There is no question that increasing your selling prices is one of the greatest sales challenges of 2022, if not the greatest challenge. After years of renewals with minimal price increases, if any at all, salespeople are faced with having to present large price increases. Not only are these price increases long overdue but they are fueled by price inflation in all areas of our economy. The question then becomes how to successfully sell these large price increases. I have three key recommendations.
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Let’s be honest. Having to present a 10%, 20%, or, in some cases, a 30% price increase is no fun. However, it doesn’t have to be the end of the road. If handled properly, a price increase–even a large price increase–may be successfully absorbed to everyone’s satisfaction.
First, present the price increase in a matter-of-fact manner, as if your customer has been expecting it all along… because they have been! If you have been holding your prices constant or with minimal increases for years, any reasonable person would see this coming a mile away. Especially with the price increases in fuel, groceries, take-out food, and everything else that costs money, nobody can look you in the eye today and honestly tell you that they are surprised by a large price increase. So, present it for what it is - a long-overdue “catch-up” plus an inflation-fuel increase.
Second, present the price increase in a way that allows your customer to have a win. There are two ways to do this. One way is to work with your customer to radically change the scope of work, which may mean a radically larger scope. This eliminates the “apples-to-apples” comparison that your customer may not be able to push through. But by changing the scope of the contract, it’s something entirely new with no historical context.
The other way is to offer something for free or at a huge discount to make the large price increase more palatable. This is a bit more of a gimmicky move but some customers will like it.
The key to both of these strategies is to leverage the relationship you’ve built with your customer over the years. Move over to the same side of the table, roll up your sleeves, and work collaboratively with your customer to design something that works for everyone.
Third, consider attending the Forum for Sales event, put on by the Snowfighters Institute, and hosted by Ventrac. This is a two-day deep dive into the world of selling snow & ice management contracts. We will talk about snow, for sure. But I would say anyone in sales will benefit from this workshop, no matter what industry they are selling in. The Forum for Sales is June 14-15 at Ventrac in Orrville, Ohio, south of Cleveland. The Forum for Sales is followed by a one-day Estimating Workshop June 16. If you’re serious about sales, you will not want to miss these events. Registration is at https://snowfightersinstitute.com/.
Now go forth.
Tags: Sales , Challenges , Price Inflation ,