Problem: One of the most common objections salespeople get is about price: “That’s a bit more than we were thinking about paying.” “Your prices are kind of high.” “That just doesn’t fit our budget” are typical comments. Salespeople tend to be very aggressive in their attempts to overcome price objections and begin dropping their price to get the sale. And, more often than not, once the price issue has been “resolved,” another objection comes to the surface. Sometimes it seems to be a never-ending circle of objections from the prospect.
Analysis: Prospects may use the price objection as an excuse not to buy when, in fact, the real reason is different. Think about it. You’ve probably said on more than one occasion, “That’s more than I wanted to spend,” when what you really meant was it doesn’t have the functionality you were looking for or the style just wasn’t right. Or because you had no real conviction that solution will work and even under the best circumstances you probably wouldn’t buy it. Sometimes price objections are real and sometimes they’re smokescreens. Your job is to figure it out correctly.
Solution: The first thing you must do when you hear a price objection is to make sure that it’s the real issue. You want to isolate it so that you don’t have to deal with any other issues later on. So, ask the prospect this question: “I don’t know why this is, but typically when we hear the price is too high, it’s something else in the proposal that someone didn’t like and not necessarily the price. Is that the case here?”
Now the prospect has two alternatives: they can tell you what the real objection is or they can say that everything else is fine and it really is just about price. If it’s something other than price, you must deal with that. If it really is price, you should find out how far apart you are and determine whether or not you want to be responsive. Assuming you have some flexibility, ask them what would happen if you were able to reach agreement on price. If their answer is anything other than “we’ll have a deal,” you need to do more qualifying or consider walking.
Isolating the objection is very important so you can deal with the real issue(s). Secondarily, when the prospect declines the opportunity to be critical of other issues in the proposal, they usually start to tell you what they liked and why. When that happens, they’re starting to sell themselves and that helps you diffuse the price issue.