The pricing question often makes sales professional uneasy and weird. We’ll cover why talking about money makes sales people uncomfortable in tip number 1.
Control your emotions
So when a prospect asks for the price, the most important thing to do is stay in control of your emotions.
- Most people are taught at a young age that
- “money is the root of all evil”
- “Rich people are bad”
- “Discussing money is rude”
In fact, the ability to discuss money without all this emotional baggage being a part of the conversation is one of the key sales success traits we measure with our SalesCode assessment.
You can take a free version of the assessment at SalesCodeAssessment.com. There’s a link in the description of this video.
So the first step to answering your prospects pricing question is to make sure that you have your emotions in check.
To do this –
- Take a breath
- Calmly share the price
Don’t say “well the price is $X/month… BUT I can ask my sales manager for a discount…”.
Think of it like this, if you owned a sweet shop and a child asked you how much a mars bar was. You wouldn’t get emotional; you wouldn’t start talking faster or immediately offering concessions to lower the price, would you?
Nope. You’d say, that’s $1 please sonny boy. Then you’d hold out your hand and wait for them to pay you. You’d ask then shut up.
This is the emotional state that you need to be in when discussing pricing with potential customers and this leads me to point number two…
Shut the hell up
I alluded to this point in the first tip. If step one is calmly sharing your pricing, the second step is to shut the hell up and wait for the prospect to respond.
Sure, there is likely a little internal turmoil going on in your brain at this point. You’re going to be reminded of being 12 and asking the hot girl out. That moment of both hope and fear before she tells you to get lost and then runs off to play pogs or Pokémon cards with the other popular kids…
But until the prospect responds to the pricing you’ve shared, you’ve no idea if they’re going to say “wow, that’s incredible, you’re my hero” or “Will, we need to do something on the numbers here”.
So as hard as this can be in the real world, just shut up wait for the prospects response.
Have a BATNA
Next, are you going into your sales conversations with a *silly voice* BATNA?
Now, yes, I’m spending a lot of time in the studio putting together this content for you #SalesNation… but I haven’t gone completely mad. A *silly voice *BATNA is a real thing…
It stands for –
- Best alternative to a negotiated agreement.
The idea was first put forward by William Ury who I interviewed on the Salesman Podcast a few years ago.
In a nutshell, William shared that you should always go into a negotiation with a back up plan, or as he calls it a – best alternative to a negotiated agreement.
For sales professionals this only enters a conversation after the last two points have been concluded. So you’ve –
- Shared the pricing with no emotion
- Shut the hell up
Only then if the prospect completely rejects your offer should you bring out your BATNA.
For example, if I’m selling Salesman.org memberships to a large organisation and they don’t have the budget to jump right in, I’ll offer them my BATNA.
This could be to pay for a SalesCode assessment for each of their sales team and then for the ones who receive the worst score, get them a Salesman.org membership first.
From the first group of sales people joining Salesman.org the sales management will then see the massive improvement in their selling performance after just a few weeks. Then most of the time they’ll bring on board the rest of their sale team with memberships too. At which point I used a BATNA but still achieved the original selling outcome.
So for any large sales negotiation where you know you’re going to be talking about pricing with a prospect, always have a BATNA.
Let them set it
The final way to potentially deal with a prospect asking for pricing is to let them determine what they want to pay.
Now I’m not the biggest fan of this. So don’t use this technique to avoid being direct about the pricing as I’ve discussed so far.
When you allow the buyer to choose their own pricing with the following tactic, immediately you give control of the sales process to the prospect. You’re giving the prospect control at the part of the sales process that they really need your help to navigate.
What I mean by this is, that the prospect likely doesn’t understand your pricing. They don’t know the return on investment you’re going to offer them yet.
And so the best way to get them through the pricing part of the sales process is to give them a fixed price and then explain the value behind it and why it’s a good offer. Then you can both agree on the value that is being exchanged.
When you let the prospect choose their own price, the value changes, how important they are as a customer to you changes. All of the variables in the sales process instantly get rocked and turned to random numbers.
But with all that said, at times when you haven’t fully understood the prospects needs and they are demanding to know the pricing before they will continue talking to you, you can use the strategy of letting the prospect choose the price.
To allow the prospect to choose their own pricing, instead of saying “A Salesman.org membership is $1,295 for each team member” to a sales manager, you could say “for a team your size, it usually costs between $25,000 and $35,000 depending on the customers needs”.
One advantage of allowing the prospect to set their own price by giving a vague answer to their pricing question, is that you give yourself the opportunity to upsell the prospect. You can upsell more easily here as you’ve now anchored a higher price and lower price point in their mind. So you have a choice of selling the “budget” option if the prospect is tight with their money or demonstrating the higher potential value and closing at the larger price point.
And with that, there are 4 tips to deal with the “how much is it” pricing question. I’ll see you in tomorrows video!