James Hartnett Associates
Creative Marketing Solutions
The Four P's of Sales Involvement
Product - Price - Program - Profit.
By: Jim Hartnett, Principal
If your sales people aren't involved in profit considerations for your customers, they may be underselling your product.
I believe there are four discreet levels of sales involvement: product, price, program and profit. The more effective the salesperson, the more "P's" they put in their sales strategies.
Level one: product.
This is the simplest level. You want a product. We got a product. Here the product is presented to the customer with all its features, advantages and benefits. This gets close to selling a commodity. This level of transaction, unfortunately, can be easily switched to a similar product.
Level two: price.
This may be the "easiest" way to get a sale. "I was forced to quote that price or we would have lost the business to the competition," is a salesperson's oft-repeated lament. Usually, this results in the salesperson using his sales skills on the business owner he represents rather than on the customer. Again, this level of transaction, product plus price can be easily switched if a competitor comes in with a similar product at a lower price.
Level three: program.
Here the salesperson presents the product, with all it's features, advantages and benefits as part of a program that is specifically tailored to needs of the customer. This program reinforces the value of the product and, therefore, establishes it as worthy of the price. The product is not easily interchangeable with a competitor's product unless the competitor can show how their program using their product at a competitive price will be as effective. This means more work for the competitor. This means better business for your company. This means higher satisfaction for your customer. This means more involvement and skill is necessary for the salesperson, however, this relationship is more professionally rewarding.
Level four: profit.
Profit equals Revenue less Cost. If your salesperson can show how your program with your product at your price either contributes to increasing revenues or decreasing costs then he or she makes it even more difficult for a competitor to twist away the business. This is, of course, the most important consideration for any business: i.e., making a profit.
Now to twist business away from your satisfied customers your competitor must demonstrate:
- a product that matches your product relative to features, advantages and benefits
- a price that reflects the value of this product
- a program using that product that helps your customer's company in their business operations
- How their program, using their product at their price directly affects the profitability of your customer's enterprise.
Why would your customer want to risk switching from a company/product/sales/service entity that demonstrates profit contribution?
Take a bew look at your existing customers. Encourage your sales people as well as your whole marketing support team to construct and present as many "P's" as they can to each of your existing customers and prospects.