Do Your Policies Badly Affect Future Business?

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The reference is being made to making a purchase that requires servicing. In recent years it has become apparent that the new business model is to withhold telling the prospect about all of the fees involved until after the sale is made. This is done in order to make the product appear to be less expensive.

Most typically, a prospect will purchase a product such as disc storage space. The prospect turned client is relieved the decision making process is over as the product was finally selected and is excitedly anticipating receiving the product. But to the great disappointment of the prospect and annoyance, after the fact, the businessperson from who he purchased reveals service is not included.

The prospect turned client is now told that if service is desired, there will be an added fee. And, not only is the service fee additional but many times it is more than the actual product. The prospect is so far into the process there is no turning back and must agree to acquire the pricey service agreement.

This practice may inflict further ramification of the problem. The client consequently may not have budgeted properly thus making it a difficult situation for everyone concerned.

Relationship selling involves putting oneself in the mindset of their prospect and working accordingly. Because the service contract was not mentioned during the sales cycle, the client assumed that service was included. You can imagine how the client felt receiving word after the fact that not only is the service not included but costs twice as much as the product.

Here are two questions to seriously consider:

1. Will this new client be a returning client?
2. How much damage will bad word of mouth do to the business?

Too many businesspeople are so concerned about making a quick sale that they do not stop to think about earning repeat business, referrals and testimonials or building goodwill in the community. These are the companies that are most likely to lose market share and potentially go out of business.

The practice of hiding fees is diametrically opposed to my advocacy of relationship selling. No one can afford to take the road of greed and not do the right thing by their clients.

The wisest approach to take on a first meeting with a prospect is to build relationships, discuss pricing upfront and sell value. Should the frank discussion about price scare off a prospect, then he was not a good candidate. However, when you have the frank discussion with a qualified prospect, she will be appreciative of receiving all of the information upfront in order to make an informed decision and deal with budgetary issues.

Have you ever made a purchase when it was implied training was included, but after you paid, it was revealed the training was not included? Did you become angry due to an apparent lack of ethics on the part of the selling party?

As a salesperson in corporate and as a businessperson, make it a practice to explain to your prospects all of the fees involved upfront and the value they will gain from your products and services.

When a range of possibilities exist for product and service, lay out packages that are easy to compare. Help your prospect make the right choice for them, not for you. They will be appreciative you did and the returning clientele will be coming your way along with testimonials and referrals to help you grow business more quickly.
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