People in sales roles always worry that they are asking too much for their products or services.  They are concerned that no matter how solid their offer, the prospect will fixate on cost and only buy on price.  Because that has been true almost forever, they fight anyone in their company who tells them the world has changed.  But the world is changing!

In the B2B world, and to a lesser extent in the B2C space, both buyers and sellers are learning to quantify value and compare it to price.  And the factor driving purchase decisions is the net cash gained.  Let me explain:

Total Benefit ($) – Total Costs ($) = Net Cash Gained

For this calculation, and a calculation of ROI (for the CFO) to be meaningful, it should be based on your customers own data or data that the customer will agree with.  When you explain the calculation to your customer, go through each and every assumption and calculation and ask “Does this make sense to you?” If there is complete agreement then move to the next line in the calculation.  If there is disagreement, then (politely) try and find out what number the buyer will accept.  If that response makes sense to you, then change your calculation.  If you do not agree, then ask for more back-up data or time to talk with the people who did the calculation.  At the end of this process, you and the prospect should be able to agree of the Net Cash Gained and the ROI.

Sometimes the savings are so large that you want to factor them down to make your quote look “more believable.”  Don’t do it!  The calculations are based on your customer’s data and have her agreement, so messing with the numbers says, “I don’t believe you know what you are talking about.”  Let the facts speak for themselves.

Sometimes the savings are not “great.”  That is the time to ask about making the opportunity larger or smaller or longer term.  That give and take is all part of a negotiation between two professionals with the objective of arriving at a deal where both sides are winners. Remember, this is what today’s professional selling of products or services is all about.  Both parties should be aiming to strike a mutually good deal so that you can move on to the next opportunity.

As usual – Good Selling!