18Decision Process

It is in your moments of decision that your destiny is shaped.

—Tony Robbins

“Look, you guys are all the same. Why don't you just give me your best price?”

Jessica had heard the same words leave the lips of stakeholders hundreds of times over a sales career that spanned 15 years and three companies. She knew that the statement was part negotiating strategy and part truth.

To buyers she and her competitors looked the same. And, frankly, she could see why. In her industry, there were four national competitors, several dozen regional players, and local mom-and-pop enterprises dispersed here and there—all vying for a piece of the action.

The products and services were essentially the same; yet each competitor claimed to have some exclusive differentiator. These claims were mostly marketing smoke and mirrors.

To say her industry was competitive was an understatement. It was hypercompetitive. Among just the four national competitors there were more than 3,000 salespeople calling on prospects. Add in the regionals and locals, and it was not uncommon for a stakeholder to get five or more prospecting calls a week.

“I just need five minutes of your time, sir, to show you how we can save your company money.” The prospecting mantra repeated itself over and over. Weary buyers were numb to the same stale pitches and sales conversations quickly degenerated into “What's your best price?”

The pressure on reps in her industry was intense and turnover high, exceeding 100 percent ...

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