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The Best Rate?

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The financial services industry is extremely competitive. The more competitive it gets the more your products and services start to seem like a commodity and that the only thing that your customers want is the best deal. It's an easy trap to fall into thinking that if you don't have the best rate on a product you'll lose the deal. Yet we know that just having that attitude will increase the likelihood that the customer will focus more on rate and that you'll end up losing the deal. Our sales process can change when faced with a customer that starts off by asking for the best rate. If we aren't careful, we can start taking short cuts because in the back of our minds we are thinking that the customer "isn't going to buy anyway because our rate is not competitive so why bother trying to create value". It's a negative spiral that becomes a self fulfilling prophecy. Even the most gifted sales person can get beat up with people asking for better rates and start to doubt that they have any control over the sales process at all.

So here are some ideas that will help remind you to stay focused on your sales process and remember that the best rate isn't always what the customer has to have:

Ask yourself, do you always get the very best deal?
Chances are you don't. Even though nobody wants to be silly with their money and we all want a good deal sometimes we consciously pay more than we need to. Have you ever bought something from the corner store? You overpaid for the sake of convenience. Where did you buy your last car? Did you get the best deal? Maybe, but many times you'll never know if you got the best deal. Typically when buying cars other factors contribute to the buying decision, and in some cases, become more important than simply getting the best deal.

Price is only one of many buying decisions.
Granted, it is important but it's not the only decision. Here are a few others:

Quality of product (does it meet your expectations?)
Features of product (are they going to meet your specific requirements?)
After sale service (what happens after they take your money?)
Sales person (do you trust them, is the process agreeable?)
Location of the business (how easy is it to get there?)
Reputation of the company
Past relationship (do you have a relationship with the company?)
Timing (when do you buy?)

Did every single customer you have get the very best rate offered in town when they made their buying decision in favor of your company?
Of course not. So, they didn't get the best rate and still decided to buy from you because there were other reasons that superseded rate.

Here's the point. You will lose deals based on your rate. You will never consistently have the best rate in town. However, if you think you always have to have the best rate to win the deal chances are you will short cut your sales process, not lead the customer into a discussion about their other buying decisions and end up having them focus all that much more on the rate. If you lead the customer into a discussion about other buying decisions and create value before introducing rate you will simply increase the likelihood that they will buy with you.

And isn't that all that we are trying to do? Just increase the likelihood they will buy. So, focus on creating value and getting your customer talking about their other buying decisions. You won't win them all but you will win more than if you just talk rate.

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Copyright © 2008 by Fusion Performance Group Inc.
Copyright © 2012 by Fusion Performance Group Inc. If you share this, print it out, or reproduce it in any way, please retain this copyright statement.