Today I experienced how far people can go in order to be seen as someone more special than the others. It all happened when I was on the phone with a potential customer who had asked to be contacted by a sales person in order to get an offer. I am not sure if all these points apply for the specialness label but I will mention every point that caught my attention.
After a short introduction the man made sure to tell me that about a month ago he already spoke to someone of the company I work for and that they pre-emptively agreed on a year of free service on one of the products. Ok, I said, avoiding to enter a discussion on this since I was already getting an idea of the kind of person I was talking to. During our conversation I spoke about our services and mentioned the standard prices while the person I was talking to did his upmost best to find all kind of argumentations to have me lowering the prices. This almost lead me entering a discussion about prices I managed to stop in time when I saw it would have been meaningless to do.
The man was almost begging me to see him as a special person using arguments that should have triggered a feeling of pity for the man that is running a business that is only doing business in summer and stating that businesses in big cities pay the same price but are making money al year long. Wow! I should have felt sorry for the fact he could only make money in a certain period of the year and ignore his apparent jealousy for others making more money. I told him we could consider special prices for businesses like his’ but that we also had to tailor the services accordingly.
FInally we had to end the conversation with no final offer made since the customer had to test if one of the services was meeting his needs. This allowed me to formulate a final offer in which I will ask him to stop using a competitor’s solution he uses right now and start using ours if he want to benefit from my special offer. This deal allows him to get the price he is asking for and allows me to make sure his business is generating enough revenue so the amount of transactions he pays a percentage for will have an acceptable volume. This is good for his business and for ours.
It is actually fun to work with the tools that are given to me to do sales and at the same time to use as much common sense as possible in applying and using these tools. No need to make exceptions based on specialness related points. It is difficult to remember your motivations and to remain constant in the way you approach comparable situations or even the same person. My business approach is still under development and I will keep you posted on how it is evolving.