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Dancing with an Elephant - Price Buyers - Mark Burton - Pricing With Confidence - NO Growth Summit

How does a mouse dance with an elephant?   Mark Burton, Holden Advisors, and author of Pricing with Confidence stated, he makes the elephant dependent upon him for his survival. Drink than in for a moment and allow it to make sense.  
What are negotiations, particularly price negotiations about. Drama! Theatre! That was one of Burton’s rules for negotiations.   The good news is that Burton’s research suggests that only 8 - 25% of all buyers are price buyers. Still in this economy you can bet that whatever number of price buyers you had previously they are sure to be increasing. 
So much of the topics and themes from the two days of the Fortune Small Business Growth Summit intertwine with the fundamentals of Gazelles Coaching,  and Mastering the Rockefeller Habits principles that it was often difficult to tell where one speaker started and the other left off. Relationships are extremely important when negotiating. As Chet Holmes, and Al Lautenslager offered, being an expert in your industry and business offers an elevated platform with which you increase your trust and respect and can dominate your competition.
The rules of negotiating differ when you are working with an existing customer versus a prospect. In the former it is extremely important to understand the value your product or service is presently providing and the strength that you have with the power structure of your customer. A cohesive effort by your entire team is critical to ensure there are no break downs in your value proposition. Another key is to listen to your customer demands, however don’t make your decisions to quickly. Jack Welch’s advice is to ask a lot of questions, and a key is to truly know who you are.  
What does that mean? Do you know the value you provide to your customer? Are you aware of your strengths and differentiation in the market? If you’ve done your homework, develop a strong core story that separates you from your competition you will be able to negotiate from a position of strength. After a while if your customers negotiate hard enough you can fall into a trap and take what they say too literally. The truth is your customers know they get rewarded for acting like price buyers. You need to be the leader in pricing in your organization. If you don’t believe in your value, no one in your organization will either.
The same is true for negotiating with prospects.   Do you have a strong position, which your entire team aligns with? How well do you and your sales staff communicate that you are experts in your industry?   Do you have an Inside Advantage or Unique Position in the marketplace that is readily identified and can be defended?   Do you have a Brand Promise that is unique and measureable and meets the right customer needs? 
These are the specific tools and benchmarks we focus on to help our Gazelles Clients achieve growth levels their competitors wouldn’t dream of reaching. 
I’m a big fan of sales benchmarking. Greg Alexander the next speaker at the FSB Growth Summit provided some thought provoking questions and insight into measuring your sales performance. Next blog we’ll look at the 7 levels of benchmarking, and discuss your sales force type and maturity model. 

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Positioning Systems helps business owners and entrepreneurs transform their business.   We provide the tools and coaching to help you take control of your business -- rather then having your business control you.