Why Salespeople Struggle To Sell Value

Sales guru Paul Reilly discusses how a negative pricing attitude leads to discounting behavior and how to move to a value selling mindset.

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In a recent Reilly Sales Training study, we asked salespeople about their personal purchasing behavior.  

We asked salespeople, “When you are personally purchasing consumer products or business items, how often do you request a discount?” 

Our research shows that salespeople who ask for discounts when buying are more likely to give a discount when selling. Your pricing attitude as a buyer affects your pricing attitude as a seller. Since our behavior is driven by our attitude, then a negative pricing attitude will lead to discounting behavior. 

Attitude drives behavior. A negative pricing attitude takes the form of negative self-talk. We might tell ourselves . . .  

  • “I shop price, doesn’t everyone?” 
  • “What I sell is no different than the competition. There is no reason why the buyer should pay more.” 
  • “My industry is different. Value doesn’t matter. Price is the only thing that sells.” 

This thought pattern reflects a negative pricing attitude. If you don’t believe your solution is worth more, then how can you sell your value-added solution at a premium? 

Give yourself a mental enema and flush out this negative thought pattern. Once you cleanse your mind, adjust your attitude. Fill your mind with positive value-added affirmations. Use the following affirmations to adjust your attitude. This is called positive mental programming.   

“There are customers who are willing to pay more for a better value-added solution. I know this and I have proven this through previous success.”

After reading this information, mentally reconstruct a previous success. Review a scenario where you were able to sell the customer on the value at a premium. Ask yourself, “What were the steps I went through?” “How did I prepare for this success?” and “How can I duplicate this effort?” This thought pattern gives you a positive sense of control.

“I’m excited about the value we offer our customers and the impact it has on the customer’s business. Since we have greater impact on our customer than our competitors, it’s fair to charge a premium.”

After reading this affirmation, review all the value-added extras you offer the customer. Then detail how these value-added extras impact the customer’s bottom line. Describe how your value-added solution creates more profit for the customer, or, detail how your solution helps improve end-user satisfaction. This is a great way to remind yourself of the value you bring and the impact it has on the customer.

Your attitude toward price affects your discounting behavior. We move in the direction of our thoughts. Use these positive affirmations to help you move in the right direction, down a path of value.

Paul Reilly, President of Reilly Sales TrainingPaul Reilly, President of Reilly Sales Training

Paul Reilly is president of Reilly Sales Training, a St. Louis-based, privately owned company that specializes in training sales professionals, sales managers, and service professionals. Call Paul at 636-778-0175 or email [email protected].

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