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Three Pieces of Paper



When you go to a sales meeting you should have three pieces of paper with you.  Before presenting any of them you should have asked about your prospect’s decision-making process.  What will it ultimately be based on?  Price?  Value?  Warranty?  Quality of service? 

If they base their decisions on price, you should take out the first piece of paper.  Tell them, “We’re a contractor, and as you can imagine we do a lot of subcontracting.  We’ve learned over the years that basing our decisions on price puts us in a world of hurt, so we created a list of criteria our subcontractors need to meet.”  Sharing that first piece of paper leaves a strong impression, because not only are you offering them advice, but protecting them as one of your own. 

The second piece of paper should outline two things.  One side of the paper should include the questions you ask of your subcontractors.  The other side should share the answers you’d provide if you were asked the same.  This can be your prospect’s guideline with your competition; a way to prove your insight and written insurance that they won’t get taken advantage of. 

The third piece of paper should be a list of highly regarded, well known customers with whom you’ve done business.  Tell your prospect, "These are customers who have selected to work with us, not because we were the lowest bidder; rather, because we were not the lowest bidder.  Without a doubt each of them had had bad experiences selecting vendors based on price alone.  They know that our levels of service and quality are what they deserve and they were willing to pay a fair price in return.” 

Those three pieces of paper help your prospects become more educated consumers.  They also help those prospects lobby their colleagues to pursue a more rational and value-driven approach to procurement rather than just seeking the lowest price.

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Posted by Mark Jewell