Quality, speed and price. Which two do you want?

We’re discussing price objections and how to handle them, and it’s time for a visual aid.

So let’s draw a triangle: The three corners of an isosceles triangle. At the top corner, write a dollar sign for price. At the bottom left hand corner, write quality. At the bottom right hand corner, write speed. Those are three different components of your offering.

So the customer says it’s all about price. OK we’ve got two other variables we can manipulate to get you a lower price:

1)    The quality of the product
2)    The speed of getting it from our door to yours.

Now if you insist on low price, then you can have one of them, but you have to give up the other. So, if you want the lowest price, do you want low quality or do you want slow speed? Which one of those do you want?

All three of those things are available, but you can have only two at a time. So if you want high quality, are you willing to pay a premium for it, or are you willing to wait a long time for it? If you want fast delivery, do you want us to forego quality or charge you more? Do you want low price? Do you want it to take forever to get to your door, or do you want the cheapest stuff we can find?

The prospect has to understand, in order for your margins to be cut, it has to come out of somewhere. So you have to educate the prospect. And if it’s all about price, you haven’t done your job.

We have to get our customers thinking differently about us and the things we offer and how we offer them to the market place.

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Price-sensitive prospects? How low do you go?

Many customers have a knee-jerk reaction to price now. They say: “You charge me less, I’ll do better. You charge me less, I’ll make more.” It’s our job to turn that around.

Sometimes, as sales professionals, we’re actually more price sensitive than our customers are. Why? Well, we hear it every day! We lose deals over price, we have to negotiate over price, we get beat up over price, we get pushed around over a nickel and dime here. We have relationships that end over price.

We become so price sensitive that it becomes a much bigger issue for us than it ever is for our customers. If we truly were to listen to our customers, we’d know that when they say “I need a better deal,” they are not always saying, “I need a better salesperson.”

I have a few food distribution companies that I work with throughout North America. Whenever the truck rolls up to their customer, basically the view of the customer is, whatever is on your truck is on your competitor’s truck. If they don’t have it, they can order it. So, whoever gives it to me for the least cost, well, they’re going to get my business. And because that’s the feeling of the restaurant owner, it becomes the feeling of the salesperson.

So as salespeople we are in a tough spot. And we hem and haw over whether we need to makle concessions. ‘Well, our fuel charges have doubled over the course of the past year, do we raise prices? Do we give them a fuel service charge of $4 or $5 per stop, or something like that?’

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How to handle price objections

As sales professionals, price is one of our biggest concerns.

You hear the knee jerk reaction from most customers: “If you charge me less, I’ll make more money.”
That’s the easy way to look at it. It’s our job, as sales professionals, to gauge that, and discredit that level of thinking. We want to take them from a cost focused transactional view, to seeing it as a value focused return on investment.

How do you do that? By educating our prospects throughout the process.
This isn’t news, but people now have a lot more information at their fingertips because of things like Google – and the sales profession has not totally caught up with this reality yet.

Before we walk in the door, prospects have better questions, they’re more knowledgeable buyers. They ask better questions, they’re focused on different things. Sometimes things that are relevant, sometimes things that are not relevant.

They are more aware of their options, who our competitors are. There’s pricing out there on the Internet before we walk in the door. We say: “Never quote price until you establish value.”

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