Isn’t it ironic that those in SMB leadership roles want their customers to see the value in their products or services and yet when it comes to those same SMB professionals buying the solutions of others, the first words out of their mouths “Is how much will this cost?”
This week I receive a solid sales referral from a colleague. I called the sales referral and within a few moments after introductions he asked “What is your hourly rate?” My response was “I don’t know because I don’t know what your goals are or what you want to achieve. What I would like for us to do is to have a meeting at your convenience so I can better understand your specific situation.” He was open to that and a meeting has been scheduled.
I am sure when I meet with this sales lead his story will be similar to other SMB owners. He provides more value than the “big box stores.” His customer service is much better and his products are the same or if not better. I may even hear people buy from him because he brings more value to the customer relationship.
Yet, in his own leadership behaviors he is worried first about cost. His attitude reflects those customers he wants to come to his SMB. This is the value disconnect or easily translated “Do as I say; not as I do.”
Those in forward thinking leadership roles realize to grow their businesses requires an investment of time, energy, emotions and yes even money. However they also understand forward movement must be measured first by the results and secondly by the investment. These individuals do not ask about price right out of the gate. No, in many instances price is never really discussed especially if the salesperson has connected to the correct value drivers and can provide a results driven solution.
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Leanne Hoagland-Smith is THE People and Process Problem Solver. She supports forward thinking leadership in bridging the gaps between the two problems restricting strategic business growth – people and processes. Leanne can be reached at 219.508.2859 central time USA. Follow her on Twitter or check out her profile on LinkedIn.