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Sales PREVENTION Skills

This morning I went to breakfast with my dad for his birthday. So first of all, happy birthday Dad! But, afterword I was inspired to record a video, you can view it below, or keep reading to see what I talked about.

But, our waitress was so unfriendly that I almost didn’t want to buy breakfast, and I was hungry! But our experience reminded me of a couple things that happened recently that I like to call “sales prevention.” And I do think some of the activity in this “new department” is responsible for the slump in many people’s businesses.

The other day I was placing an order for some new business cards for our Celebrity Branding Agency™ and the salesman from the print shot kept telling me that the things I asked for “were going to be expensive.” What he didn’t take into account was the fact that he’s used to seeing pricing on business cards. I’m not. So I have no idea what’s expensive and what’s not. I had my own pre-conceived notions of what I was willing to spend, but I can’t really tell you that I know how much the average business card costs. As a matter of fact, for the last few years I’ve been ordering my business cards from a company that only supplies materials to law firms, and I bet if I go compare their pricing, they’re probably twice the price of anywhere else! Their quality was great, so I paid for it, but their service lacks, which is why I was talking to a new printer to get my new cards done.

When I got the quote back and ended up getting exactly what I wanted, it was actually less money than I thought --and he probably could have up-sold me on some different finishes, coatings, die cuts, whatever. But, he had a preconceived notion of what he thought was expensive and he transferred that notion to me by verbalizing it, instead of asking me what my budget was or at least some additional cursory questions before he began. And if you analyzing your business, you may be making that same mistake unknowingly.

We often are of the mindset that our services are worth what we would pay for them, which is a big mistake because other people are coming to you from a completely different perspective. They don’t have your skill set so they would actually pay more for your skills. We all think what we do is pretty easy, and we wouldn’t pay someone much to do it (because we know how ourselves!). It’s pretty silly really, but it’s how most of us think. But we could likely charge people much more! The concept is called “price elasticity,” the price people will actually pay for what you have is usually much more “elastic,” meaning the price ceiling in our heads if often wrong, and people are usually willing to pay much higher prices than we think they will.

The second Sales Prevention Experience I want to share with you, starts because that the other day, I lost a credit card. I don’t do that often, but I did recently. So, I cancelled it. And due to this, one of the subscriptions I use for article syndication online, sent me an email saying my card got declined (because it was cancelled!). And it was interesting that I got a response from their administrator that said, “Hey Nick, if you want to cancel, you just need to let us know. If not, if you have another credit card please get it to us.” Think about that. I didn’t mention one thing about canceling, and somehow in their head, probably because they’ve been watching the news too much, they’ve got in their mind that a lot of people might want to cancel because of the “down economy.” Well, now I’m tempted to cancel, but I really just lost a credit card and needed to give them a new number.

So, the bottom line is this, I want you to stop and think about what you and your staff are doing that might be increasing your sales prevention (i.e. killing your revenue) rather than increasing your customer retention and customer acquisition.

Think about that for a bit, and let me know if you’ve got any sales prevention stories of your own!