How to sell a water cooler against a cheaper competitor

More than price – but justification

In a fierce and competitive marketplace, it all too often feels like price is king. Faced all the time with objections including ‘It’s too expensive’, ‘I don’t have the budget’ or ‘I can get this cheaper elsewhere’; it’s easy to buckle and discount.

But there’s a way round this. A way that not only leaves you with more profit in your pocket, but which leaves the customer feeling happy that they’re invested in a quality product or service and that they’re getting good value for money.

1. Stick by your guns.

It actually makes quite a brand statement when you won’t come down on price. Customers know deep down that they can’t get a quality product or reliable service for a cheap price, and it sends a message that your premium pricing isn’t justified if you discount.

Customers don’t usually hinge their purchasing decision on price, though they may say so. It’s an easy excuse which is usually a conversation closer, but it’s usually not the real reason – after all, if it’s something they need as badly as all that, which was surely the reason they’re speaking to you at all, they must be able to either find the cash or they can’t see the full value of what you’re selling.

2. Sell Value.

Value is almost always the real deal breaker in any decision. Sure, one marketing agency might be double the price of another, but if that is also promising five times the return on investment, surely it’s worth it?

The same goes in the water cooler industry – sure, you can buy a bottled cooler for less than a POU but how much time are you going to spend lugging heavy bottles around to fill it up? And Borg & Overström dispensers aren’t the cheapest out there, but considering the amount of times an engineer would have to come out and service a cheaper cooler, a Borg almost always works out as much better value.

3. Nail your customer experience.

The best gift you can give your customer is no customer experience issues, consistently.

There are a lot of optimistic stats which say that if you resolve a customer issue well, it increases customer loyalty: but the reality is that most of the time, customers will remember the issue long after the resolution.

Make sure you have a flawless and pain-free order pipeline, quick and reliable delivery and keep your customer informed. It’s as simple as that, but it will mean a lot to customers. Nothing breeds resentment like feeling like you’ve been overcharged and then the delivery doesn’t turn up.

4. Become a trusted advisor

It’s a truism, but people buy the salesman before the product-and the harsh reality is that if they like you, they’ll be willing to pay more.

But being likable doesn’t mean you’re a yes-man. Practise helpful selling in order to become a trusted advisor to the business – that way, if you’re authentic and honest, you’ll gain trust, in yourself and in the products or services you sell.

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