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Most salespeople dread the question that asks if you can match the price the competitor has offered. It immediately puts you on the back foot, as you probably wanted to concentrate on how your products would benefit the prospect and now they want to discuss price.
It can be hard to judge when price should be brought up in the conversation. Sometimes the prospect will allow you to build up the value before the issue of price is discussed. Other times, the prospect will highlight their need to know the price early on. Most of the time, you don’t have much control of when this happens.
So what should be your response when the prospect asks if you could match the competition’s price?
Firstly, you should be absolutely crystal clear that you know exactly what the competition have put forward as a ‘price’. Could it be they are making a special offer just to get this customer’s business. Are there strings attached to the price they have offered, e.g. payment up-front, no discount, delivery differences, etc?
Be clear what the competition are offering before you agree to discuss any price issues.
Here’s one way that you can deal with this kind of discussion:
Prospect: Your competitor is 15% lower than you. Can you match their price?
You: Thanks for sharing that information about their price. But, to be honest, I’m a little curious. Why are you still looking at us when you can get the same value somewhere else at a cheaper price? As much as we’d like your business, if the competition can deliver the same value at the price you say, then I wouldn’t blame you going with them.
This question is simple common-sense. If the competitor is offering a cheaper price for the same value, what’s the reason we are still being spoken to? The prospect must justify the reason they are still keeping you in the frame.
Prospect: We’d still like to go with you…yours is the best solution, but the competition are 15% cheaper
You: Thanks, I appreciate your confidence in us as a solution-provider. Let’s take a look at the proposal we discussed and confirm the highest ROI areas. Then we can both take a look at how we can review some of the points in the proposal to achieve your budget.
So, instead of reacting and quickly discounting your products to match the competition (which might make the prospect think he can get an even better deal if he went back to the competition), you can discuss with the prospect which areas weren’t as important to him as first thought. It’s not about the discount; it’s about what they are willing to commit to in order to still solve the problem or take advantage of the opportunity.
Remember, it’s all about getting the prospect to determine if they can really afford NOT to have your solution. The above responses can help you redirect the attention away from price and toward the real reason why they will make a choice…the best solution to their current needs.
MTD Sales Training
(Image by Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net)