Dealing With Premature Evaluations

Written by Sean McPheat | Linkedin thumb

Evaluation checkboxYou’ve always been told to build up the value in your products and services before talking about the overall costs, as that reduces the chances of people negotiating for discounts and haggling over the price. After all, if they can see the worth of what you have, price becomes a secondary issue.

You know, though, that in today’s business environment, most prospects are still price-driven, or so they will tell you. And what do you do if they have prematurely evaluated your product and asked for the price early in the contact?

This could be asked during the prospecting phase, meeting with them or when going through the benefits of what you have to offer. It’s normally because your prospect doesn’t want to go through all the discussions and spend too much time in something that will come to a dead-end because they don’t want to spend that amount of money.

This premature evaluation of your services can happen at any time before you’ve built up the value. You’ll hear things like ‘OK, what’s the damage?” or “Give me a ball-park figure” or “What’s your best price?” before you’ve had the chance to see if what you have would be right for them.

Resist the temptation to compromise at this point. You basically have two options; the delay and the range.

The Delay

Your prospect says, “So, how much will it be?”

You reply, “Well, we have a full range of services and I don’t know yet which ones will be right for your business. Let’s make sure we have discussed all the options so we can decide what’s best for you. Is that OK?”

If they say ‘yes’ then ask more probing questions to identify the specific needs that your products and services will cater for.

If they say ‘No, I want to know the prices, and I want to know them NOW!’ then you can go onto the other option…

The Range

Your prospect says, “So, how much will it be?”

You reply, “There are a full range of prices depending on what’s right for you. They range from XXX to YYY. What’s best for you and your business may well be in between. But before I can be more specific, I need to know a little bit more about what your goals and needs are. Then I’ll be able to give an exact price. Does that sound fair?”

The important thing about the range of prices is to present the lowest price at a level that is realistic to the prospect and not at a point where you have no movement. Remember, that’s the price that the prospect will probably latch onto.

After asking if your approach sounds fair, then you can go on to to probe for more information.

Using the delay and the range ideas will help you set expectations and deal with the situation professionally when your prospect has prematurely evaluated your services.

Happy Selling!

Sean McPheat
Managing Director

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Originally published: 3 September, 2013