When it comes to selling, how comfortable are you when asked about the price? Are you nervous or are okay with it? Do you answer straight away? Or do you deflect from the question?
Many salespeople feel a little on edge when dealing with the price. Some admit they stumble at this first hurdle and get straight into the price. Others begin by asking the customer how much they want to spend or they may defend and justify the price.
We can all relate to these situations both as buyers and sellers. And it’s fair to say many of us have been caught out by price at some stage. But it doesn’t need to be a stumbling block.
Early in my career, I was given a great piece of advice "Avoid getting into price at the beginning of any conversation". The logic being how can we give a price to someone if you don’t know what they need?
A buyer’s natural instinct is to say “I'm looking for a price” - when really they often just want information. It’s often a common expression and we shouldn’t be put off by it. Also, if we deal with price too early, it’s difficult to work backwards and justify it later.
In these instances, I always advise clients to assure the buyer in their reply saying “I can help you…”, then continue to explain “We have a number of products/services that may suit, so let me ask you a few questions so I can give you the right information…”. And you can always add “I don’t want to overload you….I want to make sure I get this right”.
Some may call this a deflection technique. Yet it's true. How can you give someone a price when you don’t have enough information? If it’s wrong, they won’t thank you or come back later.
One could also argue that buyers will often do their own research and know what they want. However, many businesses may have a number of products or services within a range. They may even have various price points depending on the volume or customer. It’s not straightforward.
In fact, it’s almost like asking “How long is a piece of string?”
It is our duty as salespeople to help customers make the right decision. So, once we reassure them, we need to really talk to our customers - we need to ask a number of attentive questions whilst showing genuine interest. This helps to establish the customers preferences and priorities as well as the facts.
If we ask the right questions, we can really identify the best match for the customer and therefore make the right recommendation. And if we do this right, we can easily build value in the offer. As a result, the price become less important.
And where it still matters, it helps us to justify the cost, ask more questions or make other recommendations – especially if we have built rapport and identified their needs.