looked to using an assessment that had worked as a marketing freebie to build the relationship as a quick solution to securing additional quick revenue.

The Solution

By reconfiguring or repositioning the deliverables for this assessment into 3 tiers of good, better, best, he was able to provide additional value for each offering.  This reconfiguration allowed him to even increase his price for the best offering.  Sales Training Coaching Tip:  Reconfiguration or repositioning is one of the three factors in providing sustainable business solutions.

The Results

Within 3 days of this new good, better, best approach, he met with a potential client who had been referred to him. During the meeting, she asked if he had any information about this assessment. My client pulled out a one page marketing flyer that briefly explained the good, better, best solutions. His potential client read the information, then pulled out her checkbook and wrote a check for the best solution.

Beyond having a check in hand, the good, better, best solution reduced his sales cycle time by three quarters to two thirds.  Another result is the potential client had the perception the sales decision was all in her control.

Why Good, Better, Best Works

There are several reasons why the good, better, best approach works. First is the inherent preexisting value within each of the words.  Since people buy on value unique to them (the Third Sales Buying Rule), they have already predetermined the value associated with each of these three words.

Another reason are the words good, better, best elicit a far stronger emotional reaction than words such as option or alternative.  Since the Second Sales Buying Rule is people buy first on emotion, then justify that decision with logic, emotions are key.

Finally, this approach helps to overcome one if not more of the Five Sales Objections of you, your company, your solutions, your price and your delivery.

For the last several years, I have lived by this motto:  Change your words; Improve your results.  By understanding the impact of words and aligning my practice to those new words, I have been able to increase sales. Maybe it is time for you to consider a similar change in your pricing and business model?

Leanne Hoagland-Smith

Author of Be the Red Jacket– CT (nearChicago,IL)


1 Comment »

  1. […] week as a guest blogger to Paul McCord’s sales and management blog, I discussed how by changing words specific to pricing can increase […]

    Pingback by Time to Revisit Your Pricing Strategy to Increase Sales | Increase Sales Blog — June 6, 2011 @ 8:10 am | Reply

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