Trying to sell to the unsellable is a total waste of time. You might have heard this piece of advice from Jay Abraham, Dan Kennedy or maybe recently from Gary Vaynerchuk. Willing to leave the room AKA end a sales pitch early in the game and walk away without a deal requires a great level of self-awareness, an in-depth knowledge of who exactly you want to work with and lots of confidence.
One of the biggest traps in sales are the so-called special deals. Whether you offer them with the clear intention to increase your short-term revenue or to acquire a new customer, they often turn out to be dangerous boomerangs disguised as festive gifts.
We all love special deals, whether we’re buying a Rolex or we’re shopping for a bicycle casket at Costco. What most retailers and businesses do is package these special deals into super obvious price discounts.
Does this type of special deal work?
It works even better for those buyers looking for a bargain.
Obviously, special deals aren’t reserved for B2C transactions only. In the B2B world, we come across this type of offer more frequently than not. It’s simple and it works.
But does it mean you’re onboarding the right client? Will this client truly appreciate your insights and the results you deliver?
You see, when you want something bad enough you’ll do whatever it takes and you’ll pay whatever it costs to get it. Your main concern won’t be to get a say 40% discount on that particular product or service you desperately desire. You’ll look for other qualities, such as for example: a trustworthy seller, a great shopping experience, a thorough demonstration of how the ‘thing’ that you’re buying works, a chat with another buyer who has achieved great results with the very same thing you’re trying to acquire.
So the important question to ask yourself is this:
Who do I really want to work with?
Do you want your clientele to be made up of individuals who only buy at a discount or do you want to serve a group of people whose number one buying criteria isn’t price?
Ultimately, there’s more to special deals than discounts (AKA price offs), yet most businesses rely heavily on this vehicle to boost sales and gain new customers.
I learned this lesson the hard way. It was before being mentored by marketing legend Dan Kennedy who went through the same experience and talks about this topic at length.
Help those who want AND appreciate your support. These type of people are always happy to pay the price for action. Whatever you ask, they will pay IF #1 they’re your ideal client and #2 they’re convinced that you’ll provide them with a ton of value AKA you’ll over-deliver on your promises.
The Corporate Game: Discussing Unsellable Ideas In Never-Ending Meetings
Special deals are a cheap shot or a ‘simplistic’ method to sell to the otherwise unsellable. More often than not, these people would have never purchased your product/ service if it weren’t on sale.
I’d like to switch gears now and move back in time to when I worked as a sales manager in the corporate world. We used to have these yearly meetings (pitches) with the biggest retailers where the number one item on the list was the amount of money player A, in this case the retailer, was able to squeeze out of player B, the corporation offering FMCG products.
I will never forget my longest meeting to this day: it started at 9 AM in the morning and lasted until 2 AM at night. There was only one topic discussed and yet we parted without an outcome. This was a clear case of selling to the unsellable and yet, no party was willing to admit it and leave.
Instead of walking away after a maximum of 15 minutes, the CEO decided to let us sit there for 17 hours and leave the room without a result. This was a total waste of time and a total failure in my opinion. And yet, to this day these type of games continue to be part of the corporate-retail tandem, something unimaginable in the small business world, as it would put you out of business instantaneously.
Make Sure You’re in the Reorder Business, Not in the Selling Business
We’ve been tricked to believe that it’s super hard to differentiate ourselves from other people and businesses, to let our uniqueness shine. On the flipside, today it’s easier than ever to stand out while everybody else is trying to sell things 24/7 – 365.
This entire concept reminds me of a recent TED-talk I listened to with entrepreneur, self-made billionaire and philanthropist John Paul DeJoria (@JohnPaulDeJoria).
Among other things he emphasized the two secrets to success in business:
SECRET TO SUCCESS #1. Be prepared for a lot of rejection.
SECRET TO SUCCESS #2. Your service or product must be of the highest quality you can possibly deliver because you don’t want to be in the selling business. You want a product or a service so good that you’re in the reorder business.
Golden nugget number two definitely caught my attention and I wanted to incorporate it into this article and share it here with you.
Success is not about offering special deals and cutting down on price to make more sales, it’s about providing high-quality products and services people want to reorder, have in their lives and share with their peers.
Don’t follow the crowd; don’t do what everybody else is doing cause you’re going to get the same results everybody else is getting… which are average.
Stop selling to the unsellable. Invest your precious time into things that really matter.