Helps readers understand that their sales goal shouldn't simply be to sell more, but to sell more at a higher price and that success comes only to those focused on "profitable sales." This book shows readers how to: avoid negotiating; actively listen to customers; and match the benefits of their product or service with the customer's needs.
In the high-pressure quest to make a sale, acquire a contract, and beat out other bidders, sales professionals frequently resort to cutting prices, offering discounts, or making other concessions that cut into their operating margins-short-term strategies that are destructive to the long-term sustainability of their business. "High-Profit Selling" helps readers understand that their sales goal shouldn't simply be to sell more, but to sell more at a higher price...and that success comes only to those focused on "profitable sales." This eye-opening book shows readers how to: avoid negotiating; actively listen to customers; match the benefits of their product or service with the customer's needs and pains; confidently communicate value; successfully execute a price increase with existing customers; and ensure prospects are serious and not shopping for price. Too many salespeople believe that a sale at any price is better than no sale at all. This powerful guide helps move readers toward a profit-centered approach that will strength en their relationships and increase their bottom line.
MARK HUNTER, known as "The Sales Hunter," has conducted thousands of customized training sales programs nationally and internationally. His client list includes Coca-Cola, Dole, Fisher-Price, Godiva, Heineken, Mattel, Unilever, and other industry leaders. His popular blog and website can be found at
Contents INTRODUCTION 1 CHAPTER 1: You Are Hurting Your Profit 5 What Is This Book Worth to You? 7 To Maximize Profit, Change How You View Your Customers 8 It's Time to Look in the Mirror 9 Your Confidence Drives Your Attitude 11 Can a Company Asking a Higher Price Really Win? 12 People Don't Buy-They Only Invest 13 Forget About Your Competition 15 CHAPTER 2: "Profit" Is Not a Dirty Word 17 Are You Chasing the Shiny Object? 18 Do You Think "Profit" Is a Dirty Word? 20 How Do We Define Profit? 21 What Does "Immediate Profit" Mean? 21 What Is Your Customer Worth Down the Road? 24 Calculate Your Customer's Profitability Sustainability Factor 26 A Big Order at the Wrong Price Isn't Worth It 28 Intellectual Profitability Adds Up 30 Minimize the Profit Takers 32 "Profit" Is a Beautiful Word 34 CHAPTER 3: Use Needs and Benefits to Command a Higher Price 36 Chasing the Shiny Object 38 Determining the Customer's Needs and Benefits 39 Separating Good Information from Bad 44 What We Can Learn About Needs and Benefits from Apple 45 Using Follow-Up Questions to Categorize a Customer's Needs 47 Needs? Benefits? What's the Difference, Anyway? 47 CHAPTER 4: Creating Real Value Using Your Price Point 54 Forming Real Value Around Price 55 Creating the Price Point 56 The Power of the Ultra-Price Package 57 Ultra-Prices and a Salesperson's Beliefs 60 The "No Negotiation" Philosophy 61 Sales Managers: Don't Empower Salespeople to Give Away Profit 63 Where Does the "No Negotiation" Policy Work Best? 64 Rules for an Effective "No Negotiation" Policy 65 Making the "No Negotiation" Policy Work, Despite So Many Rules 70 Using Time to Drive Value 71 CHAPTER 5: Prospecting That Works 74 Past Growth Doesn't Guarantee Future Growth 75 Finding New Customers Is Not an Optional Job Activity 76 Prospect or Suspect? Do You Know the Difference? 77 Is Prospecting Ingrained in Your Daily Routine? 77 Can't Prospect? Then You Can't Sell 78 What Is a Prospect? 79 Not All Prospects Are Created Equal 80 Assumptive vs. Inquisitive 81 Tactical Comments and Questions: The Price Squeeze 86 Strategic Questions Lead to Long-Term Relationships 87 Aim High When Prospecting 88 Make Prospecting Part of Your Daily Routine 88 Holiday Prospecting 89 Just Do It 92 CHAPTER 6: Sell More by Talking Less 93 How Professional Buyers Use Silence 94 Give Control to the Customer 95 How to Use Your Personality to Ask Questions 96 Questions That Work for You 97 How Much Time Do You Talk on a Sales Call? 98 Tactics Buyers Use to Speed Up the Sales Call 99 Why Salespeople Fail 100 An Example of Not Listening 100 Learn Your Customer's Language 102 The Best Follow-Up Questions 103 Put the Pride Aside: It's Costing You Money 103 Expand Your Question List 104 Do You Respect Your Customer? 105 The Two-Second Pause 106 Close Too Fast and You Lose Profit 108 The More the Customer Talks, the More You're Prepared for the Next Sale, Too 109 Keep Your Eye on the Prize 110 CHAPTER 7: Skip the Sales Presentation 112 Why Preparation Is Essential 115 Preparing a Sales Presentation Does Not Mean You Will Use It 116 Do You Know Your Presentation or Do You Know Your Content? 117 What About Skipping the Presentation on the Phone? 119 Always Respect Time 120 Developing Your Presentation 121 How Many Calls to Close a Sale? 122 CHAPTER 8: Leverage Knowledge to the Fullest 124 The Customer Is Seeking Knowledge, Too 126 Leveraging Knowledge 126 False Facts 127 How Do You Track Customer Information? 