In my role at The Baby & Newborn Photography Network, I deal with lots of business owners who shy away from improving their sales skills.
For some people, selling equates to being cheesy or pushy and as a result, they over compensate in completely the wrong way.
This was a shopping trip I was looking forward to.
I had done my research and had an idea of what I wanted.
I explained what we were looking for and pointed at the beautiful bed that had caught our eye.
Although the comment wasn’t made in a condescending way, I got the impression that she felt she was doing me a favour by moving us around to show us the beds that were less expensive.
I counted to 10, I’m sure she didn’t mean to cause any offence with her comment, and I confirmed that this is the bed we were interested in.
So I probably didn’t look like I had a healthy budget, but I felt like this assistant had decided either I couldn’t afford the bed of my dreams or that SHE felt the more expensive bed wasn’t worth the price tag.
Now that second thought is a worrying one because lack of confidence in your products or pricing is something that is very common amongst small business owners.
And it’s clear that clients pick up on it – just like I did.
“But that’s going to be at least £200 for the size you’ve ordered”
She was apologising for the cost and again, assuming that I would find it expensive, or she was feeling the product wasn’t worth the price tag.
I often struggle with stiff, sore muscles and painful joints, to the point I will do my work from my bed.
To me, a luxurious bed is something I value and am prepared to spend money on – possibly more than the average person would. She of course, had not really thought to find out what I value – she was placing her own values across mine.
And there we have worrying point number 2.
Do you struggle to conceive that clients will pay the prices you set because you wouldn’t pay those prices?
In short, there were at least two times I was on the verge of leaving and going elsewhere.
In the same way that a pushy salesperson can often lose the sale, an apologetic one who doesn’t take time to focus on what the client values, also risks the loss.
Sadly, many small business owners who have to sell products and services for their businesses to survive, are so fearful of being the pushy salesperson, that they become the apologetic one.
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