To Win, You Need To Learn About Losing
The Emperor of the Kingdom Wu was at war against the Kingdom of the Chu. "What are our chances of winning?" Emperor Wu asked his Generals.
"We are absolutely certain to win," answered all his Generals
The emperor asked the same question to his Prime Minister. The answer was the
"At the 1st battle, send only half the army and only the weakest of our soldiers", he ordered. Kingdom Wu lost the battle and the Generals were furious.
At the 2nd battle, the Emperor ordered his Generals to again send only half the army, and the oldest soldiers only. The Kingdom Wu lost another battle.
The Generals rebelled and all went to see Emperor Wu, to ask him to send the strongest of the soldiers. At the 3rd battle Emperor Wu ordered that they send all the soldiers, and that he would himself lead the soldiers in battle. The victory was magnificent: swift and more like a skirmish. The Kingdom of the Chu decided to surrender, having being totally demoralized by the 3rd battle, especially after two successful battles.
"Victory is not about a battle," Emperor Wu said, "but about a war. You need to know how to lose, in order to win."
- Explain the customer’s gain - describe your loss
Henry: “John, I cannot give you more complimentary options than the
fabulous four options I already managed to obtain for you from my Management.”
John: “Come on, I am sure that your boss can make an extra effort.”
Henry: “I made a calculation—the four options represent nearly 10% of the value of your automobile. It’s a lot and really much higher than what we usually grant. A car showroom is a company with objectives and these options are not free for us, unfortunately. We have to purchase them and invest in you. As I mentioned, we consider it a necessary investment to gain the confidence of such valuable customers as you.”
- Give an additional small gift
Lucy: “You know that I alone cannot offer you a 20% price accommodation. If I could, I would have done so already. We rarely mark down and have never yet on this iconic handbag.”
Lisa: “Please ask your boss. I am a VIP in all the boutiques and I always get
a special price.”
Lucy: “Actually, I don’t need to ask. Considering the fact that this is the first time you have visited us, and that you have shown a preference for our brand and in order to have you as part of our family, I can make an exception and grant you a VIP Privilege. Also, your choice today is particularly nice and we believe that having you choose our handbag is a plus for our brand. Exceptionally, and for this first handbag purchase, we can offer you a complimentary matching coin pouch.”
Lisa: “That’s it?”
Lucy: “It’s a very nice gift and quite exceptional in our store. Thank you for choosing our brand. Here is an additional protective bag for you—it’s also very nice. Are there any other items I can show you?”
Lisa: “Can I choose another color for the pouch?”
Lucy: “Yes, let’s do it and I will take responsibility for it.”
- Make a concession
Very often, by making the right concession at the end of the visit, the sales advisor is able to close the sale by making the customer happy. Concession is necessary and sales advisors need to have a number of possible concessions available for the final stages of the closing negotiations to finalize the sale. These concessions are the fruit of mutual benefits.
Henry: “Mr. Hudson, we understand that you are a very busy and successful
businessman and cannot spend much of your precious weekend checking on your car project. We want to thank you for signing today and I consulted my management for a special approval.”
John: “You mean that you have a gift for me?”
Henry: “Yes, Mr. Hudson. We want to thank you for trusting us and to
encourage you to take the decision right away with us, today. Is that okay with you?”
John: “So what’s my extra gift?”
Henry: “We have already offered you four options that represented a 10% price
accommodation, which is a lot as you know. We can also enroll you in our VIP Services Package, which will provide a great number of services.”
John: “It’s offered to everyone, right?”
Henry: “No, and it has a very important yearly value—it’s part of one of the
options we used to propose.”
Henry: “You did a great deal and thank you for your decision. We are all
very pleased for you and truly believe you deserve it. Here is the contract and here are the key terms.”
John: “Looks like I have no choice now!”
- Grant rewards
Roger: “Mr. Morgan, I have good news for you. Before your visit, I carefully
reviewed your financial situation with us and made a report to my Management.”
Paul: “Very good! I have been with your bank for over 20 years”
Roger: “Yes, Sir, and with impeccable records. We have decided to reward
you with the lowest service charge possible which we reserve only for our very best and trusted clients.”
Paul: “Is this part of a selling trick or something?”
Roger. “Definitely not. Even though you might find the reduction in charges
is not big enough, keep in mind that it is still very significant especially you look at the long term, over a 15-year period.”
- 5 The 7 Steps
Everyone likes rewards, especially when effort is recognized. For customers who are well known to you, think about how you can congratulate them— for what and how—so that it is meaningful for them. For new customers, you could reward them for their interest in your brand. You can also reward them in recognition of the quality of your clients (professional title, work profile, social status and so on). Or, simply reward them for taking the time to visit your brand: recognition is already a significant reward.