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Common Questions and Answers
“Your price is too high!” The infamous price objection. Wouldn’t sales be a great profession if we could somehow wipe it out and never hear it again?
Unfortunately, that will never happen. Too many of the people with whom we deal are paid to get the best deal they can. And that means asking for a better price, even when they know they are getting a great deal.
That being said, it is still possible to reduce the number of times we hear it, and, perhaps more importantly, it is possible to reduce the intensity of the comment. In other words, we may still hear it, but many of our customers won’t mean it as intensely as they once did.
I will never forget a salesperson for one of my clients who came to see me, concerned about the pressure his company was putting on him to get results. He chewed tobacco and had the yellow teeth and spots on the leather vest he wore to confirm that. A wrinkled pair of blue jeans topped a pair of dusty cowboy boots. He looked like a reject from a consignment shop. His appearance screamed “cheap.”
If you look confident, competent and successful, you send the subtle message to your customer that you, and your offering, is worth a little more. You just look like you are less likely to discount your price in order to get the order. Practically speaking, that means to dress like your customer, only a little better. Project a demeanor of a successful, confident salesperson.
This can be difficult if you, in your personal life, are a bargain shopper. If you refuse to pay the asking price for anything and won’t buy it if it’s not on sale, then you’ll have a difficult time convincing your customer to pay the full price for what you are selling.
Your core beliefs will influence your behavior, and be communicated to the customer in a number of subtle ways.
To counteract that tendency, carefully examine the offer you are making from the customer’s point of view. Do whatever it takes to convince yourself that it is a good value to the customer, worth every penny the customer will pay.
We have inadvertently encouraged the customer to ask for a discount. The word “price” doesn’t need an adjective to describe it.
I was shopping for office space. As I looked through one location with my realtor, I asked the listing realtor what was the lease rate. He told me, and in the same breath said, “But we’re willing to work with you on that.”
After hearing that, why in the world would I accept his original terms? He broadcasted his willingness to discount, and I’d be foolish not to take him up on it. By broadcasting your willingness to get the deal, you encourage the customer to ask for price deviations.
If, however, you never discount from your quoted price, you convey that there is some integrity in your pricing, and that you are quoting him your best price from the beginning.
It’s OK, on some occasions, to walk away from a piece of business rather than to discount in order to get it. The net impact is that the customer respects your pricing, and is less likely in the future to ask for a discount.
If you get almost every deal, your prices aren’t sufficiently high. You need to lose some in order to gain the customer’s respect as well as a sense of where the market price is.
I’ve often thought that the idea of asking for the opportunity for a “last look” — which most salespeople strive for and proudly proclaim as proof of a good business relationship — is merely another way of saying that you’ll discount the most. Why would the customer give you a “last look” if he wasn’t expecting you to discount some more?
It’s so easy to complain about the customer and the constant pressure to reduce our prices. It’s the thoughtful salesperson who understands that our own behavior can often be the cause of the price objection. Change your behavior, and you’ll improve your results.
About the author
Dave Kahle has trained tens of thousands of B2B salespeople and sales managers to be more effective in the 21st Century economy. He’s authored nine books, and presented in 47 states and seven countries.