The best way to handle any objection is to anticipate it and, if possible, make sure that it never intrudes into the sales discussion. Once a thought has been expressed by a prospect it becomes harder to eradicate. This is because the prospect has placed himself on record and is unlikely to recede easily from his position.
Objections that are raised to price are probably the most frequent of all honest reasons for prospects refusing to buy. It’s important to understand where the price objection is coming from, before you can handle it effectively.
Sometimes a prospect will object to price because it is simply more than he can afford to pay. The products or services are too expensive and the buyer can only afford something of a cheaper grade. As the salesperson, it is your duty to enrich the prospect with the knowledge of how the purchase of a quality item will be more economical in the long-term as opposed to buying the cheaper article of a lesser grade.
- “Compared to what?”
- “You know that our quality is the highest you can find, which means that you pay much less over the life of the product. The higher quality saves you money in the long run. Why not order today?”
- “If our products were cheaper, would you want it? If yes, let’s find the way you can afford it!”
Alternatively, an item which is more expensive usually offers additional features that may convince the buyer of the validity of such a purchase. In other words, there are times when a quality item will speak for itself. At other times it is up to you, as the salesperson, to develop a convincing argumentation to educate the buyer of all the features and the value it holds, before he can make an informed decision.
- “Yes, we can lower the price right now, however you need to decide on what options to cut from our proposal.”
An objection to price doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the end of the line. A buyer may be in a position to arrange alternative funding, if he sees that there is just cause. It is the duty of the salesperson to discover the cause of the price objection before being able to deal with it appropriately.
Another common objection when it comes to price is the follow-on that “times are tough” and “we’re in a recession”. Naturally, a business depression will send most buyers running for cover. However, a skilled salesperson will quash this objection by agreeing that times are indeed bad and the recession has affected all aspects of daily life; but that the product on offer has been specifically engineered and priced to accommodate the current recessive period and its characteristics. In fact, a buyer can only benefit from purchasing your product in a particularly recessive time, for all the various reasons that you can provide. You don’t have to succumb to the pessimistic mood that surrounds a recession. You can provide a quality product at a price that is uplifting in a time of downsizing and depression.
With price being the most common objection made to many sales people, a skilled manner of dealing with such a sensitive issue is to delay any mention of money matters until the very end of a discussion. In this way, you have had the opportunity to demonstrate to the prospect the quality and worth of the product and ensure that these have been firmly established before the price is mentioned. If a price is requested early on in the presentation, a skillful side-step would be to say something like,
- “…let’s decide if you actually want to buy this product. If you do, I’m sure I can put it within your reach…”
The point is to sell the item and all that it’s worth before you’ve even mentioned the price.
Learning to handle price objections effectively is one of the most vital skills that a successful salesperson can acquire. Remember, you can’t sell an item without agreeing on a price. There is no success without the sale – and there is no sale without the price.
By Alen Majer, Sales Trainer, Consultant and Author