129 Visiting the Senior Officer 131 Using Information to Gather Opinions 132 Validating Information 133 The Power of Sharing Your Information 134 Knowledge Can Help Open the Next Sale 136 Knowledge vs. Information 136 Your Competitor May Have the Same Information 137 Your Knowledge Helps Create Trust 138 Your Knowledge Can Create a Long-Term Relationship 140 CHAPTER 9: Sell More Without Even Being There 141 China and the Sales Catalog 142 How the B2B Selling Process Has Changed 144 Putting Your Information Online 145 Getting the Right Information on the Internet 147 "Vendor Validation" 148 Becoming a Thought Leader 150 Time Well Spent 152 CHAPTER 10: Selling to the C-Suite 154 What Language Do They Speak? 155 Attributes Needed to Connect with the C-Suite 158 Connecting with the CEO Directly 163 The 12 12 Approach 165 Connecting with the CEO by Way of a Referral 169 Dealing with the Blockers 170 Meeting with the CEO 172 C-Suite Relationships Are Insurance Policies 174 C-Suites Are Research Departments 174 CHAPTER 11: How to Handle Price Objections 176 You Need to Be Blunt with the Customer 177 How Should You Respond to Objections? 179 Responding to the Request for a Reduction in Price 181 What Do You Do About the Persistent Customer? 184 Getting Customers to Focus on Their Needs, Not Your Price 186 The Cust omer Is in No Rush to Buy 189 Don't Try to Push the Customer with a Limited-Time Discount 191 Sell First, Negotiate Second 193 CHAPTER 12: Executing a Price Increase 194 The Ten-Step Process to Execute a Price Increase 195 Step 1: Know Your Strategy and What the Price Increase Is Going to Accomplish 197 Step 2: Sell the Objective of the Price Increase to People Inside the Company, Particularly the Sales Force 201 Step 3: Determine and Isolate the Customer's Key Benefits (They Help Sell the Price Increase) 202 Step 4: Understand the Customer's Decision-Making Timeline and How It May Impact Plans to Communicate the Price Increase 204 Step 5: Isolate Key Contacts Within the Customer's Company 205 Step 6: Develop Data and a Fact-Driven Point of View (FDPOV) 206 Step 7: Signal to the Customer the Expectation That a Price Increase Might Be Coming 207 Step 8: Formalize Expectations and Goals with the Sales Force for Each Customer 210 Step 9: Present the Price Increase to Customers and Gain Their Commitment 210 Step 10: Reinforce the Price Increase by Sharing the FDPOV 212 Ten Steps to More Profit 212 CHAPTER 13: Purchasing Departments and the Professional Buyer 214 Who Is the Professional Buyer? 216 The New Vendor 217 Understanding How the Buyer Operates 219 Warehouse Tours and the Buyer 220 Learning the Customer's Computer System 221 My Three Hours with a Buyer 222 Do Outside Meetings Include Any Risk for You? 224 Understanding a Buyer's Objectives 225 Vendor Letters and Requests 226 Increasing Your Margin on Friday Afternoon 227 CHAPTER 14: RFPs and RFQs: The Bidding Process 231 Are RFPs a Good Use of Your Time? 232 Benefits of the Small RFP 234 Writing the RFP Gives You the Upper Hand 235 Step 1: Determine Your Strategy 236 Step 2: Develop Your Minimum/Maximum Standards 243 Step 3: Develop Your Options 245 Step 4: Gain Information from the Customer and Others 246 Step 5: Respond and Get the Meeting 247 The Value of a Follow-Up Meeting 249 Bid Selection Renegotiation 249 CHAPTER 15: Position Yourself to Continue Earning High Profits 251 One Percent Continuous Improvement Process 253 Small Changes Equal Big Improvement 254 Your Windshield Is Talking to You 255 Recovering from the Bad Sales Call 257 Always Be Learning 258 Strategically Planning Your Week 259 Setting Weekly Goals to Build Off Your Successes 261 Recording Your Goals and Accomplishments 263 Furthering Your Knowledge and Expertise 265 Recommended Websites 265 INDEX 267
"Dense with information, ranging from the simple to the complex, this book is a must-have for every retailer. It's a nuts-and-bolts how-to born out of real world experience and success." --"Retailing Insight "
In the high-pressure quest to make a sale, acquire a contract, and beat out other bidders, sales professionals frequently resort to short-term strategies like cutting prices, offering discounts, or making other concessions. High-Profit Selling teaches readers to rethink their approach to sales goals--so they not only sell a greater quantity but sell with the bottom line in mind. By explaining how short-term strategies are destructive to the long-term sustainability of a business, this eye-opening book helps readers instead focus their energy on "profit sales" that successfully execute product price increases while maintaining and strengthening current customer relationships. You'll learn how to avoid negotiating, actively listen to customers, match the benefits of products or services with customers' needs and pains, confidently communicate value, and ensure prospects are serious and not shopping for price. Too many salespeople believe that a sale at any price is better than no sale at all. High-Profit Selling teaches them to do away with this logic and instead make sales that satisfy and add value to both the client and company.
