Written by Sean McPheat |
Today, more than ever before, customers are looking at price as a key denominator in the criteria they use to judge the effectiveness of your offer. But many prospects are still hung-up on price and forget the cost justification to themselves or their managers. This element of buying criteria is influential but not overwhelming when it comes to progressing the sale.
A positive interaction with the prospect when the price issue is raised is one way to persuade them that they will be losing out by not using you. They will not be expecting you to have a point of agreement when they provide an objection, so find some elements of their statements you can agree with.
Then ask a question or two to delve deep into the thinking process the customer is using. This helps you clarify the processes they are using to ascertain their supplier; a great piece of information if you don’t know it already.
Here’s an example:
Prospect: “Sorry, your price is too high”
You: “OK, Mr Prospect, I understand that money is an important issue to you. Can you tell me what criteria you use when choosing a supplier?”
This helps you determine how he makes the choice. Rarely will he say he always goes for the cheapest. There’s often something else that will motivate his decision-making process.
Prospect: “ABC Ltd has offered the same deal for 7.5% less than you”
You “So obviously getting the best value is really important to you. May I ask, how important is price compared to quality (or service or on-time delivery or something that you do better)? How do you judge potential suppliers for evaluation purposes?
What’s most important – the cheapest price or the lowest total cost? If our product could give you an X% ROI, would price still be an issue?”
Of course, you would only ask the most appropriate of these questions. Each time, you pre-frame the questions with a statement of agreement. This helps you form a good rapport with the prospect as you are now facing the situation with the same point of view, as both of you agree.
And another example concerning budget:
Prospect: “We have no budget for this”
You: “Naturally, managing finances is vital, but may I ask a question? What will it take to secure funds so that that you no longer have to experience the problem you have? How important an investment is this now? How much might you be losing if you wait until the new budget is available? Is there a way you can use a different budget to take advantage of this opportunity now?”
Again, use only the most appropriate questions.
These processes rely on you constructing great questions to meet the price issue. Then actively listen to the customer to determine their key drivers. After that, you can assist them to see how the value of your product outweighs the initial price. All that’s left then is for you to pave the way to the sale.
Remember: if the prospect perceives the price is too high, it’s reality to them. Get them to identify a different image and you persuade them it’s in their best interests to decide on you and your products.
Originally published: 11 June, 2010
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