There is an often quoted scripture that says it’s more blessed to give than to receive.
But like anything else, too much of a good thing – even giving – can cause harm. Here’s an example of how it destroyed my friend’s business.
Ike is the kind of person who would give you the shirt off his back. He struggled to find his place in the business world, so he decided to open his own business, a childcare center. He loves children and couldn’t think of a more noble business to commit his life to.
Things were rocky from the start because Ike had a hard time believing that the prices he had to charge were worth it. He struggled to talk about money with prospects, often apologizing for how much the services cost. This attitude made it hard for him to close sales. He also avoided following up on leads. Too often, when he did talk to a prospect who struggled financially, his heart was so broken for the children that he gave deep discounts. Those concessions eroded his profits. Because it was his habit to give in on price, the number of discounted customers soon exceeded those paying full price. Ike tried borrowing money to keep the place open, but never changed his approach. He literally “gave” his way into bankruptcy.
So, how do you strike a balance between giving and charging what is needed?
Apply these three perspectives to the way you do business:
Believe in the value of what you sell. When you apologize for your pricing it sends the message that you don’t believe in what you’re selling, so why should they? You set the example by valuing your own offering. If you don’t, no one else will either.
Stand your ground on pricing. Part of qualifying people to do business with you is that they are willing to pay the price to take care of the problem they want to solve. If they aren’t willing to pay the price, they are not a good fit – and that’s okay! In the short term it may hurt when someone decides not to buy, but the long-term viability of your business is protected.
Have the courage to reject lose-win situations. Not everyone is ideally suited to be a customer. Remember the three basic qualifiers:
1. They have a problem that your offerings can solve;
2. They have the resources to pay for it; and
3. They can make the decision to allocate the resources to take care of the problem. Structure your prospect conversations around these three points so that you can identify when doing business together will result in a win-win.
If you’d like to learn some ways to put these perspectives into action, consider joining my Group Sales Coaching workshops. Get more details here.