As those on the frontlines of your business, your sales team is often confronted with a lot of different questions that can be difficult to answer or address.
One of the most intimidating subjects? Pricing.
As consumers become more impatient about making purchases and more thorough in their research to find the best solutions to their needs, salespeople have to adapt to a more transparent method of selling.
It may be hard to transition at first, but it's well worth it in the long run.
How to Proactively Address Pricing
It's a learned habit for salespeople to try and avoid discussing pricing for as long as possible. It stems from a fear of frightening off potential customers.
But if you can discuss price with confidence, you'll immediately set yourself apart from your competitors. Your prospects will appreciate how forthcoming and respectful you are for acknowledging their needs and concerns.
Try using these strategies to show them that you're not afraid to talk about price because you know your product or service is worth it.
Leverage Personalization Tactics.
Present the appropriate price and then immediately relate it to their personal position.
If you've been able to identify specific pain points at this point, then you can directly tie whatever package or product you're offering to the information they've provided you. Explain your logic. Justify your reasoning.
And then push further into the conversation by asking for additional information in order to make sure you're on the right track.
Be honest about hoping to align their needs with your best deal. It'll show them that you're truly trying to provide the best value that you can for them.
Make Sure Your Rates Align With Their Budget.
Don't be afraid to verify that they're a right fit for your company in terms of business. As much as every business would love to be able to service every customer they come across, some just don't fit your ideal persona.
When pricing comes up, give them an average or preliminary rate and then follow up with a question about their budget. Or the other way around. Whichever fits the conversation best.
Ask what they're able to put forward and about other prices they may have heard from other companies.
You'll have the opportunity to try and offer them a better deal or discount (if applicable) and do a bit of market research as well.
Create a Sense of Urgency.
Make your price sound like a golden opportunity they won't want to miss out on. If you have a special going on, let them know that there's an expiration date.
If you speak in a confident, helpful tone, they won't take it as you pressuring them. It'll come across as a tip.
You can let them know that you understand how important price can be and that you're hoping to offer them some cost-saving opportunities. But they'll need to act quickly.
This can help speed up the decision making process.
Gauge Commitment Before You Get in Too Deep.
By leveraging the different methods above, you should be able to get a pretty good idea of how invested a prospect is in the product or service you offer. And even if you haven't, you can ask outright about how big of a priority finding a solution is for them right now.
You'll want to avoid spending too much time on unfit prospects who are less likely to commit to a purchase so you can prioritize ones that are.
When pricing comes up, you don't have to hesitate in asking about how strong their need is if it's unclear to you. Understanding where they're at in the sales process can save both of you time and resources in the long run.
9 Common Sales Questions Your Sales Team Will Field
More than likely, the potential customer will bring up the subject before you get around to it first, and they'll address it in different ways.
You can be prepared to handle pricing conversations with confidence, making you appear even more like a pro.
Here are some of the more frequently asked sales questions that you'll hear:
1. What’s Your Best Price?
Probably the most common question asked, there's something you should always clear up before answering: Are you speaking with a decision maker?
If not, then offering your "best" price may not actually be in your best interest, because by the time you get to the person with the authority to make the purchase, they'll look for an even better price.
Instead, offer your standard rates and express opportunities to gain incentives further along when you're able to loop the decision maker in.
2. I’m Calling to Get Some Pricing Information on Your...
If someone is coming to you to ask about a specific product or service you offer, you've got yourself a warm lead!
They've already decided that you're one of their more viable options, and they're in the decision stage of the sales funnel.
As exciting as that may be, make sure you don't rush the process. Get a few more qualifying details from them to further establish a relationship and align your offers with their needs.
You'll want to make sure your business is a good fit for them and vice versa.
3. How Much Is It?
This question usually comes up after you've shared a lot about your offer, but the customer is losing interest and wants to "get to the point."
Pay attention to the customer's tone when they ask this.
Is it irritated or annoyed? Are they curious and engaged? How long have the two of you been talking?
