#1 Too Much Focus on Low Price
Having the lowest price is not a strategy. It’s suicide. A company that can only sell its goods and services when they are at the lowest price has a serious problem. Deep discounts, special concessions, and constant “doorbuster” sales indicate the company has a weak or nonexistent marketing program and hasn’t educated the customer on why the customer should buy from them.
The customer too often reduces the lowest price company to a commodity like toilet paper or dish soap. The customer’s mind asks, “Why should I pay more for the same thing?”
Until the low-price company finds a solid value proposition to offer to the customer and starts educating the customer, they will always be reduced to vending machine status and will probably go broke trying. In other words, your salespeople fail to uncover the real problems customers face and how your product/service can resolve the problems better than anyone.
A solid value proposition makes your company unique in the eyes of customers and prospects. If you aren’t sure what elements make your company unique, ask your customers why they buy from you and not your competition. Out of these discussions will come the items you must put in your messages.
#2: Garbled messages to your customers/prospects
Proper messaging is what delivers the value proposition to your customers. Your goal is to create crystal clear messages that support the value proposition once you have it figured out.
If customers and new prospects are seeing and hearing conflicting messages from your sales staff, marketing materials, and other sources (such as your website), chances are your sales will slump. Make your sales staff part of the solution by having them talk to customers about why they buy from you then weaving their discoveries into consistent messaging.
#3: Disconnected sales tactics
If your sales “system” seems to be running in all directions at once, it’s clear you need a process for keeping everyone on the same page. To avoid the “herding cats” syndrome, you should map out a step-by-step process with your sales staff and share it with all your employees. Map out on paper a consistent “way of selling” that everyone understands and follows.
It’s best when everyone understands the steps involved in the sales process and can stay on them in the right sequence. When everyone is on the same system, internal communication, and customer communication is streamlined and sales close quicker, and customers’ needs are met.
When everyone is focused on providing the same value to the customer, they stick to consistent messages that make up your brand positioning or unique selling proposition. But make sure you are promoting the value elements that the customers actually desire. How do you know what customers truly value? Ask them.