ARod, Lowell and Schilling Signings Have Additional Implications for the Sales Force

Curt Schilling negotiated his own contract, took incentives over guaranteed money, and took less money than he could get on the open market to remain with the Boston Red Sox.  Alex Rodriguez went against agent Scott Boras’ advice and negotiated his own deal to stay with the New York Yankees for $50 Million less than Boras believed ARod could get on the open market.  And today, Mike Lowell may have ignored his agents’ wishes for a four year $60 million deal and accepted the three year $38 million deal to stay with the Red Sox.

There’s a trend here and it’s a good one.  Greed is being replaced with Sanity.  Shopping for price is being replaced by looking for value and as people with plenty of money can tell you, there is nothing more valuable than happiness.   Money never seems to make people happy.

If we take this trend and project it out further, we can imagine companies like GM, WalMart and others starting to reconsider the demands it makes on its vendors as the vendors simultaneously look to find customers to replace their demanding, anti-profit, give-us-all-you-can-or-you’re-out elephants.  There is little difference between WalMart demanding that their vendors sell at just over cost, or Scott Boras demanding that the bidding for ARod starts at $350 million.  It’s greed, not value.  And while WalMart states that the purpose of their strategy is to bring low prices to their customers, there’s a price to pay for that too.

Someone I know just went to one of those super-discount-bargain-outlets offering prices at a fraction of what they’re supposed to be.  She was going to donate the products to a charity but the money she saved made it so very unworthwhile.  She is accustomed to shopping at stores that cater to people who like to be catered to.  She pays more for this attention.  She was appalled at the flimsy plastic bags that broke, the price tags that couldn’t be removed from the items, the lack of help when she needed to order 20 more, and the lack of walking and browsing space as she negotiated the store.

Sanity is returning.

How many Chinese-made toys were recalled in the last 60 days?

How long did it take Dell to reverse its decision to outsource customer service to India?

Sanity is returning.

Jobs are returning to the USA.

Value as a condition is returning.

Selling value becomes more important as people become more aware of the consequences of making decisions based on price.  Some people will always make purchases based only on price, but don’t make the mistake of believing that the majority of the population buys that way.  Value is becoming more important than ever and if your company and your salespeople focus on finding the compelling reasons for your prospects to buy from you, your salespeople will be able to sell based on value.

It’s important to know which of your salespeople have the ability to sell value.  Since so many of them shop for price themselves, it isn’t realistic to believe that those salespeople can sell value.  But some salespeople can be trained to sell value. So the real questions today are these:

Does your company’s success depend on your salespeople’s ability to sell value or price?
Do you know which of your salespeople can actually execute the principles of selling value and be successful at it?
Do you know which factors influence the answer?