In many countries, it is “fair game” to hit you with a price objection right at the beginning of a B2B sales visit. On the other hand, most sales training programs assume and teach that price objections usually occur after a discussion of needs and resulting features and benefits. So how do you handle an early, in your face price objection?
Let’s look at some of the reasons customers ask for your best price and object when you start a sales call.
Firstly, from the customer’s viewpoint, it is OK to employ this tactic as you are just “a salesperson.”
Secondly, in many countries, the idea of price first rises out of a culture of the barter economy. In the market, one first asks, “What’s your best price?” followed by “You are too expensive!” Bartering then takes place. This ‘barter tactic’ allows the smart customer to set price with the less experienced sales rep, who for the remainder of the sales visit, will be squeezed for as many benefits as possible by the price set early in the call.
The third reason is a price objection can be a cover for indifference. It may be seen as impolite in some cultures to be blatantly indifferent and a quicker, more expedient way is to shoo the sales person out the door with a price drawback stating “you are way to expensive, sorry!” This early price drawback tactic also positions the customer as a “critical parent” in the sales discussion and sales person as his/her poor “child.” The customer tries to dominate and control the little child (sales person) and price objection is the easiest way to force the child (salesperson) to give in.
With no benefits to outweigh an early price objection, what then is a sales person to do? Act like a rebellious child and fight back with a blast of features and benefits? This rarely works. The parent – customer will quickly punish the child by showing the naughty sales person the door! There is a better way. Let’s review the skill steps on how we turn this in your face price objection into a positive sales situation.
You can see the mastery of effective probing strategies is the most effective way to crack the difficult price sensitive customer. As Jeffrey Gitomer says, “Questions unlock sales.” So let’s recap the skills steps:
I have a download for you that outlines the skill of Addressing Price Drawbacks at the Beginning of a Sales Call for your practice and use.
Study the skill, Practice the skill, and get your probing strategies ready and close more difficult customers!