You would think every salesperson would be proficient at handling price objections, considering how often customers push back on price. In my experience, though, most salespeople can strengthen their skills in this regard. Sorry to be blunt, but too many salespeople are quick to leave profit on the table when they really don’t need to.
1. They don’t respond. “What?!” you may be thinking. It’s true, though! When a customer first asks for a reduction in price or makes a comment that the price is too high, skilled salespeople simply ignore this. The goal is to determine if the customer is serious.
It is not unusual for customers to ask for a lower price simply because they think that’s what they are supposed to do as a customer. They haven’t genuinely given any thought to whether the price is accurate or not. Knowing this, skilled salespeople will not even entertain a conversation that focuses on price reduction the first time the customer brings it up.
I have found that this one tactic alone is often enough to move the customer off the price issue.
2. They ask “need-based” questions. Your goal as a salesperson is to always bring the customer back on track to focusing on what they want and need. Through effective questioning, not only will you uncover surface needs, you will discover needs and desires the customer possibly hadn’t even considered.
The more you can do this, the more likely it is the customer will see value in what you offer – and be willing to pay for it. I know it sounds obvious, but it is ridiculous how many selling situations end with a salesperson offering a discount because he or she didn’t take the time to understand the customer’s needs.
The key to effective questioning, of course, is body language that clearly conveys your confidence in your product and price. If your words are saying one thing, but your body language is conveying hesitancy, the customer will gravitate toward the message from your body language.
3. They don’t waste time on customers who aren’t willing to buy. This sounds harsh, but let me explain. Skilled salespeople develop an almost uncanny ability to differentiate the customers who are serious about buying from those who perpetually prolong making a decision.
If a customer is persistent in pressing for a price reduction or seems stuck in an unwillingness to buy, your “go to” method should not be to sabotage your profits. You should stop investing time and resources in this customer and instead turn your focus toward prospects and customers who are willing to buy.
The only way this point works is if you have a pipeline full of prospects. I always tell salespeople that if they start banking all their sales numbers on one or two big customers, they are headed into dangerous territory.
The most profitable salespeople are wise about who they spend time with – and they make sure they have plenty of solid prospects and customers with whom to invest that time.
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