Many salespeople agonise over giving the prospect a price, over both when and how best to do it. More often than not, they agonise because they know the prospect will challenge it, argue the product or service isn’t worth it and say they can buy it or could make it for less! Salespeople know their existing customers will threaten them with looking around at the competition after the price has been given and prospects who seem like they are going to buy will suddenly cool and say they want to look around before making a decision once it has been discussed.
What the majority of those salespeople won’t necessarily recognise though, is that when they get those reactions to the price they have probably caused that very reaction to occur through their choice of how and when they discussed it.
Looking first at when they give it, for some it’s a case of too much, too soon. They give the price too early before they have built sufficient value in their offering, before they have understood what it is worth to the prospect / customer. No matter what you are selling; product or service … if the prospect doesn’t see sufficient value for money then they will have no alternative but to think it’s not worth it. With a little time and effort invested in building value the same people may well then go on to purchase an equivalent product or service from a competitor shortly after the original conversation. Often salespeople give the price because the prospect or customer asked them for it and they believe it is good practice to answer straight away with their price. There is a time though for everything and there is definitely a time to discuss price.
For other salespeople they wait until the last possible moment to give the price as they know it will change what may have been to date a ‘lovely conversation’. They know once the price has been given the prospect will suddenly stop being so open and chatty and may even turn somewhat unpleasant. For some they dread the awkward questions, their insistence to know how on earth they have the audacity to ask for so much money for something they could get for less elsewhere. For some they just dread the uncomfortableness that follows issuing the price … and so they put it off to the last minute. In many cases they look to avoid the prospect’s reaction by issuing price and then making a quick getaway, like pulling a pin on a grenade. They say something like, “I’ll let you think about it” and say they will be in touch in a few days’ time or “I’ll leave this with you. Get back to me if you want to go ahead!” (and believe me I have seen many salespeople do this both in observing them ‘on the job’ and as a prospect myself!)
Regarding the delivery method many salespeople are oblivious to their choice of words. It is unfortunately too common to hear a salesperson prefix the price with such gems as:
- “Are you sitting down? Good … well the price is …”
- “I’m afraid that will set you back by …”
- “I don’t know why but we charge … for that!”
- “You’re not going to be pleased about this but our price is …”
- “Brace yourself … that comes to …”
- “Unfortunately our price on that is …”
- “The price for that will be … (then jokingly cough as it is said)”
(Admittedly the words may vary slightly on the above – the message delivered though is exactly that!) For others it isn’t their spoken language that conveys doubt about the value or general uneasiness it is their body language as they start to fidget, shuffle in their seat, avoid eye contact or just lower the volume of their voice to barely a murmur as they say it.
The good news is though a few simple changes and a lot of those conversations and opportunities could have the positive ending that both the salesperson (and believe it or not the prospect!) both wish for.
To identify that you would benefit from knowing more about how and when to give your price, build value and justify your higher sales price answer YES or NO to the following questions:
- Are your sales people regularly issuing the price early in the sales conversation (they are suffering premature estimation) without having really understood the prospect / customer’s need?
- Do many of your sales team’s opportunities die at an early stage with an unsuccessful result even when the prospect has contacted you having identified they need something?
- Are you told on a regular basis that your product / service is too expensive?
- Are your customers constantly threatening you they will change suppliers if you don’t review your pricing?
- Do 1 in 4 (or more) of your sales opportunities end with a “I’ll have to think about it!” and yet the prospects are interested enough to get to the stage of asking about the price of your products / services?
- Do you apologise for the price being high on a regular basis?
- Do you ever say you can’t really explain why the price is too high – especially compared to a competitor?
- Do you know little about your competition and their offering (products / services)?
- Do you not spend time differentiating your product / service (especially when your prospect / customer says they know all about it and tell you to just give them the price?
- Are you often uncomfortable about giving your price (even after discussing your product / service at length?
- Are you aware you are nervous when discussing price or sense that your prospects regularly get uncomfortable at about that time?
Wherever you give a YES answer to a number of these you need to take action.
Learn how the most successful salespeople sell their higher priced products so you can achieve better results now! Click here for details on my ebook How to Sell Successfully at Your Higher Price module.