It’s a rite of passage that every sales person goes through - the conversation over price where the dreaded budget objections rear their ugly head and you don’t know what to say. How many times have you heard these phrases?
- It sounds great, but I just can’t afford it - you’ll have to come back with a better price!
- Just how much discount can I get on that price?
- That’s double my budget; what can you do to get the price down?
- That’s XX times as much as your competitor quoted!
- What guarantees come with that quote? Well, if you can guarantee it, then can we have a free trial to see it for ourselves?
Sadly, by the time you encounter these type of objections, you’re more than likely subject to one or two conclusions - one, you lose the business because they don’t equate the value with the price you are offering, or two, you reduce the price and then suffer a wafer thin or break even margin. Neither warrants a celebration.
So, how can you address, or even better, avoid these types of questions in the first place?
The key is qualifying the lead. Just imagine, you’re on a first date, you are having a nice time, there seems to be similar interests, so before desert is served, you ask them to marry you and check that you’re agreed on parenting techniques for your future children. Just how do you think that person will react? Chances are they will be making excuses to leave before they’ve finished their tiramisu.
This analogy is critical for business. So many salespeople skip the qualification ‘foreplay.’ They are focused like a laser guided missile on the close. Prospects can fuel this - suspicious of being sold too they also want to skip to the finish; asking about price before they have given told you the issues they are facing. Don’t be drawn in. The key is to illustrate how you understand and are addressing issues they are facing - thus providing value and an obvious RoI by taking the problem away.
Once you get to the stage that the lead is qualified, the ‘pain’ has been identified, the budget has been shared and the solution presented, it should be an easy walk to the close - and at this juncture you shouldn’t be afraid to talk about money.
You are providing a product/ service that delivers value. You aren’t representing a charity; at this stage the prospect should respect the fact that you are alleviating a pain and that the cost associated with that is less than the risks associated with keeping the pain going. Win, win.
By Shaun Thomson, CEO of Sandler Training in the UK, the UK’s leading sales, management and leadership training organisation.