Archive for March 2013

price_objDuring the sales training programs that I run, almost without exception, delegates have fears and concerns about handling price based questions. They often confuse this aspect of sales with negotiations. Covering price based issues – for me – is totally different to conducting a negotiation. It’s more akin to haggling and justifying your price. Negotiations is a far larger topic and takes into account every aspect of the sale, not just the price.

I often ask “What are the questions you fear being asked by the customer? ” to the group – so we can then work on an appropriate response for their product and market. Over the 12 years I have been running these sessions, here are the top 3 price questions and a generic response on how best to handle them.

1. Why is your offer more expensive?

The first thing to address here is “Are we comparing like with like?” Is there offer equivalent in every way to yours?  The competition may be lacking in some aspect that results in a lower price such as longer delivery times, no guarantees, reduced specifications etc. Before getting into a price discussion make sure you are comparing apples with apples. Don’t be afraid to ask for a copy of the competitive quote or offer from the prospective customer to aid the comparison.

2. Can you bring the price down?

The quick response here is “Sure, I have some flexibility here. In return for something from you”. That ‘something’ could be exclusivity, volume commitment, a referral, a case study payment in advance or a testimonial for your website. The key point here is never to give something away – unless you can justify it by getting something else back. If the prospect is not flexible in any of these areas then why should you be flexible on price?

3. Your competition is cheaper – can you match their price?

If the prospect contacts you to ask the above the best response is to reply “Why are you contacting me if you have already found an equivalent product at a lower price?” If it were me I’d have already bought the thing, rather than phoning up a higher priced competitor and asking for a discount. Unless of course, they offered something that I wasn’t getting from the cheaper competitor. So ask some questions and dig around a little to find out where you are outscoring the competition. This will then help explain and justify the price difference.

Please note that in all of the above situations you never say “No, that’s the price” or “Take it or leave it” These statements leave little room for further discussion and don’t leave the door open. You should always be open to price flexibility but you need to show the customer that they need to do something  in order to get a better deal.

Sell Well.