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Sales Advise - Selling PCR enzymes

Hi,

Im new to this forum and new to sales! Im working in Scientific sales and I would appreciate advice from anyone in sales since Im keen to learn the selling techniques of a variety of different sales people in different sales fields.

PCR enzymes (if you dont know) are one of the most important lab consumables and there are hundreds of different companies selling over a million different types of PCR enzymes into Labroatories. PCR enzymes need to be efficient and fast, that is their most desirable qualities. Each company have their “reasons” as to why their PCR enzyme is the best compared to their competitors but at the end of the day it comes down to a price war. If you’re a small company, with smaller margins, how do you compete against the giants and their massive discounts (sometimes 60-70%)?

The PCR that I offer are (surprise surprise) very efficient and independent tests have shown that we outperform our rivals in terms of efficiency of the products. However, I get destroyed day in day out by rival reps since they can offer massive discounts to keep researchers buying their enzymes. I have sat with hundreds of researchers and shown them the data to prove that the enzymes I offer is better in terms of performance but none of that matters, its only price. The only reason we function as a company is that we have many other products that other companies cannot replicate or even compete with so that keeps us ticking over BUT PCR enzymes market is such a gold mine it should not be ignored!

It would be great to get some advice on your thoughts on how I would go about selling a product that is offered by hundreds of different companies and despite customers wanting it to be efficient they are still swayed onto a slightly inferior product due to the massive cheaper price. - by Kevin_Jackson
Hi,

Im new to this forum and new to sales! Im working in Scientific sales and I would appreciate advice from anyone in sales since Im keen to learn the selling techniques of a variety of different sales people in different sales fields.

PCR enzymes (if you dont know) are one of the most important lab consumables and there are hundreds of different companies selling over a million different types of PCR enzymes into Labroatories. PCR enzymes need to be efficient and fast, that is their most desirable qualities. Each company have their “reasons” as to why their PCR enzyme is the best compared to their competitors but at the end of the day it comes down to a price war. If you’re a small company, with smaller margins, how do you compete against the giants and their massive discounts (sometimes 60-70%)?

The PCR that I offer are (surprise surprise) very efficient and independent tests have shown that we outperform our rivals in terms of efficiency of the products. However, I get destroyed day in day out by rival reps since they can offer massive discounts to keep researchers buying their enzymes. I have sat with hundreds of researchers and shown them the data to prove that the enzymes I offer is better in terms of performance but none of that matters, its only price. The only reason we function as a company is that we have many other products that other companies cannot replicate or even compete with so that keeps us ticking over BUT PCR enzymes market is such a gold mine it should not be ignored!

It would be great to get some advice on your thoughts on how I would go about selling a product that is offered by hundreds of different companies and despite customers wanting it to be efficient they are still swayed onto a slightly inferior product due to the massive cheaper price.
Kevin, the battle is for the mind of the consumer and that's a POSITIONING agenda rather than something than can easily be handled by a salesperson new to sales.

An example from a related field is Bayer Aspirin who positioned their brand of a generic substance that could be bought for a lot less money.

If your brand is better, what can YOU do when in front of prospects? My advice is to design your entire presentation around WHAT MAKES YOUR PRODUCT BETTER.

Here is a technique I have used very successfully, and I'll fill in your generic as the product:
" I'm going to discuss a PCR enzymes product as if you have never heard the word before. Is that okay?"
I have never been halted by the prospect when using that segue. It SETS THE STAGE. It also follows the age old rules of presentation which are:
  • Tell them what your going to tell them.
  • Tell it to them.
  • Tell them what you've told them.
In selling, we have the term Unique Selling Proposition (USP) also known as an Identifiable Difference. You cannot sell without a PROPOSITION and it is usually centered on obvious value. - by Gary A Boye
Hi Gary,

Thank you for your feedback.

I completely agree with your comments in regards to USP and this is how I try to promote our products and brand. As a former scientist myself, my sales approach is consultative and I try to understand the scientists work and then discuss products that will definitely improve their research. However, with PCR enzymes no matter what unique features or advantages that our PCR products offer it comes down to a price war.

Bayer Aspirin is a good example and I would be keen to know how they were successful selling into a market with hundreds of other similar and cheaper aspirins. Like Aspirin, PCR enzymes do not vary that much. Yes, some PCR enzymes might be slightly quicker and some might be slightly better in terms of efficiency, but for customers these differences are not enough for them to pay the premium. I was the same when I was in the lab, I always went for the cheapest enzyme that gave me results that were “good enough” for what I needed and ignored all the fancy premium products. The cost of manufacturing and list price is more or less the same but bigger companies with bigger margins can offer bigger discounts – a novice like me is finding it hard to compete! - by Kevin_Jackson
As a former scientist myself, my sales approach is consultative and I try to understand the scientists work and then discuss products that will definitely improve their research.
I would surmise by the rest of your post that your sales approach is not working.

I'm not qualified to help you with what works in science. That has been your field. I can tell you what works in selling. That is what I believe I did.

Science does not teach us the intricacies of consultative selling. There are programs that do, of course. SPIN is excellent.

I want to point out to you that you are reinforcing (in your post) the reasons why NOT to buy your product, perhaps a carry-over from your work as a scientist where you also rejected USP over price.

To sell you have to remain ON MESSAGE. If you don't, your prospect will often end up selling you.

The best of luck to you. - by Gary A Boye
Hi,

You need to position your product differently (a marketing function). As long as you sell a "better product of what someone else sells cheaper", you'll have this problem.

Internet marketing will help you educated your customers over time, with free eBooks, newsletters and free consultancy, over time.

Ganesan. - by ezynes
It would be great to get some advice on your thoughts on how I would go about selling a product that is offered by hundreds of different companies and despite customers wanting it to be efficient they are still swayed onto a slightly inferior product due to the massive cheaper price.
Therein lies your problem, you're selling a product (by the sounds of it) that is either overpriced or not competitively priced. A product that is only a little bit better doesn't justify the extra massive expense, and having the best product doesn't mean you have the best solution because the customer will always consider price relative to the value they think they are getting.

If I were you I'd have a think about why my enzymes are not only the best performing enzymes in the market but the best value as well. What would be the loss to the customer if they didn't use your enzymes? What would be the risk to them by using inferior enzymes? What would they gain by using yours? You need to convince yourself of the added value of your product before you start trying to convince your customers. - by salesjunior
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