ReasonableSo, I had an interesting thing happen to me the other day.  Note that I am in sales at an auto dealership.  I had a gentleman call me and request a price for a vehicle that we had on sale on eBay.  SURPRISE!!  That’s not the crazy part.  He called looking for a good deal on a vehicle… also not the crazy part.  The craziness comes in later.  I answered the call as I would any other sales call with the expectation to answer any questions and to “sell” an appointment to the person on the other end of the phone.  That is most definitely NOT what happened, here is the conversation that ensued:

“Hi, and thanks for calling _____ this is Mike in the sales department, I understand you are looking at our “vehicle…” what questions can I answer for you on the vehicle or the auction?”  The customer proceeds to ask a few questions on the car that they are looking at, and again this is all going as planned, I ask, “So, what did you anticipate spending on a vehicle purchase?”  “Oh, well I am sure you are asking a reasonable price for the “vehicle”… I mean I looked and you guys ask REALLY low prices for your cars, so I am sure this one is no different, I’m sure it’s quite reasonable and I am quite sure that it is more than I wanted to spend.” ?!?!?!?!?!?!?  As the questions and confusion race through my head I ask, “Well, really what had you planned on spending?”  The response is still baffling… “Well the car is for my daughter and, while I am sure your prices are quite reasonable, we really only wanted to spend two or three thousand dollars…”  We then we chat a little more, with the outcome being that, in fact, we are priced about $10,000 more for that particular vehicle, and yes it is a reasonable price for that style of vehicle.

The moral to the story, when did being reasonable in pricing, for anything… cars, clothes or otherwise become unacceptable?  The reason I bring this up is because regardless of what product you sell and no matter how competitively, or reasonably priced your product is, people still want to be sure they are getting the best deal!  So you have to ask yourself, how do I make certain that my customer feels they got the best deal?

In my opinion is that you have to know you are top notch and provide the best service.  I mean best of the best, person to person, customer service.  Without being egotistical, you have to prove to your customer that YOU are the way to go.  If you haven’t heard, we now have the internet. So now, more than ever, documentation is the new negotiation.  You have to have total transparency and show how your item compares to other items… dollar for dollar, yes, that’s right, price.  Ultimately my shortcoming the other day was because though, I sold myself through great service, I never provided documentation to show why we were competitive on pricing.  If you can do those two things above, brilliantly, great service and good pricing, you are in!  Your product will be reasonable and acceptable.