When you’re selling your products or services, you will come across many different concerns as to why someone doesn’t want to buy from you.
The ‘Price Objection’ is one of those concerns that can bring an unwary salesperson to their knees, and an immediate discount follows. Price is often used as a convenient smokescreen for other, more complex reasons. It’s an indicator that something else is bothering your buyer. What they are really saying, is “Convince me that I will get the value I need, for the price I will pay”.
I want to challenge you to think of price in a different way. Think of a price objection as a signal that the person is nearly convinced that your offer is right for them.
Here are six ways to turn a price objection into a sale:
1. Don’t talk about price at the start: You will often get a price objection if you mention it too soon in a sales meeting. Before price can be raised, your customer needs to recognise the value you bring and the benefits to them of your solution. You can lose control of the discussion easily when price is brought up at the start of a conversation – you’ll then suddenly find yourself in the negotiation phase, focusing on price instead of on value and outcomes.
2. Ask questions: When your customer has doubts about the price you’ve quoted, ask open questions. They are vital for finding out the real objection and you can then show them the real benefit of choosing your service. Make sure you ask what is behind the objection they have, rather than why they’ve raised concerns. A question I use is “What is it exactly about the price that concerns you?”.
3. Listen with real curiosity: Encourage your customer to talk about their objections, and listen really carefully so you understand the real issue. It also allows you to get to know what all their issues are at once. You can build up a complete picture of what’s really going on so that you can respond accordingly. You then have time to think about what you’re going to say. Instinct often leads us to jump in right away and respond to the objection. But by not rushing in and letting your customer talk, you will get to the heart of the issue.
4. Help solve business problems: Instead of selling what you offer, such as a high quality product or competitive pricing, focus the discussion on how you solve their business problems. This often relates to time, money or risk. One of my favourite ways to do this is by using testimonials or case studies. “One of my clients had this issue and what they did/how they used the product, was…..”
5. Focus on the outcome: Be confident about what you can deliver to resolve your customer’s business issues. I ask the question “What sort of return on your investment do you usually expect from training?”. Once I know the answer, I can give a real example of how businesses grow as a result of my sales training (the answer is 7:1, if you’re interested). When you respond to price objections on larger value sales, focus instead on issues of confidence before you discuss price or terms.
6. Competitors are never the same: When two companies compete for the same business, one solution is never completely the same as the other. Your buyer may say you are the same as your competitor. This is a big buying signal. What they are really saying is “Why should I choose you?”. It’s your job to match your value to their needs, and to do it so well that they get why you are the best option.
To help you remember these tips, check out my Three ‘R’s Formula to use when you’re in a pricing discussion with a customer. The next time you get some price resistance, keep them in mind:
Re-frame: The objection as a question
Ask: “What I think you are saying is that you need to be sure that this is worth the investment, is that right?”
Repeat: The main benefits to this customer
Focus on how you can save the customer time, or alleviate their risk. For example, say: ”If you’re worried about the time taken to look after your social media, we can do it for you, saving you loads of valuable time.”
Re-close: Check everything is OK by summarising, and ask for a sale
Ask: “How does that sound?” or “Does that put your mind at rest?”
Remember, a price objection is not a cue to drop your price, it’s a signal that the customer is thinking about buying, and an opportunity to talk more about how your offer matches the customer’s needs. Use the Three Rs the next time you’re faced with a pricing objection and help your customer to make the right decision.