John Coulter: What customers really want

John Coulter talks pricing
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Target Components business adviser John Coulter discusses how indies should react to pricing enquiries...

 Lunchtime with an indie to chat about how he wins new business.

A prospect walks in. “How much for Windows 7?” The indie gives the price, the prospect says thanks, and leaves. The indie turns back and carries on talking.

“Whoa,” I butt in. “What just happened?” The indie looks puzzled: “He asked the price: I told him.”

That prospect probably went and did the same thing elsewhere. Their lunch-break, braving the rain, risking the dreaded ‘hard sell’ just to get an idea of the right price. Yet the indie could have easily reached out and made them think ‘I want to buy it here’. The secret? Well, how different could this have made things?

“Assuming you want ‘Home’, at Staples and PC World it’s between £X and £Y. The shop up the road’s doing it for £Z. My price is £A. Would you like a bag for it?”

Provided the price had been okay, that indie would’ve probably got the sale. Why? Because in one fell swoop he’s done the shopping around, saved them time and effort, and shown, crucially, he’s got nothing to hide. By being open and confident in his pricing he’s given them the very thing they were looking for: a reason to trust him.

Price matters, but the air time it gets isn’t because it’s the most important thing to talk about, it’s because it’s the easiest. If you’ve positioned, not guessed, your prices – see my blog ‘It’s a Mystery’ – then you’re better at pricing than most. But to master it you have to make talking about what others charge a feature of how you speak to people.

Want to know how to do this? Head over to Shop Talk and read my blog: ‘Just obeying orders’.

John Coulter is Business Adviser at Target Components, providing business services for free and without obligation. Contact him on 07854 195 718 or email john.coulter@targetcomponents.co.uk

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