If you feel like the conversation is taking a negative turn, then adapt your sales pitch to try and bring them back around. You'll want to look into your sales process after the call is finished to figure out why prospects are reacting negatively.
If you can sense some hope for a sale and feel that the customer is already invested and looking to move along in the process, indulge them. You don't have to oversell something that they've already decided they're interested in. Move on to the next step.
4. Is the Price Negotiable?
You'll hear this one pretty frequently also.
This question can put you in a weird position. You don't want to come across as too hard and say no, but you don't want to just roll over for every prospect that challenges your rates.
In the case that you can negotiate, then be open about how your company goes about negotiating prices.
But if you're not able to be overly flexible in your pricing, lead with some great incentives, add-ons, or extra value that you can offer in lieu of a lower price.
Sometimes, it's easier to bend a little and offer a bit more than to break your own standards and earn less.
5. Can You Send Me Your Pricing?
Sending your prices isn't the issue. It's when they ask for it that can pose a problem.
If they ask for your pricing early in the conversation, you may not have been able to learn everything you need to know about them or share your business' value.
When they inquire later in the call, then you run the risk of simply dropping out of your pipeline after you've invested a great deal of time into nurturing them.
You can try to avoid both scenarios by focusing on building a relationship between your business and the prospect.
When they ask (and they will), let them know you're willing to send your information over, but you'd like to continue learning how the two of you can provide value for one another.
After all, it shouldn't be about the sale or dollar sign. The goal is to enable your customers and help them find solutions.
6. How Do You Accept Payment?
For a while now, most customers have made their purchases via credit card, but the world is changing.
Nowadays, you'll hear requests to pay via automated clearing house (ACH) payments. PayPal, Venmo, and dozens of other fintech apps have dominated the market, changing the way that businesses accept funds for customer purchases.
If your business hasn't updated its processes to work in this new environment, you may want to look into doing so now.
Still, make sure you're honest about your preferences to customers who ask. If you typically prefer card payment, let them know. They'll likely still be able to accommodate you.
7. Do You Have Extended Payment Plans?
This is a case-by-case scenario depending on your industry and the product or service you offer.
Some customers in specific industries require the opportunity to pay off their purchase in increments. Think about car dealerships and home mortgages. Other businesses, like grocery or retail stores, can't sustainably offer everyone payment plan options.
Examine your business, what you sell, how you sell it, and the type of customers you service. If it makes sense for you to include payment plans in your pricing, then make those changes to better serve your customers.
But if it'll harm your business more than help, be honest in saying that you can't offer that service.
8. Do You Offer Discounts for Signing Upfront?
These hopeful prospects will try to sell their purchasing decision for a lower price, and it can be an enticing offer.
But it's important that you hold your ground when you can. Signing upfront or for a long-term commitment doesn't qualify them as a high-value customer.
You'll need to examine the prospect's lifetime value before you agree to a discount in exchange for what's basically a favor.
Will they be a big client for your company who will generate a ton of revenue and attract even more business? Or are they a one-time-purchase kind of customer who won't provide any lasting value?
We're not saying you should never cut a deal, but you'll want to make sure that it's going to be worth it in the long term.
9. What Are Your Additional Fees or Dependencies?
You'll come across some prospects that want to know more about any extra stipulations that come with a purchase, especially if you're selling a service.
For example, if you offer a marketing service, but require a specific software signup in order to deliver those services, they'll need to know about the cost of the software.
The same goes for any activation, onboarding, or renewal fees.
Whether you bundle all of this into your prices upfront or charge for them individually, be prepared to share an itemized list of rates.
Talking about money with prospects can be pretty anxiety-inducing. You don't want to scare them off if you don't have competitive rates or risk having to sell lower than your offer is worth if you have to negotiate.
The best you can do is prepare for these conversations and practice having them. The more confident and assuring you can be when answering questions about pricing, the better the interaction will go.