Handling the objection
G: Of course, it sounds tempting. But I have not heard so far anything about the success of win-win sales. Is this some kind of novelty?
[It would seem an innocent question, but actually it is an objection. The buyer does not like that the technology is untested. He does not want to take the risk. This objection can be translated as follows: either give me an absolute proof, or I don’t buy it, at least now. Later, when others prove this technology successful, maybe I’ll buy it, but not now!]
J: You are right, this is a novelty. I understand your doubt. You are afraid to invest effort, time and money in something new, and untested, right? On the other hand, this novelty may become your unique competitive advantage. Your competitors cannot achieve your sales advantage, because they use the traditional approach to sales.
G: Well, but what if this technology does not give us any advantage?
J: I know only one reason why it wouldn’t give you any advantage: you do not want to use it. In the meantime, I have a question: what happened before with your company when it adopted something new, inaccessible to competitors?
G: Ahem ... I don’t even remember such a case!
J: Well, what danger can your company face if it suddenly agrees to try out win-win sales?
G: Well, you know, no one is doing business this way!
J: So what? Every business approach has been once incomprehensible, unusual.
G: Well, yes, and not all of them have taken root!
J: You are right, only the most successful ones. And what was their success? They gave a great competitive advantage to those who took a chance. We just spoke about it. So, what do you see as a risk for the company?
G: For starters, sales will fall while you train the sellers.
J: Got it.
G: Well, then - if your “technology” does not work, sales will fall until sellers return to the old technology.
J: Let's try to estimate how much money the company will lose, say, for all three and a half months while I train and coach the sellers “forcing” them to use the win-win sales technology.
G: According to my estimates, from $5 to $10M.
J: How big is this damage for your company?
G: Approximately 1.5-3% of income.
J: How does this threaten the company?
G: We don’t go out of business but lose seriously to our closest competitors. And I’m afraid we won’t recover by the end of the year.
J: And what will happen to the manager who, by his decision, will cause the company such damage?
G: He won’t be fired, rather demoted. And his reputation will be damaged for a long time.
J: As I see it, the loss of company revenue is the main danger. If it is avoided, the manager is not in danger, right?
J: Is the risk of such a big loss the only thing that keeps you from buying our services?
G: Isn’t that enough?
J: Let me ask it in a different way: if you could avoid such a big loss, would you decide to order our services?
G: And how can this loss be avoided?
J: We’ll think about this together, okay?
J: The loss of profit is due to the fact that expenses are growing faster than income. In your case, revenues are falling, and costs are rising, right?
G: Well, yes.
J: You have already estimated the income loss from failed sales: $5M to $10M in a quarter. Let’s try to evaluate the increase in expenses over the same time.
G: About $100K. In fact, paying for it being wasted. Plus $130K for your services.
J: Then the total loss of profit will be $5M to $10M.
G: Something like this.
J: Roughly, $1.5M to $3M a month, for 3 months is the estimated damages. But why is income not growing?
G: Well, we already talked about that: no sales.
J: That is, you cannot acquire new customers and sell them your goods.
J: Wait a minute, but the income comes not only from new customers, but also from existing ones?
G: There, sales go as usual.
J: Could you collect an additional income from existing customers?
G: But how?
J: For example, raise prices, reduce your cost or sell them more goods?
G: This is impossible for many reasons.
J: Please note: we need to compensate for the loss of 1.5 - 3% of revenue for the quarter, or 0.4 - 0.75% of revenue for the year, right?
G: Well, yes.
J: Imagine that you will reduce production costs during the year and compensate for this 0.15 - 0.25% of annual income. Also, sell additional goods for an amount that covers another 0.15 - 0.25% of annual income and raise the prices of your goods by 0.15 - 0.25%. Then you will be able to cover all these losses. The main thing is minor changes in each of these aspects will be able to sum, during the year, to compensate for all your risk, right?
G: Yes, it looks reasonable. So what?
J: Now let’s think how to use the win-win sales technology and its features as means to successfully implement these changes. First question: how could the production costs be reduced?
G: In different ways. Buy cheaper materials and components. Reduce labor costs. Skip some operations.
J: Could you, for example, reduce features of your product?
G: But it will worsen it!
J: What if consumers don’t need these features?
G: Then, of course, we could. But how to find out what they don’t need?
J: For this purpose, the win-win sales technology has a special tool to reveal which benefits are needed and which are not by this or that consumer, and then find out which particular features are superfluous. Here is the opportunity to reduce production costs.
J: How can you sell additional products to the same consumers?
G: For example, find additional ways for consumers to use our products, then they will need an additional quantity.
J: Good! And now, how can you raise prices for some products?
G: I’ve got it! Show the consumer the additional features of the product, and he will pay for new benefits!
J: Let’s summarize. If your experts can figure out the real level of consumer requirements, you can reduce production costs. If it turns out that consumers can use your goods for new purposes, you can sell them more. If you can identify new opportunities for your products that are beneficial to consumers, you can sell them at a higher price. All these new opportunities will provide the use of win-win sales technology in the work of your marketing and engineering divisions. Additional revenues from these activities compensate for potential losses you are afraid of. Is it right?
G: Yes, it is.
J: Was this the only obstacle preventing you from ordering our training?
G: In general, yes. Well, let’s now discuss the price and terms of payment.
PART I. Sales Technology Sells Itself | 13 Dialogues on Win-Win Sales | Bidding