Price – the most perplexing issue of sales.

Price – the most perplexing issue of sales.

Written By Jeffrey Gitomer

KING OF SALES, The author of seventeen best-selling books including The Sales Bible, The Little Red Book of Selling, and The Little Gold Book of Yes! Attitude. His live coaching program, Sales Mastery, is available at

I wish I had a dollar for every salesperson who told me the biggest objection he or she gets is “price.”

Price is a complex objection that deals with subheadings like real need, affordability, hidden agendas, value, prospect perception, and communication by the salesperson. The only common denominator about price objections is that they are often buying signals in disguise.

Larry Steinmetz is an acknowledged sales expert on issues of price. He has written two books and conducted seminars for twenty years on the subject.

“When the customer says, ‘I can get it down the street for less,’ the salesman is being sold by the customer,” says Steinmetz. “If salespeople spent half the amount of time selling the customer as they do on selling the boss to lower the price, they’d be millionaires.”

A major part of the price problem is that many salespeople believe that they (or their company) are the same or worse than their competition. Fortunately, there are two quick fixes for this situation: Change your belief or change your employer.

Here are Steinmetz’s top four “Don’t” hints, techniques and pitfalls about the price issue.

1. Don’t volunteer or encourage price reductions. (“You don’t want to pay this”) or they preface giving the price by saying “buckle your seat belt.” This is an act called wowing at the price. Another example is “Are you sitting down?”

2. Don’t say anything but “The price is” the only word to use in front of price is “THE.” As soon as you say best lowest list book preferred it says to the customer the price is negotiable.

3. Don’t suggest positive reduction to the customer. “Let me see what I can do” “let me talk this over with my boss.” Here the customer clearly expects a cut.

4. Don’t say to the customer “we’re competitive” on anything OTHER than the price. Price provides an opportunity to serve. Don’t waste the opportunity by making excuses about it.

“If the performance of the product affects the ability of the user to perform his or her task, price is the lowest priority.” says Steinmetz, “Do you go out for a price bid for brain surgery? No you get the best quality surgeon you can find. It’s the same in your business. The more important quality is the less important price.”

Six things you can do to keep price integrity…

1. Support the price you give as the true price “Let me tell you why…”

2. Use the fact of higher price as the reason to buy “You get the highest level of service after the sale…”

3. Use testimonials “Here are letters from others who have paid a higher and loved it…”

4. Sell your competitive edge, not your price “We’re the company who holds the patent…”

5. Sell the decision maker on the relationship “In order to serve you after the sale in the manner you expect…”

6. Sell everything BUT price. Start with quality, value and cost. If you’re not the lowest price, be the best value, lowest overall cost, finest product, highest productivity, fastest (legendary) service.

Statistics show most price cuts come from salespeople not customers, and most price resistance comes from salespeople not buyers. WOW.

Here are a few additional notes about the price enigma:

Customer rule number ONE: Price is the first thing you forget if something goes wrong.

Business rule number ONE: You must sell at your price because profit must exist in order to service after the sale.

Sales rule number ONE: Don’t give the price before you’re asked. Let the prospect ask, “How much is it?” It’s the biggest buying signal you’ll ever get.

Of our top quality, best service, and two day delivery if I cut my price, which of these services do you want me to eliminate?”

Answer price questions with confidence and conviction. The way you deliver the answer price questions is the difference between sale and no sale.

Secret indicator. Sales managers know their prices are right when salespeople are complaining the price is too high.

Sell perceived value. Gasoline why do you buy premium? Perceived value! Why do you pay extra for credit card or full serve? Service or convenience! Is price an issue when you run out of gas?

The difference between the high price, the low price and the price at which the sale is made is the reality of the customer’s perception of value that has been created by your ability to sell. Larry Steinmetz does not believe price is the issue. Neither do I.

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