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The Two Sales

Posted by Doug Davidoff

Jan 27, 2010 12:03:09 PM

As I've written before, the biggest challenge companies face in increasing their profitability, is the increased rate and impact of commoditization.  To increase your growth and profitability rate, you must escape the commoditization trap.  Simply put, you must get people to place greater value on what you do.  This is job #1 for all sales efforts that your company takes.

On Monday, I wrote about how to determine the price customers are willing to pay.  Today, I'd like to talk about the two distinct sales that you must make to maximize the perceived value of your offerings.

Monday, I wrote that the price someone is willing to pay is determine by adding the value of the commodity with the perceived value of your intelligence.  The two sales directly equate to those points.  I call the two sales:


  • The Account Sale - this is where the intelligence value is created

  • The Transaction Sale - this is where the commodity value is determined


Over the course of the last five years, and especially over the year, I've noticed a critical selling mistake.  The mistake?  Focusing primarily (or only) on the transaction sale.  This is an understandable mistake for two reasons.  First, most selling organizations and messages are solutions focused; and second, it is the transaction that results in money being exchanged so sales processes have ineffectively over-focused on the transaction.

The Account Sale is all about determining the consequences of not buying from you - what I call making your offering a prescription drug.  The reality is that there is only one reason a potential customer fails to buy from you or fails to pay what you want them to pay: they do not see the consequences.

The best thing you can do to determine your account or intelligence value is to answer this simple question:

What would go wrong (or what would fail to go right) if I didn't buy from you?  If I bought from a competitor, handled it myself or simply ignored the issues altogether?


Focus your message, and your sales efforts, on enabling your market to understand those consequences and the transactions will take care of themselves - all at higher margins.

So share.  What would go wrong if I failed to buy from you?  Share your response and I'd be happy to provide some feedback.

Topics: B2B Sales Strategy, Sales Training/Coaching