While we can't control our customers, we can control our behaviour. During the sales process, our persona has a substantial influence on how the prospect will respond to what we are offering. During more difficult sales scenarios, our behaviour can prompt discount requests and objections to pricing, but by changing our behaviour, we can impact the customer’s outlook on the sale. As stated by Trevor Nguyen, Director of Sales & Member Benefits at the CPSA, “Price will always be an objection, but no one can decline value in the price or product”.
Here are four specific strategies to help you prevent price objection, by focusing on your behaviour.
1. Price Assurance
Do you believe that your offer represents a good value to the customer? If you don't, it will be difficult for you to convince the buyer that the product or service will benefit their bottom line. It is not important to persuade the customer that your product is the best available, but it is important to acknowledge that the item has superior value, which will serve as proof that they are getting their money’s worth.
Your core beliefs will influence your behaviour, thus carefully examine the offer you are making from the customer's point of view. Provide assurance that the product will benefit their unique set of needs and the buyer will follow through.
2. Poor Language
During a difficult sale, we can often let our opinions of the product or service escape within our choice of language. An excellent example of this is when we refer to our products by their “retail” or “list” price. By using such terms, we immediately convey to the customer that there are other prices available; lower prices that you are not offering them. This inadvertently provides the buyer with an opportunity to ask for a discount, which may be far lower than you’re willing to give. The word “price” in a sales conversation does not need to describe a single value, so tailor your offering to each one of your unique prospects.
3. Willingness to Discount
In the midst of a sale, sometimes our eagerness to close can be conveyed to our prospect. Until the sale is complete, don’t advertise your willingness to make price concessions in order to secure the business. By expressing to the buyer that “you would be happy to discuss pricing” or “may be able work out a better price”, you let the customer believe you are desperate to close. The more you offer your prospect this emotion, the more likely they are to push for a lower price. Remember, language and the willingness to discount work hand in hand.
4. Settling for a Sale
Remember that as a salesperson, you too have a bottom line. While closing a sale is the overarching goal, so is maintaining customers. Settling for a sale, does not guarantee continued customer loyalty. By offering your prospect a rock bottom price simply to close the deal, you are insinuating that the customer can return in the future for further discounts. In some sales scenarios, it is ok to walk away from business rather than discounting in order to get it. When a customer respects your pricing and identifies the return on their investment, not only will they maintain loyalty, but they are less likely to ask for a discount in the future. If you can’t continually offer a customer the lowest price, they won’t be a long standing client.
In the heat of a sale, remember to tailor your behaviour based on the prospect in question. Using the four tips above, you will be able to not only turn your prospects into clients, but maintain them as long term customers.
About the Canadian Professional Sales Association
Since 1874, we’ve been developing and serving sales professionals by providing programs, benefits, and resources that help you sell more, and sell smarter.
Contact us today at MemberServices@cpsa.com or 1-888-267-2772 to see how we can help you and your team reach new heights in sales success.
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