Archive for Sales Training

The Price Build Up

Posted in Sales Coaching, Sales Tips, Selling Techniques with tags , , , , , , , , , on July 9, 2012 by Dustin Hillis

“How much does it cost?”

The price build up is one of the best techniques anyone can use in any industry when they have to deliver the price of a product or service. One of the most common frustrations that I hear a lot of from my coaching clients and people that approach us at events is how, after a client calls to get a price of a quote on a product, they will hang up and find other prices and typically whoever they feel provides the most value for the least dollar amount will win the battle.

Don’t just quote your price and let your customer go off to find comparisons. Know how to do The Price Build Up, and you’ll make the sale!


The Price Build Up

There are three steps to the process.  It’s efficient and effective for getting people to wrap their minds around the value of your service and making them feel the price is the best out there on the market.


Step 1. Build Up The Price

The first step is to build up the price. Do some research and find out how much your product costs in other markets and how much your competition is selling your product for. If you’re selling a high-end pen and you know that your pen is not the most expensive pen out there, make sure you find the most expensive one and know that price.  This will be a good price comparison to have. In any industry you know there are services out there that cost more. You build up your price by saying: “A lot of times people assume this product or service is going to cost a lot. People guess that it can be anywhere from $2,000 to $3,000 per month.  Compared to company XYZ, that is what it would cost. I think the main reason we have so many people buy our product is….” And then you do the next step of the process.


Step 2. Dropping The Bottom Out

The second step is dropping the bottom out of the price. To do this you say: “The main reason people really like doing business with us is that, instead of costing $3,000 a month, our service is only $497 a month. That’s not bad, is it?” The process of thinking that your client follows is that since the top price is $3,000 the next logical amount in the sequence will be $2,500, $2,000 and so forth. So, by saying $497, you’re dropping the bottom out on the amount they thought the price would be.

The emotional close could be a story about how another client recently used their home insurance policy, and was so thankful for the coverage and the money it saved them.


Step 3. Emotional Close

The last step in the price build up process is to add emotion to the price. Have some kind of story that a customer has given to you in the past about how thankful they are to use your service. Use this story right after you have given the price. It should sound something like this: “The best thing about this is it’s only $497 a month.  That’s not bad considering I was talking to Mr. Jones and he was debating about whether to get the service or not. After thinking about it, he said when it comes to his family’s future and being secure he knew there was nothing more important. He went ahead and signed for the same thing you’re looking at today. Three weeks later he had to take advantage of his new insurance policy.  I know that was very unfortunate, but he said thank God he made the decision to buy, and he was able to pay his medical bills and keep on working.” Any kind of story you have from a customer that will attach emotion to the price needs to be added right after you give the price of the product.


When you do those steps effectively you will constantly have people agreeing with you that the price of your product or service is or great value and priced right and they will happily be buying your product or services.

Identifying Someone’s Buying Behavior Style

Posted in dustin hillis, Sales Tips, Selling Techniques with tags , , , , , , , , , on April 19, 2012 by Dustin Hillis

The 7 Second Rule:

When selling to someone, you need to be able to sell the way they like to buy. In order to do this, you need to first build a connection with that person. You only have seven seconds to identify someone’s buying behavior style. After those seven seconds, they have formed their opinion on whether or not they like you and if they will do business with you. Here are some tips for each buying behavior on how to quickly and accurately identify them.

  • The Fighter: When the fighter dresses, they will wear bolder colors. When you meet a male fighter, he could have on a red solid tie or pinstripes on his suit, for example. They dress to show they are in control and will typically spend more money on their clothing than other buying behavior styles. They also usually will wear items like a championship ring as jewelry. Awards and recognition motivate the fighter. When they shake your hand, a fighter will either give you the “tomahawk chop”, which is a quick tomahawk chop motion or the “javelin jab” where they assert their arm firmly toward you. Look for their hand to have stiffness to it and they will oftentimes stare at their hand when they reach for you to shake it. When they are shaking your hand, they’ll apply more pressure and then less pressure. The true sign of a fighter buying behavior style is that they turn their hand on top of yours when giving you a handshake. This implies that they are in control.
  • The Detective: Detectives are perfectionists when it comes to dressing. Their clothes will rarely ever be wrinkled. Look for perfectly creased pants, tucked in shirts and a very neat appearance. When they shake your hand, it’s almost a perfect handshake – the pressure is perfect and their wrist is directly in front, not on top or on bottom. Detectives will step back after they shake your hand showing that they have a certain comfort zone.
  • The Counselor: Counselors love to dress comfortably. When traveling, they will wear something that is the most comfortable to them and even in business they will dress more for comfort than for business. Counselors are the most minimalist. When they shake your hand, they are the most reserved. They will usually have their hand in their pockets and be more hesitant to give you a handshake. Counselors have a very soft handshake because their fear is change and they do not want to embrace you positively or negatively until they have decided whether or not they trust you.
  • The Entertainer: The entertainer wears bright colors and more jewelry. Entertainer women will wear big hoop earrings, big necklaces and costume jewelry. Entertainer men will wear brighter button up shirts. Entertainers will spend the most money on clothing than the other buying behaviors and dress to impress. Entertainers are also the most extroverted of all the buying behaviors. They will walk into a room and give you a high five or a big hug. They will often over-extend their arm and put their hand underneath yours when giving a handshake. Entertainers are motivated by affirmations, so if you see an entertainer who has a new outfit, haircut or shoes make sure to compliment them and you’ll have a friend for life!

