In marketing you do your research, brainstorm around the findings, plan your campaign and execute it as best as you can. Most of the time it will pay off, sometimes it doesn’t; that’s the risk you take.
Sales on the other hand has to return above ROI. A salesman who doesn’t return more than his salary and expenses in new customers costs the company more than he is bringing in, and won’t last long past his honeymoon period.
When times are good being a salesman is great, but when times are bad it sucks.
To avoid reducing a product to price competition in tough times, salesmen with good products need to remember their raison d’être:
Imagine you are a machine gun salesman and the client you are approaching is a General who doesn’t have the time or inclination to talk to you, learn about what you are selling or listen to what you have to say, but who is about to go into battle with a sword.
If you were the machine gun salesman, how would you let the General know that he needs your product and the benefits it provides in the few seconds you have before he dismisses you? Work out this line for your own product and I bet you it will have nothing to do with price and everything to do with the benefits that the product can bring to a customer.
If the General would have taken a few minutes to size the gun up and check out its features, I bet he would have bought a couple and blasted his competition away.
A good product doesn’t get sold on price it gets sold on the benefits and features it can bring to a customer.