Win, win, win. That’s what it seems to be all about: winning at sales. All you have to do is check out the titles for sales in your local bookstore and you’ll find all about winning. Not too long ago most of the sales books topics were centered on winning at the "sales game," as it was called. Winning seems to be the mantra for the salesperson. There are even books that declare how to be victorious at sales. Victorious!

How about win-win?

For salespeople who eventually grew tired of the various winning titles and topics, next came the win-win headlines. This is where the concept of winning in sales also allowed for some sort of win by the prospect. Finally, those who had grown fatigued and even embarrassed over seeking a one-sided "victory" could now learn how to win and feel better about it, because they could also now feel that the prospect may also win something.

How about losing, instead?

Losing? Yes, that’s right, losing.

Why would anyone consider losing at sales? Who would ever write a book or article about losing in sales? Well, consider this your first. I am not only suggesting that you consider losing at sales, I’m suggesting that you learn to love losing at sales, over and over again.

For most of us, it’s a buyer’s market. Our prospects know it,  we know it and they know we know it. They have the power of choice as never before. After many years of a seller’s market, buyers finally sense control and they like it. They want to win. It’s their turn. So, let them win. How?

The First Law of Long-Term Business Success

This is a law. That means that when applied correctly and aggressively, it will always work. Always. (Aort of like the law of gravity; what goes up must come down.) So here it is: “If you want to become successful, you must first help others to become successful.” The more people you help, the more you help yourself. It always works. Always! So, stop concerning yourself with winning at any level and help your prospects win. In order to accomplish this, you must first determine their wants and needs and then provide more than is expected. 

Is winning at the ‘price game’ what they’re interested in?

Maybe winning the price game is initially their interest because they really don’t know any better. However, almost all prospects are actually most interested in receiving more than they pay for. That’s really winning. In other words, it’s value that they want rather than price. This will almost always be true for salespeople who understand and are able to provide, demonstrate and deliver value. Salespeople who refuse to understand and therefore cannot create value will continue to be at the mercy of low-balling competition. Since it is impossible to overcome competition by dropping prices (there’s always someone cheaper), the unskilled will continue to suffer the consequences.

Try losing (and allowing them to win)...

Everyone who makes a major purchase wants the great deal that makes them feel like a winner. Buyers win when they perceive receipt of more than could be considered reasonable for the amount invested.

The secret is to let prospects win what’s most important to them. Allowing someone to win something that has little perceived value is no win at all. In order to determine what is important, you’ll have to ask the right questions at the right time. When you discover what is wanted or needed, give more than they reasonably expect. Provide more value than your competition knows how to provide.

Add value, don’t reduce price

Isn’t that the same? No, it is not the same. Adding value will enhance their quality of life. Lowering the price will not. Adding value will separate you from competition. Lowering the price will not. Increasing value increases the worth of your products or services. Decreasing price does not. Adding value increases the win. Lowering price only increases the cheap. Let them win. Learn to lose — over and over!

In closing, be bold enough to lose at the "sales game." Be knowledgeable enough to allow your prospects to win instead. Remember, it’s all about them and the value that they perceive. And the creation of value is your responsibility.