by Brian Jeffrey,
What's the number
one sales objection in today's economy? The price objection, of course.
We get it so often that you'd think we'd have developed an answer for it
by now. Unfortunately, most salespeople don't take the time to prepare a
proper response to this challenge.
Where does the
price objection come from and how can you counter it? Apart from the
fact that your product or service may actually be too high in comparison
to what else is available, or that the prospect simply can't afford it,
there is only one other prime reason that the price objection comes up,
the prospect DOESN'T WANT to afford it! Any price will be too high if
your prospect doesn't feel they want or need your product/service.
Let's face it,
price is always going to be a factor in every sale but it is rarely the
deciding factor. In fact, in a recent survey, only 14% of the
respondents put price first. Confidence in the salesperson or product,
quality, selection, and service all came before price. Of course, you're
standing around wondering where these 14% are because you only seem to
be talking to the other 86% of the population, the ones that want to
grind you down on price!
So, you can't
eliminate the price objection but you can minimize the danger of it ever
coming up if you practise value-added selling techniques. This means
showing the prospect, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that he is getting
good value for his investment. Even then, price-sensitive prospects may
challenge your price, so it pays to be prepared to meet the challenge.
Everyone (you and
I included) is trying to hold on to their hard-earned money for as long
as possible. Having said that, people are still buying and your job is
to get them to buy from you.
Here are ten strategies that, if practised, will give you the confidence
you need to tackle the price objection head on. Don't try to become good
at all ten strategies. Find two or three that will work for your
particular selling situations and then master them. You'll be surprised
at the difference being prepared will do for you.
1. Focus on the
price difference, not the price. Your price is too high in
comparison to what? Usually someone else's price. Find out what the
other price is and then focus on the price difference, not the total
price. Sure you may be 10% more expensive than your competitor but if
that 10% buys your prospect 30% greater benefit you are showing
value-added. The key is to avoid using the larger number in your
discussions. Phrases like, "For an investment of only $50 more, you'll
be getting..." or "Let's see what the extra $75 gives you," gets the
prospect focused on the relative small-dollar difference, not the larger
dollar value of the sale.
2. Make the
price seem smaller. If the product is something your prospect will
use for a long time, amortize the cost over the life of the product.
Break the price into cost per day, week, month, or some other suitable
time frame. Again, focus on the price difference rather than the total
price. This way the comparison will seem even smaller. "For only $2 a
week you'll have all the additional benefits we talked about."
3. Make it an
investment, not an expense. Show, don't just tell, your prospect how
much he or she is saving and benefiting. Contrast this with the small
additional amount your product or service may actually cost. By focusing
on the benefits, you're helping the prospect see the added value of
dealing with you.
results, not price. Often called the "spotlight" method of handling
objections. Focus on the parts of your offering the prospect really
liked and remind her that what really matters are the results your
product or service delivers, not just what she pays for it.
5. Explain the
potential drawbacks. Discuss the drawbacks of purchasing cheaper
goods or services. Point to limitations in use, expandability, lower
resale value, lower quality, fewer features, etc. You really have to
know your competition to use this technique well. It's appropriate to
contrast yourself to your competition but you never, never, never, knock
6. You get what
you pay for. Ask your prospect if she knows anyone who made a
purchase based on a low price and later regretted it. (Everyone knows
someone who has done that!) Tell her you don't want that to happen to
7. Compare with
more expensive products. Show how your product has features found
only in much more expensive products. This will make your price seem
lower, as well as build perceived value.
8. Use easy
payment terms. Make the terms of payment as easy as possible. Use
low down payment, instalment, leasing, extended term, etc.
benefits. Smart salespeople always keep a few benefits up their
sleeve for just this occasion. Point out previously unmentioned benefits
that your product offers to the prospect.
benefits. Call your prospect's attention to the hidden benefits of
dealing with you and your company. Explain to the prospect that the
price you quoted is a reflection of the total value received, including
other benefits like dependable service.
I know I only promised you 10 techniques but here are two more for you.
11. Know why
your product is worth its price. If you don't know why the prospect
should pay your price, don't expect him too either.
your prospect. Ask your prospect to make sure she is comparing exact
specifications. Mention features (and benefits) that may be different.
Ask her to compare quality and workmanship. Many products look alike and
may seem "just as good" but in reality are quite different and sometimes
So what's the bottom line? Simple. Practise these techniques in advance
and be prepared for the dreaded price objection so that when (not if) it
comes up you can handle it like a pro.
Until next time…
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