Pricing Objections

Sales

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Talking about price can lead to opportunities for the prepared sales rep.

Today we are discussing something every sales rep is familiar with, price objections. Whether your customers check prices over the phone or use tools such as online subscription-based applications that scrape distributor pricing and present them side by side, you will inevitably have to navigate pricing objections. Let’s hone those skills!

Think of a time when you decided not to purchase a particular product due to the price, but then some carefully chosen words from a sales rep made you change your decision. Words have more power than the pricing objection itself when they are curated in a manner that demonstrates your dedication to the customer’s best interest and your commitment to providing them with the best value.


Understanding the root of a price objection is the first step in overcoming a price objection. What is the motive behind the words? Is the customer genuinely concerned about the budget, or are they using price to stall on making a decision? Is there something else about the sales process they are uncomfortable with? Are they attempting to negotiate?

As you seek to understand the root of the objection, keep things neutral. Do not try to own or apologize for the pricing concerns. Do not make the pricing objection the fault or property of the customer. By taking the ownership of the price objection away from you and the customer, you can work to strengthen your connection with the customer as you start to work through the objection. Statements like: “It sounds like pricing is a concern on this product. Do you mind if I ask some clarifying questions so you and I can work through it to get you the best value?” Use your own words to craft a response that keeps you and the customer connected while you work together to resolve the objection.

Hitting pause

Another tool available to use is the brief pause. When a customer objects to a price, don’t be in a hurry to answer, as what you say next can make or break a deal. This is where the pause, coupled with the effort to stay connected, shows the customer that you are taking their objection seriously.

Many competitors are low-balling their prices to attract customers. Some customers see this and think there must be a way for you to beat or match these prices. They may not understand that the tactic is often to lead with a popular product at a low cost while charging more for other products often used in conjunction with the low-priced item. It’s an example of creating a distraction while they gouge the customer in other areas. Here you need to play it smart. First, analyze your competitors and find the gaps. See what more you are offering. Know where your strengths are in relation to your competitors. Do your competitive analysis and create a list of attributes that make you different from the competitors. These can be used to handle price objections.

Another critical step to overcoming a price objection is to focus on the value you provide, not the price you charge. You can use stories, testimonials, and real-life examples that the customer can relate to to show how you can solve the customer’s concerns, deliver better value, and create an experience for you and the customer. You can also highlight the unique features, benefits, and differentiators of your product or offer that set you apart from the competition. By focusing on value, you can shift the conversation from price and show how your solution is worth more than the cost. Sometimes you may be able to offer a different brand or a generic version of the product in question. This also demonstrates your dedication to providing value.

The price objection isn’t always the end of the road. You can handle this objection. Try to connect with the customer in a different way. Create an environment where it is OK for the customer to express their thoughts and concerns. Make it known that you are there to navigate this objection with them and that together you will come to a resolution. Ask permission to raise clarifying questions. Work to find out and address their concerns. Sometimes repeating what they tell you, or paraphrasing their responses, solidifies your connection to them and demonstrates that you are working to ensure you are both on the same page.

Don’t make assumptions

Finally, avoid making assumptions and defensive statements. Let the customer lead the conversation while asking them questions that may guide the conversation away from price and more to value. This may sound sneaky or misleading, but it is not as long as there is a connection and you continually demonstrate that you have their best interest at heart. Try to change your customers’ perspective and give them time to think. You can use open-ended questions, active listening, and empathy to probe the objection and uncover the fundamental pain points, needs, and goals of your customer. By understanding the objection, you can tailor your response.

A price objection isn’t necessarily a bad thing for sales reps. You can use this situation to show empathy and gather more information about the customer’s concerns. Not only does it show that you care about their financial condition, but it also allows you to understand them better and prove that you are here to help. It’s elementary for a sales objection to hide behind the price objection. Sometimes it’s just a smokescreen to cover another underlying issue. It’s your responsibility as a salesperson to find out what the real issue is. To solve their problem, you must first know what it is.

Once you’ve uncovered the root of the objection, leverage the reasons to emphasize the value of your business. Respond with questions that show your interest in their concern and work to reinforce the connection between the two of you verbally. This also allows you to communicate the benefits of what you’re selling and the benefits of them buying it from you. Your responses may cause them to believe that it will cost them more, in the long run, to pass up on your offer.

Having to call multiple distributors or companies to get the best price on all items can often defeat the goal of saving money. Time is money, and a veterinary staff member’s time is limited and precious. Not making a buying decision also has a price. Be sure to slow down and listen to your customer’s perspective. Proactively ask them how you can make their experience better. That way, it will be easier for you to tailor your sales approach and offer creative solutions that meet their needs despite financial constraints.

Show your customers the bigger picture of doing business with you and your company while expressing your dedication to their success and needs. This also increases your likelihood of closing the sale and establishing a long-term relationship with your customer.

 

Image credit: istockphoto.com/xdelihayat

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