In today's price sensitive economy, many companies adopt what can best be described as the salami-slice strategy. In this sales strategy, consumers are baited by a cheap offer and once they have "bitten", are then made to pay additional cost "slice by slice".
An example of this in use is by Irish airline Ryanair. Ryanair has become infamous for its headlined cheap fares to which an array of additional costs are added slice by slice i.e. fees are charged for baggage check-in, issuance of boarding cards, payment by credit card, priority boarding, web check-in, etc. While unethical, it is not illegal.
At SG Sales Guru, we are against the use of this sales tactic as it undermines the building of any form of client relationship and is likely to result in a one-off sale. We have however brought this up in our blog is because we want sales professionals to know that they too can be the victim of a salami slicer.
In this instance, a buyer already has a clear idea of what he wants/ needs. He however, deliberately under specifies his requirements resulting in a lower quote. Once the quote has been accepted, the buyer then tags on additional requirements by saying that it was implied in the original discussions. Usually, to maintain goodwill, the sales professional will agree. The danger comes about when the client becomes increasingly demanding and what was originally a profitable sale, now becomes a dog. In such instances, we advice sales professionals to draw the line even if it means losing the client. After all, there is no point in maintaining a positive client relationship if the client is out to get you.
Just as there are unethical sales professionals, there are also unethical businessmen. Sales professionals should therefore not assume that they are the only players in the game of sales.