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Lee Novak

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A Sales Success Story - Overcoming the Price Objection

From the Windshield Diaries


A few years ago, I was asked by one of my best sales executives to assist in salvaging a large contract with an Arizona client. The Sales Executive and his team had performed extensive business analytics, developed strong support from the client’s management team and had even received a verbal approval from the key decision maker, Mr. C. However, at the last minute, Mr. C. cancelled what was to be the closing meeting for this nearly 2MM contract.

During my "salvage" meeting with Mr. C. he shared that, although he felt good about our technology solutions and the professionalism of our sales executive, the competition had edged in front us because they indicated that, they could do everything that we could but for a much cheaper price. Knowing full aware, that the competition was certainly inferior and yet wanting to avoid “negative selling” I shared, the following life story with Mr. C., - who was a former high school football coach that had won several state championships:

Mr. C.when I was in 6th grade, I rode the school bus with a boy named Tommy P. – an 11th grade high school football player who was what we called, “country mean and strong”. I used to sit in the back of the bus and listen in awe as, he told stories about fights and hunting and football victories. From a 6th grader's perspective, Tommy P. was simply, the meanest, baddest, strongest and most feared person known to the human race! One day, Tommy discussed his dislike for the current heavyweight-boxing champ Muhammad Ali, who was scheduled to fight against an opponent named Ron Lyle. Tommy boldly boasted, “I ain’t scared of Ali. Wish I could fight him, cause I’d whip him. I’d win for sure.” I remember, walking down the gravel road to my home that day thinking, WOW! Tommy P. really is, a scary, bad dude! He can beat Muhammad Ali!

Years later however, when I became a "worldly" teenager, it hit me like a ton of bricks when, I realized that, under no circumstance would Tommy P. been able to last more than a minute, with the champ! My point Mr. C. is this; the competition saying they can do everything that we can is alot like, Tommy P’s boastful story. They, like Tommy P. truly do believe that, they can do everything that we can. I’m sure glad that Tommy P. never had to step into the ring with the champ because I liked Tommy and I sure would’ve hated to see him get killed! Likewise, I am very impressed with you and your team, and the successful business model that you have built. I would hate to see you make the wrong decision based upon the unproven boast of the competition.

Mr. C., looked at us across the boardroom table, grinned and said – “ good point, where do I sign?”

For questions regarding Leadership and Performance topics or to book Lee as a Keynote Speaker for your group he can be reached at LWNOVAK@COMCAST,NET or 832 567 8512 . Articles in the Coach Novak series will not be used without permission.


More Stories By Lee Novak

Lee Novak is a twenty-five year Sales Management Executive who uses a proven people-first, client-first philosophy. Lee has a reputation for building teams that not only are high performance groups but also who do business the right way, at the right time and for the right reasons. He is the recipient of numerous awards for his sales leadership, innovativeness and measured performance, while working in various Executive roles at ADP Dealer Services (a Fortune 500 company in the technology and service sector) for twenty one years - where he was responsible for over $ 600,000,000 in revenue during his tenure. Lee is currently Partner at Novak Enterprise Consulting which focuses on Sales Management Coaching, Associate Development, Improving Sales Performance and Life Enrichment Coaching and he is a respected keynote speaker for corporate and award banquet events.