At the back end of the year last year I moved house and over the last few months we have been gradually putting our own touches to the house. I don’t have a lot of time (what with speaking at sales conferences and writing sales books and audios) and I don’t do things myself and I am very much of the belief that if I can pay someone to do something and I can get on with my life then that’s great. This makes me something of a salesperson’s dream because if the deal’s right I don’t shop around and I will make a decision fast… and not one based on price either.
Or so I thought…
One of the things we need are some fitted cupboards for one of the bedrooms. It’s not a room we use and it’s not the main visitor’s room so it really is a case of find a good company and get it done. We ideally wanted to support a local company so when we saw a company with signage on one of the local roundabouts we rang them and they offered to send a “salesperson” around.
A few days later Steve, I have changed his name to protect the totally inept and ridiculously incompetent, arrived at the house. He was scruffy, his clothes were tired (jeans, trainers, t-shirt) and he looked a little dirty! He had no interpersonal skills and his sole “sales pitch” was to measure the wall (‘cause you know, I can’t do that) and then tell us to go to the showroom. Every question of any kind was met with the answer, “I dunno. You’ll have to go to the showroom!”
Now, at this point, I really should have cut my losses but, determined to support a local company and interested in what the showroom sales experience would be like, we did venture there on Saturday. Not a good decision! They had no idea who we were and made no attempt to find out anything about us or tell us anything about the company or their products. They simply quoted a ridiculously high figure and then let us walk out after I pointed this out to them (to which I got no response).
Now I was telling a friend about this this morning and he said, “Well, I thought you said it wasn’t about price, it was about value?” Well, yes, I did and I do and he was right, but there wasn’t any. Value cannot just be assumed because you decide it is so. Value has to be uncovered, value has to be built up, value has to be understood and value has to be about the customer, not you.
So I thought that it would be fun to look at how not to do it, so here follow 7 Rules For How Not To Sell High Value Products & Services.
- Pay no attention to your personal appearance, dress and cleanliness.
- Build no rapport with your prospects – business, personal or otherwise.
- Don’t ask any questions about what is important to your customers.
- Don’t bother understanding what your prospects want or need.
- Make no attempt to explain what is special, unique or bespoke about your services and products.
- Don’t follow up on enquiries and fail to follow any proven sales process.
- Let your customers think that you don’t care and you’re not interested.
I’d like to say that I’d give them another try in the future but I doubt they’ll be there. Whoever is in charge of their business needs to do some sales training fast.
Talking about selling on value not price is one thing, doing it is totally another.