August 27, 2009
Filed under: Sales Dish of the Day
It’s never an easy conversation when telling a client that you are now going to have to charge them more money. But, these days many are likely expecting it. This makes the discussion slightly less tenuous – however, distributors need to approach the situation cautiously.
For starters, it’s important to play up all of the positive aspects of your company beyond price. Dan Wiley, the head of public relations firm Lone Wolf PR, recommends highlighting the positive while downplaying the negative. “Show them all of the benefits, features and advantages of your company, products and services and downplay the increase,” he says. “Focusing on all the wonderful things you continue to provide your clients is the spoonful of sugar that makes the medicine go down.”
Also, make sure to give your clients plenty of notice. John Festa, independent sales rep for Geiger (asi/202900), suggests easing the information into the conversation by alerting the client that for their next order there will be an increase. “You need to explain it,” he says. “They don’t want to be razzle-dazzled. They just want the truth.”
“Explain your reasons and ask them for their understanding and support,” says Lisa Hamaker of Kaliday Consulting. “Loyal customers who are working with your company for reasons other than price will appreciate your honest, direct approach and be less likely to move to your competition.” – Kenneth Hein