MY SIMPLE RESPONSE TO THIS REQUEST IS…DON’T DO IT!
Sometimes prospects attempt to short-circuit your selling process by demanding a price, and nothing else. Situations like that are tough to handle, but the worst thing you can do is give in and quote one. Prospects like this want information you have, so you have some leverage.
Always remember that unqualified prices have no value. If you quote a high price they automatically think you are soaking buyers and overcharging. You will probably hear, “Too expensive,” but compared to what? You haven’t even discussed the service yet.
On the other hand if you quote a very low price toward the bottom, your service will sound cheap and lacking, and that could be the end of the conversation.
The best path to follow is to provide a range, not a price. Remember, at this point you haven’t completed an assessment to determine specific needs. So of course, you have yet to build any value through a discussion of the features and benefits your service offers.
Let’s say your wife wants a new car and really likes the looks of the new Chevrolet Malibu. So you call the Internet sales manager at your local dealership and say this. “I don’t want to listen to a sales pitch or do the dance, I just want to get a price on a new Malibu.” That is impossible to answer without more information, because all Malibu’s aren’t created equal.
The ISM responds by saying, “Well it could be as low as $27,000 or could run as much as $35,000, depending on what you’re looking for. So if you help me determine what your wife wants on her new Malibu, then we can hone in on a price, fair enough?”
Remember, since the ISM has information the caller wants, he/she has some measure of leverage. Therefore if the caller is a serious buyer he will submit to a few questions in order to get the information for a discussion with his wife.
However, this is where most salespeople fall off the wagon, and begin to do a data dump from their list of features listed on their product’s “window sticker.” On the other hand, those who ask common sense qualifying questions (mostly open), have an opportunity to be an expert. They will be received as more likable and trustworthy than their hit-and-run counterparts.
For example a seller might begin this conversation by simply asking:
YOU: “Tell me what you folks have in mind? Then let’s see what you really need, so I can provide some options and then you decide, fair enough?”
The prospect’s response will inform him where his side of the conversation should begin.
YOU: “Rising environmental concerns are making vehicles with hybrid engines, rather than gasoline, more popular than ever. What are your thoughts about this type of engine?”
BUYER: “We’re fine with an old-school gasoline engine.”
YOU: “OK, great. Let me ask how you guys will primarily use this vehicle? In-town running around or highway traveling?”
BUYER: “Well, both but we do take road trip mini-vacations about four times a year.”
YOU: “So maybe you want to consider the comfort of leather seating?”
BUYER: “That’s a good suggestion.”
YOU: “And how important would a power sunroof be to enjoy during these road trips?”
BUYER: “We’d love one, if it’s not too expensive.”
Without boring you, I think you get the drift of how this conversation should continue until the seller fleshes out an image of what this prospect seriously needs and wants.
Now you can double back to the point where you began the conversation. Start at the low end and remind them that for about $27,000 they can get a new Malibu, but that’s all they get…simply transportation.
Then go to the other end of the spectrum and give the high price, showing the options they liked and seemed interested in. There may be a couple of the features that were discussed that in the end they back away from; so you remove them. But by explaining things in this manner you will also create a sort of “endowment effect.” This simply means they may very well hang onto options that they liked, but hadn’t originally considered before talking to the seller.
That’s the very reason real estate folks show buyers an “out of our budget” home first. They fall in love with it and then don’t want to settle for ones they can comfortably afford.
Refusing to “just give me a price” is a strategy that helps in several ways:
- Closure will improve because you are conversational and consultative.
- Average size sales will increase as prospects ponder options previously not considered.
- Cheapskate buyers won’t feel like second class citizens, and may even upgrade to your mid-range offerings.
So the next time you encounter, “I just want to get a price,”…don’t get sucked in!
“Doug, we enjoy your online sales coaching sessions! The lessons are definitely helping us. I know my sales abilities have drastically improved, but there’s always more to learn! Super excited to learn more from you and these top notch sales folks! We will all benefit from that, no doubt.” M. David Paine, Branch Operations Supervisor, Dothan, AL. You too can benefit, look here to see how.
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