How to Sell a Commodity Without Discounting
How do you sell a commodity without discounting? Do you get stumped when prospects ask for a discount because a competitor is charging less? There’s a good chance they see your product as a commodity. “How do I sell a commodity*?” you may ask. That’s a very good question, let me share three ways you […]
Ben Lai

How do you sell a commodity without discounting? Do you get stumped when prospects ask for a discount because a competitor is charging less? There’s a good chance they see your product as a commodity. “How do I sell a commodity*?” you may ask. That’s a very good question, let me share three ways you can overcome this issue!

How to Sell a Commodity Tip #1: Focus on solving your client’s problems

When a person is on the market to purchase a product, what they are actually buying is a solution. Since I purchased an office chair this week, let’s use that as an example. The problem I had was back pain when sitting at my desk for long periods. Without doing any research, every office chair looked like a commodity, so the natural tendency was to buy the cheapest model. Fortunately for me, I knew better! When inspecting the various models, I discovered that some chairs would solve my problem better than others. I purchased the one that was three times the cost of the cheapest model because its ergonomic features would solve my problem and prevent future back pain.

How to Sell a Commodity Tip #2: Find out how your product differs

No product is a true commodity. Early in my sales career I sold domain names (website addresses) for up to seven times the cost that other companies were charging. How did I justify the price difference? Firstly, the company had built a solid long-standing brand. This imparted to its clients a sense of security, peace-of-mind, and trust. Secondly, we prided ourselves on our high level of service. I assured my clients that if anything ever went wrong, we would work with them until the problem was solved. Thirdly, I made myself the “value added product.” Read on to see how I achieved this!

How to Sell a Commodity Tip #3: Out-care your competition

Even though our product was as close to a commodity as one can define it, people bought from me because I spent extra time listening to their issues, offered consultative advice without charge, and genuinely cared for them. I made myself my product’s differentiation by out-caring my competitors!

Conclusion

There are numerous reasons why it is often unwise to discount which will be the subject of a future post. For the time being, remember to focus on solving your client’s problems, differentiate your product, and out-care your competition. If nothing else, make yourself your product’s differentiation!

*The definition of “commodity” in sales is a product that has no apparent difference to others.

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