Water boils at 212 degrees.

At 211 degrees, the water will show bubbles, but it won’t ever come to a roiling boil. At a temperature not too much lower than 211 degrees, you won’t even notice a change in the water without reaching in and touching it. You need 212 degrees to boil.

We Need to Heat Things Up

There is a certain investment that your dream client has to make in order to produce the results that they need. If they make the investments, you and your team can help them move from their current state to their future desired state. If they don’t make the investments, then it will more difficult to help them produce the outcomes that they need—and it will be far less likely that you can do so.

Your dream client believes that you have 10% to 15% of padding built into your pricing (we have trained them to believe this is true), and so they are going to ask you to lower your prices and get in line with your lower-priced, bottom-feeding, no-value-creating competitors.

But there isn’t 10% to 15% built into your pricing. You have a different model than your competitors, and the price that you charge is what allows you to produce the results that your dream client really needs.

The difference in your price and your competitor’s is the difference between water set at 180 degrees and water set at 212 degrees (your 15% difference). That difference is the difference between bringing things to a boil and nowhere near hot enough.

The Vicious Cycle

How do we allow our dream clients to get here?

They ask us to lower the price to win the business and tell us that they loved everything that we showed them and how different our approach is. So, we lower the price. Then, because we lowered the price, we fail to produce the result they need. It required a greater investment, and we destroyed our ability to make those investments.

Naturally, since we don’t produce the better results, our client believes that we are all the same. They believe that the salesperson misrepresented their real abilities to make a difference, and they come to believe that no one can really get them what they want.

Finally, they decide it isn’t worth paying more when everyone tells them that they are going to produce better results at a lower price—and no one does.

What is the worst part of all of this? We are responsible.

This is how companies that can—and should—produce earth-shattering, jaw-dropping, mind-blowing, revolutionary results end up being viewed as a commodity. It’s a choice that was made.

Caving in on price isn’t how you help your dream client. Allowing your dream client to underinvest in getting the result that they need doesn’t make you a trusted advisor, and it isn’t consultative selling. It’s something far less than that, and I’ll let you come up with your own term for it.

If you are going to really help your client, if you are really going to be their trusted advisor, if you are really going to be consultative, you have to sell well enough to get your dream client to make the investment that they need to in order to produce the result that they need.

You need to restate the value that you are creating.

You need to tell them how the money invested is going to make a difference, and how without it you will both fail to produce the outcomes they need.

And, if you have to, you have to learn to say no and to walk away.


How does cutting your price create an inability to produce results?

Why do we as salespeople allow our clients to underinvest in the results that they really need?

Is it right to take the business knowing that you haven’t gotten enough money to really produce the outcome your client needs?

How do you become commoditized?

Sales 2011
Post by Anthony Iannarino on December 7, 2011
Anthony Iannarino
Anthony Iannarino is a writer, an author of four books on the modern sales approach, an international speaker, and an entrepreneur. Anthony posts here daily.
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