First You Win

And Then You Provide Proof

Proof is something you use to resolve your dream client’s concerns. It’s something your dream client uses to justify the decision to choose you.

The page of logos that indicate the caliber of companies you do business with is impressive. But it isn’t the reason your clients buy from you. It’s what they use to describe your reputation when others ask them why they are considering buying from you.

The proof of your ability to execute helps you provide your clients with the confidence that you will perform and that they will not risk failing. It answers a certain set of questions, none of which matter unless your dream client is serious about working with you.

References are proof. You can drop names during your sales interactions, but until your client knows that they want to work with you, they don’t need your references.

You want to provide this proof because you believe that it will help your dream client perceive the value that you can create for them. But it won’t. It does not serve that purpose.

And Then You Negotiate

Price is always a factor in any deal. But it is rarely the dominating factor unless you make it so.

Trying to negotiate price too soon makes price the factor. Promising to match or beat your dream client’s current price is one way to get your prospect’s attention. It moves the price negotiation to front of the process so you can get orders now. You might believe that it compelling, and to a few prospects (not your dream clients) it is compelling.

First you win by creating value, and then you negotiate. The value you create determines your price.

Some salespeople lead with price, negotiate for the business, and win orders only to find out that their pricing was all wrong. The client expected more, and the salesperson didn’t build the right investment to deliver it.

It matters in what order we do things. First you win hearts and minds, then you resolve concerns, and then you negotiate.

Filed under: Sales 3.0

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