By Greta Schulz
“I love your ideas and your proposal, but your price is just too high for my budget.”
I know you’ve heard those words before. It’s one of the most used objections that people give you. But just because a prospect fires back at you on price, it doesn’t mean you have to cut your profits and decrease your bottom line to make the sale.
A prospect tells you that your price is too high for two reasons: you haven’t built up enough value or you haven’t shown them how your service can satisfy their need. If you do those two things, you should never have to defend or justify anything about your services — including your rates — to a prospect. To do so is only putting the motion back in their court because it shows you’re not confident about the ideas you brought to the table and the services you could do for them. When you’ve perfected your sales process, it’s in place for a reason: because it works. So, stick to it.
Consider this scenario:
You finish giving a presentation to someone you’ve already prequalified on need and budget. You knew their numbers, you knew what they needed, and you sold them on your services. The key decision makers were in the room, and they were ready to close the deal.
But then, you’re thrown this curveball: “This is great, and we love the job you did for us, but we’d like to get a discount. What can you do for us with your price?”
Likely, the prospect you are dealing with is the type of person who complains about having to spend money, regardless of getting a good deal. Many people in your shoes would then circle back and say, for instance, “Well, for you, I can cut it down 10%.”
If your services are properly priced already, then that’s further cutting into your potential profits. Instead of giving in, you stick to your guns and even break the ice with some humor: “I can raise the price.”
Laughing, the prospect replies, “I know you’ve got more leeway. Your rates are high, but your ideas are better than any we’ve ever seen.”
“I appreciate that,” you say. “But I think this is over. If my prices are too high and you aren’t going to buy, I want to thank you for the opportunity.”
“Telling people they aren’t going to buy is no way to make it in sales,” he says.
You smile and say, “Thank you for the advice.”
Then, you turn to leave.
“Well, wait,” the prospect says. “Actually, we’re going to do this.”
If used at the right time, telling a prospect “it’s over” can make a sale happen because it forces that client to make a decision—especially when they know you’ve delivered on your recommendations. But why does that work when the natural rebuttal from a client is to refute the price?
A Little Child Psychology:
Remember when you were a child and your parents told you couldn’t have something? It made you want it even more, right? Clearly, you’re not playing a parental role to your prospects or clients, but that basic human tendency still applies.
But, before you stick out your hand and say good-bye, remember that two conditions must exist for this tactic to work:
1. Your client must have stated how your solution will solve their problem.
2. Your client told you their budget, and it fits within the services you outlined.
Remain convicted. If you don’t mean what you are saying and are not authoritative in telling the prospect “it’s over,” they won’t believe you and it will be over. You have to convey that you believe the sale is never going to happen. And when the prospect tells you it isn’t really over, offer your help.
Then wait (forever if necessary) for a response.
Greta Schulz is founder and president of Schulz Business, a sales consulting company that provides sales training programs for small businesses and corporations. She has been involved in sales, sales management, marketing, and training for almost 30 years. She has also written her own bestseller, To Sell is NOT to Sell.