To perfect identifying someone’s buying behavior style in seven seconds give yourself a thirty-day challenge. Always carry a notepad and when you meet with people start trying to identify that person’s buying behavior. Write down their name and their buying behavior and start charting out every buying behavior of your organization.This will make it easier to change your approach to match their buying behavior style.

*If you’d like to learn more about Navigate, click here:

Southwestern Consulting Sales Coaching & Leadership Coaching

Posted in Sales Coaching with tags , , , , , , , , on August 22, 2011 by Dustin Hillis

Recently a good friend asked, “I know your company does sales training, but what does that mean?”  The fact that my good friend didn’t know exactly what Southwestern Consulting does inspired me to create this video with a handful of clients to describe what Southwestern Consulting does in our sales coaching & leadership coaching programs.

If you find yourself asking “how do I make more money“, “how do I increase my teams sales“, “how do I skillfully manage my time“?
With over 155 years of experience from over 150,000 sales professionals at the Southwestern Company, the Top Producers Edge sales coaching program & the Managers Edge leadership coaching program are designed to get you results!

For more information about our Sales Coaching and Leadership Coaching program:

Being a Problem Solver

Posted in dustin hillis, Sales Coaching, southwestern company, southwestern company truth with tags , , , on August 18, 2011 by Dustin Hillis

Top Producers are Problem Solvers.

MacGyver "The Problem Solver"

MacGyver “The Problem Solver”

Being a mentally tough Problem Solver is simple, but not easy.

3 steps on how to be a Problem Solver:

1. Embrace the challenge of an unexpected event!  

It was a mild summer day in the mountains of Fairbanks,  Alaska. I was driving between houses, demonstrating my Southwestern Company (now Southwestern Advantage) educational books and software, when I received a call from my brother, who was selling books in Michigan. I’ll never forget the first words that he said, “We need to talk.  It’s about Mom and Dad….they’re getting divorced.” The Alaskan sun was shining bright that day, but all of a sudden it felt like a rain cloud was pouring down over my head.

A flurry of emotions overtook me that day… I had a problem that I didn’t know how to solve it!  Then a light bulb clicked on for me and I created the acronym R.A.F.T.

R.A.F.T. Problem Solving

R- Realize
an event has occurred. (usually, an event is defined by anything that gets you off schedule- a flat tire, the economy tanks, you get fired, death in the family, weather, a divorce, etc.)

A- Accept the event has occurred.  It is hard to accept that something is out of your control.  You cannot control who buys from you, the weather, death, taxes, the economy, divorce, etc.

F- Focus on controllable factors.  In reality, the only things you can control is your attitude, your schedule, and your habits.  See previous blog titles “Controlling the Controllable” for more on this topic.

T- Transform the negative event into positive momentum. Being a top producer doesn’t mean that you encounter any less problems than anyone else.   Being a top producer means that you react to what happens to you in a positive and productive way.  As the old saying goes “you have to make lemonade out of the lemons”.


2.  Accountability, accountability, accountability.

Unsuccessful people are always blaming others for their failures.  Successful people take responsibility for their activity, circumstances, and results. To improve your self-accountability every morning when you wake up say out loud 10 times “if it’s meant to be, it’s up to me”.

(If accountability is something that’s hard for you, you should get a coach to hold you accountable to doing the things you know you should be doing)


3. Take Action Now!

Top Producers do not give in to the Law Of Diminishing Intent. Everyone has good intentions. Everyone intends on doing what they say they are going to do. Everyone intends on hitting their goals. The reason people don’t do what they know they should do is because of the Law Of Diminishing Intent.

I had a tough event to deal with in Alaska that summer. I had a decision to make. Was that event going to be an excuse for not hitting my goals?  Or would I hold myself accountable for my results, not letting any outside event derail me, by taking action immediately and doing the things I knew to do?  It was not easy to keep working, but the reality remained, there was nothing I could do about the problem.  After applying the 3 steps above I ended up earning more commissions by the end of that week than anyone else has ever earned in 155 years at the Southwestern Company.

For more information about the Southwestern Consulting sales coaching program to help hold you accountable and become a master problem solver:

Southwestern Consulting Sales Coaching

Posted in southwestern company with tags , , , , , on September 12, 2009 by Dustin Hillis

This week I was talking with one of my personal sales coaching clients.  She was expressing how frustrating it is being in the same industry for over 20 years and feeling complacent.  Over the past 5 years her business has reached a plateau and a lot of her colleagues have seen a decrease in business.

She was enthusiastically expressing her excitement about being in the Southwestern Company professional sales coaching program.  She said that having me help hold her accountable to doing her daily activity (Critical Success Factors); as well as adding a new element of training, every other week, is exactly what she needs in today’s market to help her take her business to the next level!

Check out this video!  For more information email me at

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