It was an interesting conversation with a friend who is flipping a home about the four closet designer sales reps she met.

I cringed as she told the story because their sales manager probably doesn’t realize or know how much money they are leaving on the table.

If they knew, they’d fix it!  And with the simple fixes the reps would be achieving sales targets, the sales manager would be a hero and their commission check would be even bigger!

See if you can find the sales fails to leaving tons on money on the table.

Two reps came to the home, basically looked around with their eyes as the house was being rehabbed and asked to see the closets to be outfitted.

They asked if there was anything in particular she wanted… the answer was, “A combination of hanging and some drawers – you’re the expert you decide.” Off the rep went to measure and then said… “I’ll go back and quote this out and email it to you.”

And off they went.

The other two reps had a different approach for the process, yet they both had the same sales fails leaving money on the table.

Upon their arrival there was some small chit-chat, an overview of their company and why they were different than any of the others, and an in-depth series of questions about percentages of short and long for the hanging areas, number of drawers and guesses on what items would be in the drawers, men vs women, etc.

Then they measured and said, “I’ll go back and create your custom design. Let’s select the date for you to come to the show room where we can select the material and make any adjustments.”

At the on-site appointment, the reps showed their plan and as they presented the price included the currently running 20% discount offer.

Then crickets.

My friend finally said… “It’s a little higher than some of the other quotes I’ve gotten.”

The rep’s immediate response, “Let me see if I can get you a further discount.”

I’m still cringing as I recount these two sales scenarios.

How many sales fails did you catch? I caught 5.

Sales Fail #1: Ask the goals and objectives.

Everyone asked, “What do you want?”

Shelves, hanging, drawers. That is soooooo feature driven.  

What’s really the goal here?

If she outfitting the closets… is she trying to differentiate her house from the others, desiring a wow factor, just trying to be nice, or trying to command more dollars for her listing price?

The root of her decision to fit the closets is her motivation to buy and with better questions around the customer’s goals and objectives position you to create the best solution and stack the value as you present your price. A double bonus!

Sales Fail #2: Ask the selection criteria.

If my friend had said, “I’m taking the lowest price no matter what.”… you should first find out how true this is and if it is rock solid true… you may decide this is a customer to pass on.

Or, it may come out as a non-truth – something she felt like saying to get a low price.

Because when you respond like this, “Yes, receiving the most value for your dollar is important. What’s the reason price only is your criteria?”

Or “Yes, receiving the most value for your dollar is important. Often to obtain a lower cost with a high quality look means we may not be able to put as many drawers or hanging bars as you are indicating. How does that align with your wanting an ultimate wow factor for your prospective buyer?”

You either shift the conversation to match your solution to the goals – or you run as fast as you can to the next prospect and do not waste your time here.

Sales Fail #3: Ask the budget question.

No one asked my friend what she had budgeted for closets. She’s flipping a home, so it’s safe to think she’s put a dollar amount – albeit it may be way off – in her renovation budget. What is it?

Even if her guess was way low, the sales rep can say… “For you to achieve the wow factor and at the same time command more dollars for your list price, with our quality products based on other closets your size, an investment for three closets similar to the design you want is between $4500 and $6200. Shall we continue talking and working on your design?”

Sales Fail #4: Ask for agreement to the solution before you present the price.

When a rep asks thought provoking questions to discover the customer’s goals and objectives, they are 80% to the yes. Why? Because the customer is buying their end results and you are simply the solution to make that happen.

Their most pressing goals and objectives become your anchor, roadmap and north star to keep top of mind in the conversation.

“Before we go next to your investment… let me be certain we have everything right…

  • It’s important for you to (insert goals) …
  • Is that right?
  • Have I left anything out?
  • How important is it to do this now?
  • What are the upsides of you getting…
  • What are the downsides if you don’t get it?

All of the information you learn here is your value stack. Your value stack will outweigh the actual investment cost.

Sales Fail #5: Sell value vs discounting with the first “I’ll think about it.”

Big cringe when a rep immediately begins discounting. All right, you already gave me 20% off, I balked and now you’re going to work on getting me another 10% or possibly 15%… Shucks, I do feel taken advantage of now. Why didn’t you give me a bottom line price before? This doesn’t feel good and I’m not selecting you.

Discounting throws value out the window. It doesn’t always get you the deal you think it will and more times than not, this really costs you way much more because this customer has potential to be the one from the dark side! Price only customers tend to be that way.

Fix these five sales fails and you will stop leaving money on the table. Reps will close more deals, make more money and love what they’re doing!

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