How To Handle The Dreaded “How Much?” Question
At some point, most selling conversations with qualified prospects lead to the inevitable question: How much? But answering this question too early in the relationship will cost you sales. So, what is the best way to deal with the pricing question?
You could simply tell your prospect your pricing up front and hope for the best. But, unless you’re offering the lowest price, this usually ends up with your prospect thanking you and you never hear back. Hardly a winning strategy.
Know this: If your prospect gets her hands on your pricing WITHOUT understanding the value you offer, you’re going to lose out on sales that should be yours.
A better way is to take control of the situation and don’t give your prospect your pricing information UNTIL you have established the value you offer. . .
Once you learn how to do that, not only will you never have to worry about defending your pricing again, you’ll also welcome questions about price because you’ll know you’re on track to closing the sale.
Before we get to HOW to handle pricing queries, let’s understand WHY so many prospects focus on asking about pricing right out of the gate.
Here’s the answer: Often, it’s because we, as marketers, force them to do it.
That’s right. We do a weak job of helping them see how our service or product will make their lives better, the only thing they have to latch onto when they compare our product or service against that of a competitor IS pricing.
Here are four strategies that will help you allow your prospect to easily see the value you offer:
Although they seem like common sense, they are often ignored.
Let’s take a look…
Strategy #1: Stop being a peddler
Forget about selling and trying to get your prospect to buy your product or service.
Your prospect couldn’t care less. He wants to know HOW it will benefit him.
If you start off yapping about your widget in a ‘it’s got a convenient handle, it’s available in blue or red and it comes in three sizes’ kinda way, the obvious question to the prospect if he’s interested is, “how much?’
Instead, you want to engage your prospect.
When communicating with your prospect, make sure you clearly articulate the benefits your product or service offers and, most importantly, what that means to him.
The first contact you have with your prospect – whether it’s on the phone or in person – sets the tone for the entire selling process.
Personally, I like it when a prospect STARTS by asking me about pricing because I know exactly what to do.
My first response is to ask the prospect if he minds if I ask him a few questions – before we discuss pricing. If he says yes, I know I’m probably talking to someone who wants value and is genuinely interested in finding a solution to a problem.
If he says ‘no’ and continues to push me for pricing, I can be almost certain I am dealing with someone who probably wouldn’t even appreciate a value discussion. He’s price shopping.
By insisting on getting pricing information up front, he saves both of us from wasting our time by going further.
Strategy #2: Let your prospect to turn on the “value” lights
You want your prospect to see for himself the value in your offering.
How do you do it? By asking the right questions.
Allowing your prospect to tell you the value he assigns to finding a solution to his problem is far more valuable than you telling him what it is.
Many of your competitors are simply in ‘stop me when you see something you like’ mode.
When you aren’t face-to-face with your prospect, it’s more important than ever to tap into your prospect’s emotions so he’ll FEEL how great it would be to have your product or service solve his problem.
Strategy #3: Ooze value online and offline
Your initial contact with your prospect should result in such an overwhelming experience of value – an experience he actually thanks you for.
The idea is to leave him looking forward to having more conversations with you. Especially critical if your service or product has a longer sales cycle.
Your competitors will be your biggest ally here. Why? Because most of them are peddlers. Very few will ask prospects the powerful questions that help them get clarity around their problem and what it is costing them by putting off a solution.
This insight is of great value to your prospects. They will recognize and appreciate your professionalism and see the value in further developing a relationship with you.
Strategy #4: Ratchet up the value
Once your prospect understands how you add value, keep the momentum going.
Explain ways you can add even more value. At this point, he is primed to listen and will appreciate additional ways you can improve his life. Why? Because at this stage, he’s sold.
The added value is simply the icing the cake and will help overcome any lingering objectives that could be keeping him from making a buying decision.
When you take control of the selling conversation and start asking your prospect questions, you have an opportunity to control the information your prospect learns about your offering.
When you ask the right questions, your prospect can’t help but see the value in doing business with you.
The next time you get a sales inquiry where your prospect begins by asking you what your product or service costs, simply ask him if he minds if you ask some questions first.
Chances are, he will be only too happy to tell you EXACTLY what he’s looking for and why. You simply take what you learn and explain how your offering is a perfect fit based on what HE said he was looking for.
Follow the guidelines above and watch the price question melt into just another step in the road to closing a sale.