72. How can a customer buy insurance against failure?

A professional sales person knows exactly what to do when a prospect keeps harping away on nothing but "Your price is too high" when trying to present a higher quality product.

Simply ask: "How much too high, Mr. Brown?" This immediately stops the prospect. First of all, it puts him on the defensive - where he thought he had put you - and second, it forces him to elaborate on his simple statement, "Your price is too high." He may then say something like this: "Your price is 10% higher than Jones - and if I can save 10% under our new cost-cutting program, I've got to do it. Now you can go to work. Now you have something to take hold of. You can focus on the difference, not the price. Paying 10% more for quality is an investment or insurance, never an expense. Everyone can remember making a purchase based on a low price that we later regretted.

No matter how hard you worked or how many concessions you have made when you sell a customer, he or she still feels that you owe them a favor. Do you know what your customer expects after the sale?

The perception on the part of the customer is that you, the seller, have not only gotten new business but also his or her money. There are many other sales people after the same account and the same business but you were chosen as the recipient. Therefore, psychologically, you now owe your customer a favor. Even though you had to bend over backwards to get the order. That is why follow up is so important to keeping the business.

You have been calling on a particular customer for months and have never gotten to first base. They are polite, however, they keep telling you to come back at a later date.

All of a sudden you make a small sale! As soon as you leave the account you check the stock status. Everything is checked and you drop a card in the mail that your customer receives the next morning confirming the order, delivery date and approximate delivery time. After you check to be sure everything was delivered you make a follow up call to be sure everything was alright with the product. You get a few small reorders and continue the same follow up strategies. And then the orders get larger. Soon you are the primary supplier. Later you are having lunch with the customer and he lets you in on the reason he switched: YOU FOLLOWED UP AND YOUR COMPETITOR DID NOT!

This meticulous follow up that you do is YOUR insurance policy against failure, just as your customers insurance is to buy a product or service that will do the job.

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