CHUCK Reaves' philosophy is that price is never the reason why a customer said no.

His goal is to help companies increase their volume and their prices simultaneously. He doesn't believe the myth that says your volume will go down if you raise your prices.

So when he speaks at the Business Forum following breakfast on Wednesday, March 5, he will be giving ideas that convention goers can take back to their sales people to help stimulate sales.

Value-added selling is the foundation upon which many companies have built their sales. But he believes that by using the principles he teaches, convention goers will be able to differentiate their products and services in a crowded market, be able to justify their prices by taking “total cost of equipment” to a higher level, and give sales people the tools and coaching they need to sell more effectively.

“I realize that I'm training the trainer when I speak to an audience like this,” Reaves says. “The single most important function of management is to teach. The single most important function of sales is to teach. So leaders like the ones who will be in the room need to understand these principles in order to help their sales people either overcome or eliminate the price objection.”

He says the price objection is the most frequent and common objection, and yet it's usually an invalid objection.

“The customer is typically going to throw the price objection out there just out of habit, out of rote,” he says. “What they will say is, ‘Your price is too high.’ What they're really trying to say is, ‘I don't see the value, and if you can convince me that there is value, that there is a return, then I just might pay.’

“When they say, ‘Your price is too high,’ the typical sales person will capitulate at that point and start trying to lower the price. The professional sales person kicks himself into gear and starts selling the value.

“If you look at some of these manufacturers, they're spending a lot of resources to make their products better and better. But their sales people are going out and when they get the price objection, they're capitulating. So where's the return on that investment of improving manufacturing and quality, and putting pressure on their suppliers to provide better goods?”

He says he will discuss his five steps to a successful value-added sale.

“Every customer buys for a different reason,” he says. “We could sell to two seemingly identical customers at the same time, but they would buy for two different reasons. Every customer is unique. Every sales situation is unique.

“I will ask the audience: ‘Are any two customers the same? No. Are any two sales people the same? No. Then how could we come up with a one-size-fits-all in sales?’

“I teach principles, not techniques. So there has to be a process in there to guide the sales person so they can use their unique talents, skills, and personality to sell effectively, but they can follow the same principles that are going to bring them the success they want.”