Introduction OVER THE Y E A R S , I''ve been amazed at the number of times salespeople have asked me how they can avoid lowering a price to close a deal. As many times as I''ve been asked, I know there are hundreds more salespeople wondering the same thing. The tactic of giving someone a lower price as an incentive to close a deal is certainly not new. It has been going on for as long as there have been people looking to sell something to someone else. What astounds me, though, is that cutting prices to close a deal seems to happen regardless of whether the item is staggeringly expensive or supercheap. Customers want a deal, and too many salespeople are more than willing to give that deal, regardless of the negative consequences. But will the customer buy if the price isn''t lowered? This is a vital piece of information to have if you want to close the deal. Unfortunately, many salespeople don''t dig deep enough to find the answer. The end result is the salesperson simply resorts to lowering the price. When the salesperson gives in once on price, the sales process usually becomes a game where customers wait to see how low they can get the salesperson to go on price--and everything else. Profits continue to erode at an expanding rate until the damage is done (and even then, some salespeople still don''t realize the extent of the damage). The purpose of this book is to show you how you can avoid cutting prices to close sales. I''ll even show you that instead of cutting prices, in many cases you actually can raise them! For some of you, this is an unheard-of concept because never has a week gone by in your selling career that didn''t involve lowering price, regardless of the impact on you or your company. I am dedicated to showing salespeople how to avoid this habit of discounting. While it is definitely possible to stay firm on your price (and even raise it), I''m not saying it is easy. If you are looking for a couple of quick, easy steps, this book isn''t for you. If, however, you want to make solid changes in your sales process that will lead to high-profit selling, then you have arrived at the right place. I will walk you through each phase of the selling process, from finding the right prospects to closing the sale. You will learn the techniques and ideas that you can best adapt for your situation and industry. The core of the problem rarely is a customer who is not willing to pay. Rather, I believe the problem begins with salespeople who do not believe in the price they are asking. If the salesperson does not believe in the price, then there is no way the customer will ever choose to pay anything that is not discounted. Harboring internal doubts about price affects the salesperson''s ability to close sales and, more important, to ensure the profit margin. In this book I''ll share personal stories--good and bad-- about how I have dealt with issues on sales calls. The experiences cover a cross section of my more than twenty-five years as a salesperson and now as a consultant and speaker on sales and, particularly, on pricing. I think you will find that my stories are similar to situations you have already faced or are currently facing. Many salespeople claim that price is one of the biggest issues they confront when closing a sale. To me, it''s debatable whether price is genuinely a big issue or simply something we have come to believe is a big issue. I devote considerable time in this book to helping you determine whether price is the real, underlying issue holding back a sale or if the customer is merely saying it is the issue. More important, I''ll show you how to respond to the customer and even how to avoid getting into situations where price becomes the central focus. It may surprise you, but when selling situations are consumed with discussion about price, it usually means the salesperson is dealing with the wrong type of customer. You want customers who are focused less on price and more on how your product or service meets their needs and delivers desired benefits. High-profit selling is all about changing how you think. If you change how you think, you can then change how you deal with the customer. By changing how you deal with the customer, you can take control of the process and move yourself away from dependence on discounting to closing sales. In all my years in the selling profession, I have seen countless techniques that customers use to try to get a salesperson to lower the price. I will walk you through the more prevalent situations, including how to handle professional buyers and requests for proposals. My goal is to offer you solid solutions for the problems you face. After reading this book, you''ll be better prepared to go into your next sales call without relying on discounting to actually close the sale. Finally, I''ll share with you the exact steps you need to take to avoid the many problems that can arise when a company attempts to increase its price. High-profit selling sounds good, doesn''t it? It does to me! Let me show you that there is nothing wrong with high profits when they allow both you and the customer to win.