About a month ago, we went a trip to UK and met up with our friend A. A was in service line and during that short conversation, A taught us a lot of things. A was a sourcer, that meant he actually sourced high end products for his customers, meeting their requirements and budget. A told me that during the first meeting, it was mostly a getting to know customer session, setting up rapport. Usually, he would map out his clients’ criteria through interaction and of course the most important thing was to make sure, the item he was sourcing for was within the budget his clients were willing to pay for. And of course, sometimes A would ask to see proof of funds to make sure that customers are on the right track
That really set us thinking hard.
Everyday, we would be receiving emails of such without fail
1. “Please send us your itinerary and cost”
2. “What is your pricing per day and how much it cost for 5 persons”
3. This is my favourite: “What are your charges like? ”
4.”I haven’t bought my air tickets yet. Please just provide a ball-park figure.”
What’s wrong with all these statements? Selling to us is an interaction. We are only able to recommend suitable packages only when we know what you are looking for. Before any rapport have been established, it is immaterial to talk about price or cost.
For 1.), first you do not identify your requirements and yet you need something from us in return. The experience is similar going into a supermarket and ask the manager, please let me have a list of your catalog and the price so that I can choose from the list what I want to buy. Rather than going through the list of products and choose, why don’t you state out front what your requirements are and the price that you are willing to pay for. That would really speed up the process isn’t it?
For 2.) and 3.), the customers are only interested in prices. Sometimes, the cheapest may not necessary be the best gauge of the product. For example, would you buy a made in Japan Fujitsu or would you buy a made in China laptop? The answer is obvious. If you see the value in the product or service, price becomes secondary.
For 4.), similar to what A has done to see proof of funds, we also need some form of assurance that we are on the right track to serve our customers with our best ability. A confirmed air ticket is an assurance that you have the intention to make the trip and we would definitely designed something that matched your criteria. It is secondary whether the deal goes through, however it does put us at ease to serve people who are really looking for someone to add value to their trip.
We asked A, did he have customers who talked about prices first before anything else? He said “Yes” and usually those were not his customers. They were more interested in knowing the price for comparison and they were not even interested what the price consisted of.
What an enlightenment!
Indeed, in our day to day, people who called up and asked for prices, people who emailed us for prices never returned after the first enquiry. They were just interested in numbers and not the services entailed.
As consumers, the next time before you ask for prices, check for the services included. Most time, people do not pay for price, but they pay for the value .
Thanks A for sharing so much and let us learn the ropes to the art of Selling!