- Hardcover: 272 pages
- Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (November 11, 2005)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0471744832
- ISBN-13: 978-0471744832
- Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1.2 x 9.3 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars See all reviews (47 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #355,394 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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How to Sell at Margins Higher Than Your Competitors : Winning Every Sale at Full Price, Rate, or Fee Hardcover – November 11, 2005
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From the Inside Flap
The toughest challenge that salespeople and business leaders face today is the battle against lower-priced competitors. How you deal with that will probably determine whether your business thrives or dies.
For decades, businesspeople have tried to solve the problem by cutting prices and making up the loss through higher volume. It's one of those old business myths that just won't diebut it's really just a recipe for disaster! Even if the strategy works, another competitor will probably come along and do the same thing to you! It's a vicious cycle that never ends, unless you find a way to break out of it.
In How to Sell at Margins Higher Than Your Competitors, sales gurus Lawrence Steinmetz, PhD, and William Brooks show you how to stop racing your competitors to bankruptcy court and start selling at prices that actually earn you a profit. They explain that business is a game of margins, not volume, and that competing on price might be a surefire way to increase your salesbut it will run your business into the ground.
Steinmetz and Brooks explain that the problem isn't your competition; it's the mistaken belief among businesspeople that customers only choose products or services based on price, rate, or fee. The truth is that people buy what they buy for lots of reasons, only one of which is price. If you're competing with someone willing to lose money to gain market share, the cure is to give customers a reason to buy what you sell other than price.
This one-of-a-kind sales guide shows you how to find the competitive advantage that lets you sell at higher prices. Plus, it presents proven strategies for selling based on value rather than price, how to price products or services correctly in the first place, how to withstand pressure to cut prices, and how to put it all together into a sales strategy that keeps you profitable.
From the Back Cover
Praise for How to Sell at Margins Higher Than Your Competitor
"This is the complete book for both new and experienced salespeople and business owners to learn and re-learn the essentials for success. How to Sell at Margins Higher Than Your Competitors emphasizes the pricing strategies and tactics to increase the market share and profits of any organization. This is a book that is as important to presidents as it is to salespeople."
—Bill Scales, CEO, Scales Industrial Technologies, Inc.
"As the largest service provider in our industry, we have a significant market advantage. However, we constantly walk the pricing tightrope because, as this book so clearly states, 'business is a game of margins . . . not a game of volume!'"
—John K. Harris, CEO, JK Harris & Company, LLC
"If you live and die on price, this book could be your only lifeline."
—Tom Reilly, CSP, author of Value-Added Selling and Crush Price Objections
"How to Sell at Margins Higher Than Your Competitors successfully illustrates profitable sales truths to assist us in selling for maximum return. This book's well-researched, logical, and affirming words validate the simple fact that as a premium company we deserve premium margins. So, while our competitors reduce or match prices out of fear and scarcity, our managers, thanks to this powerful sales tool, can continue quoting and closing with profitable confidence."
—Joe Bracket, President, Power Equipment Company
"I learned a long time ago that it is pretty difficult to control what my competitors will do, but we must control what we do—like maintaining margins. This book is a 'wow!' that will help my salesmen crack bad habits. Sales organizations should design their entire training programs around the content in this book."
—George C. Giessing, President, Brusco-Rich, Inc.
"This energizing book is the 'right stuff' for every sales force. It should be a required study for every executive and sales professional who seeks to be successful."
—David R. Little, Chairman and CEO, DXP Enterprises, Inc.
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Top Customer Reviews
All you need to do is look at most advertisements today to realize that price competition has become the major way to conduct business. I have recognized and for years advised clients that "If you compete on price you are competing to go broke." Price pressure is even more intense considering that finding the lowest price for most products is just a few clicks away. Merchants have all conditioned consumers to be price conscious buyers. And our mind set as consumers carries over to our businesses.
The authors do a very good job of showing that most pricing problems are in the mind of the salesman or CEO and not in the mind of the buyer. They further show that it is simply impossible to cut prices and make up the difference in increased volume. One of the better concepts they present is if you lower your prices to increase your volume, all you do is work harder and go broke in the process. If the CEO can grasp that concept - and unfortunately all you need to do is to look at the history of companies that have gone bankrupt, especially in the airline industry - then the book is well worth reading.
As far as presentation, I have a lot of problems.
The authors could not really decide who their reader was. At times they were writing to the CEO and at times they were giving tips to the salesman in the field. It would have been much better if they had written two separate books - one for the CEO who determines policy and one for the salesman in the field.
They have a bad habit of repeating the same lessons throughout the book. It is okay and sometimes necessary to refer back to an idea or concept. But anyone reading this type book does not need the entire example repeated. Too much of that obscures the lesson to be learned.
The use of bold "bullet points" at the beginning of paragraphs was overdone. One place, opened at random, I found four bold paragraph headings on each page. To me these were a distraction.
It was annoying for them to keep repeating "one of your authors" experienced ... What is wrong with saying Lawrence or William?
They overdid some clichés - "the south bound end of a north bound donkey" was one. Once is enough. And they ended lots of examples of conversations with "blah ... blah ... blah"
The authors make some valid and important points. If you are going to conduct business in today's price conscious environment, you must learn to sell your product on something other than price. So the book is well worth reading. In my opinion, the presentation could be improved greatly.
How to Sell at Margins Higher Than Your Competitors is filled with very clear illustrations of the cost of price-cutting--and the impact on the bottom line. Would you believe that a small thing like a 10% discount on 35% margin can require nearly double the sales volume to make up the profit lost? Or that raising prices 10% on 35% margin can allow sales to go down by 34% and give you the same level of profitability? It's true and this book spells out with clear examples just why it is true.
But more than that, the book illustrates why buyers try to beat up sales people on price--and all the other things that buyers want and need, such as on-time delivery, quality, service, etc.--that most often are far more important than price. This book will help any CEO, sales manager, or sales person learn how to think more clearly about pricing and all the other issues that are critical to selling, serving, and keeping the customers and clients you most want to have.
You'll also learn:
-- Why you should never use adjectives or adverbs when discussing price.
-- What your buyer is telling you when they use the subjunctive mood. Hearing this grammar term may make your head hurt, but the authors make it easy to understand in a business context--and understanding it means money in your pocket)!
-- What your buyer is telling you when they use if, unless, and either-or.
-- How to sell at your price even when your competition is cutting theirs.
Armchair Interviews says: Even if you don't like grammar you'll find understanding these simple things critical to success in selling at the right price. The book even has chapters that cover how to know when your price really is too high or too low--and what to do about it.
After all, the function of a business is not to be huge, but to be profitable. Numerous examples are given.
Once this is established, the authors go to great lengths to show how salesmen should behave in order to get these higher prices, and the tricks that customers and purchasing agents pull to try to force us to give big discounts.
If you are a B2B sales pro, this book is well worth your time to read it, and the $20 investment.