Selling anything is hard. But learning how to sell commodity products is even harder.
Let’s start by actually defining what a commodity is.
Wikipedia defines a commodity as a class of goods for which there’s demand, but which is supplied without quality in differentiation across a market.
In other words, there is no distinction between one seller and the next, but people want the product.
When there’s no differentiation between options, a buying decision typically comes down to only one factor: the price of what you’re selling.
Do you sell your product or service as though it’s a commodity?
If so, you’ve probably discovered that if you don’t know how to sell commodity products the right way, you’re constantly going to be haggling over price with prospects only to be undercut by other sellers.
In this video and article, I’m going to share with you how to sell commodity products in a way that creates real value around your solution.
Once you learn how to sell commodity products the right way, you’ll no longer waste your time on tire kickers and you’ll have quality prospects wanting to buy from you before they even see a price tag.
How to Sell Commodity Products Without Racing to the Bottom
If there’s a race you don’t ever want to win, it’s a race to the bottom in sales.
A race to the bottom is a situation where all the salespeople in a certain market are trying to beat out one another on price alone, so the value of their offerings rapidly plummet.
The result? Prospects seem to care about nothing but price and will always go with the lowest price on the market.
Of course, if you’re always slashing prices to beat out the next guy, you’re going to miss out on major profits.
Plus, you’ll find that you waste a lot of time with tire kickers instead of closing massive sales with high-quality clients.
If these challenges ring true with you, it’s time to learn how to sell commodity products without racing to the bottom.
Read on to learn three simple steps for how to sell commodity products that prospects want to buy—without running into objections over price again and again.
#1: Stop treating your product or service like a commodity.
While you can’t always control what you’re in charge of selling, you’re always in control of how you sell your product or service.
You can always choose, at any time, to stop treating your product or service like a commodity.
Even if you’re selling a commodity—stop selling it like a commodity!
This means that the most important part of knowing how to sell commodity products is to stop focusing on price as the primary determinant for why a prospect should buy from you.
Instead, identify why your current clients are buying from you right now.
Sure, price may be a factor in their decision, but there should be more reasons they went with you in the first place than just the bottom line.
Reflect upon all of the value that you create in the lives of your prospects or in
your existing customers—ask them if you have to.
Once you know what kind of value you offer to prospects, start focusing on that instead of the price tag on your product or service.
When you focus on price, your prospects will, too—so stop focusing on price today.
#2: Focus only on the value that you offer.
From now on, your job is not selling a specific commoditized product or service.
Instead, it’s about bringing real value to the table for your customers.
If you want to know how to sell commodity products at a higher price point, you have to give up on the idea that you can or should be the lowest price provider.
Let’s face it—unless you’re Walmart, you won’t effectively make money as the lowest-price provider.
And you certainly won’t rise to the top as one of the most successful salespeople in your industry.
Instead, start focusing on the value that you can really deliver.
Buyers report that only 54% of salespeople clearly explain how their solution will positively impact their business.
If you want to close more sales, you have to master this skill.
Start by asking yourself a few questions: What are some of the intangibles that attract your best customers to you? How will you make your prospects’ lives better or easier?
Answer those questions and you’ll be well on your way to knowing how to sell commodity products without racing to the bottom on price.
#3. Start solving your prospects’ challenges.
Your prospects don’t buy from you because you have the lowest price.
Customers buy because you can solve some particular set of challenges for them.
What are the most common challenges your prospects face? How has your product or service helped them solve their challenges?
If you don’t know the answer, start asking your current customers to find out.
When you meet with prospects, have a discovery conversation focused on learning what their biggest challenges are.
From there, focus on how you can craft a solution to solve those problems.
Once you start solving your prospects’ challenges, you’ll realize that you no longer have to know how to sell commodity products.
Instead of selling commodities, you’re selling solutions—and prospects buy solutions because of their value, not their price.
Conclusion: Top Salespeople Know How to Sell Commodity Products at Higher Prices
In this article, we’ve covered a lot of ground. But the main point is this: If you want to know how to sell commodity products at higher prices, you have to stop focusing on price.
When you learn to focus on value rather than price, you can become every bit as successful as salespeople who offer more unique products or services.
This starts with a decision to not treat your offering like a commodity.
Don’t focus on price as the primary reason a prospect should buy from you.
Instead, reflect on all the value you offer to your customers other than your price point.
Once you identify all the value you bring to the table, focus only on that value in your sales meetings.
If you want to learn how to sell commodity products at higher prices, you have to center your sales presentations around value rather than price point.
If you aren’t sure where to begin, simply ask your current customers why they chose you.
At the end of the day, the greatest value you can offer is a solution to your prospect’s biggest challenges.
Instead of focusing on features and benefits, use a case study presentation that tells a story of you solving your customers’ key challenges.
When you start framing your offering as a solution rather than a commodity, you’ll no longer need to know how to sell commodity products.
By selling a solution rather than a commodity, you can sell your product or service at a higher price point.
Quality customers will begin coming to you for your help with their pressing challenges, and they won’t haggle over your prices or shop around.
This is when you move from struggling to learn how to sell commodity products to dominating your market and standing apart from your competition as they race to the bottom.
Focusing on value rather than price is key to becoming a superstar salesperson in any industry.
Now that you have the three simple steps for how to sell commodity products, I want to hear from you.
Which of these ideas did you find most useful? How
will you take what you’ve learned about how to sell commodity products and transform your own approach?
Be sure to share below in the comment section to join the conversation.
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About the Author Marc Wayshak
Marc is is the best-selling author of three books on sales and leadership, including the highly acclaimed titles Game Plan Selling, The High-Velocity Sales Organization and his forthcoming book, Sales Conversations, Mastered.
Marc is a contributor to Inc, HubSpot, Fast Company, Entrepreneur Magazine, and Huffington Post Business. He also hosts a popular YouTube channel on sales strategy with over 103,000 subscribers.
Marc helps thousands of people his data-driven, science-based approach to selling that utilizes all the best tools available to sales organizations today.