WHAT WE THINK ABOUT WHAT YOU THINK ABOUT.
This is a combination sales strategy and pricing strategy. We used to have a client who sold a certain product to maintenance managers at manufacturing plants. The product sale was a long-term relationship thing. The idea was to get into the plant with the basic product, which would then open the gate for followup services and add-on products. Pretty simple.
Thing is, once you were in the door, there wasn’t much opportunity for competitors, but once your competitors were in the door, there wasn’t much opportunity for you. So our client had an approach that was something like this:
Telephone sales guys, making LOTS of calls every day to a database of prospects.
Simultaneously, every prospect receives two direct mail pieces every month. The first makes an offer (the deal), and suggests a deadline. The other is a simple postcard that hammers the deadline (order now, before you miss the deal).
This, with phone contact, led to a lot of small transactions. But that was fine. Because once you get a transaction, everyone else is locked out.
One thing we learned was that maintenance managers had a certain “purchasing threshold” below which they did not need to get the purchasing department involved. So, by pricing just below that threshold (which happened to be $2,000), we avoided the heavy negotiation and competitive bidding that comes with the purchasing agent.
So, you get into the house with a $2,000 below-radar transaction. Then, you sell add-on features and consultation services. Once you’re all in place, you start jumping fences into other parts of the plant…other parts of the company. “Hey man, imagine what you could do if you had a product like this to work with. Well, guess what. You have a product like that…we just installed it down in maintenance.”
Short term, a very expensive selling process for some small transactions. Long-term… pipeline.
Just one more example of a something we learned from our very smart clients.