I’m just putting the finishing touches on an old Victorian era office building that I recently purchased, and have been renovating for the past several months. The building will house my security business and my security marketing business. My new office diggs is located in the center of a quaint, historic, lovely, small New England town called West Boylston, MA. Right next door to the property is an incredible bakery, called Darby’s Bakery, that people come from far-and-wide just to taste their treats. Being so close to the bakery, on a daily basis, could mean BIG trouble for me!
Zero Selling Skills
I have this one HVAC contractor (who was highly recommended to me by a good friend that I trust completely) is anguished over the money I’m spending on HVAC and plumbing work at the new office space. He feels compelled to save me money and while doing this has talked himself out of more work (aka: money), than you could imagine.
Now, mind you, this guy is dog-slooow with not much work coming in and has been complaining about Obama, the economy and the lack of work these days. He’s such a nice guy and has his heart in the right place, but he’s shooting himself in the foot by worrying more about his pricing than delivery more value and benefits to his prospects and clients.
He’s not alone in this strategy – 90% of everybody selling does this very same thing…worrying more about price and going straight to the lowest priced options, especially when there’s no other quote/estimates in the sales funnel.
My mind set is: I’m looking at the HVAC/plumbing work, for the new office space, as a 30 year investment in my real estate portfolio, so I’d rather spend a bit more upfront and get greater value for my money. Funny thing here is that I never asked the cheapskate question “what’s this gonna cost me or is this an expensive project or what’s my cheapest option for doing all the HVAC/plumbing work?” The HVAC dude went straight to cost-cutting pricing, from the get go. He never gauged my mind-set for the project or what my budget would be or if I’d rather more value over something less expensive. Instead, he immediately pursued the least expensive path…what a profit-deflating strategy!
Shooting Fish In A Barrel
One of my favorite seafood restaurants is Legal Sea Food in Framingham, MA. The place is relatively expensive and is always jam-packed. You walk in, look around, and say to yourself, “where’s the recession?!” You are greeted by a very courteous hostess that seats you in an immaculate linen covered table set with nice china and silverware. You are then promptly greeted by a professional sales rep (i.e. a waiter) who is so kind and helpful and always talking “up” the product (i.e. the food/drinks) and always making subtle up-selling suggestions and recommendations. I can’t even tell you how many times I have ordered an extra appetizer or side dish or dessert due to gentle persuasion from the staff.
The whole experience at Legal Sea Food is very polished and crafted to a tee. What I admire most about this joint is that not only is the food tremendous, but the whole staff can sell – not just the owner or upper management, but the whole staff…from the top down!
The point I’m making here is to stop selling yourself short. Any security dealer and sales reps that keep discounting and talking their prospects and clients out of sales, in order to stay in business, isn’t going to stay in business very long. It’s a bankruptcy waiting to happen. A “real” business needs to be able to upsell and cross-sell, if it wants to flourish. Selling is a good thing, it’s what keeps the ecomony wheels spinning. What have you done today to move the the economy along?