2 Questions That Will End Every Request for a Better Price

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Mon, Nov 15, 2021 @ 16:11 PM

Pricing Optimization for Online Streaming Services | by Jordan Bean |  Towards Data Science

I was thinking about all the things we pay for that used to be free and are still free, yet we pay for them anyway.  How many can you think of?  I came up with the following:

Water - you can get an unlimited amount of drinking water from the tap but we not only buy bottled spring water, we buy FIJI, one of the most expensive brands, because it tastes so much better.  We pay around $1.25/pint-sized bottle.

Radio - you can listen to as much broadcast radio as you want, but all of our cars have SiriusXM subscriptions to the tune of around $600 annually.

Television - you can watch plenty of free broadcast TV and your local channel's streaming content, but we have five AppleTVs, and between Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, Apple TV plus, and others, we pay close to $75/month for various streaming services.

Software Applications - there are free versions of most of the cloud-based software we use but I pay for versions that have all the features I want.

I get more value when I pay for the features I want than I can get with free versions.  In other words, the pain of not having better tasting water, more listening and viewing options, and software that does everything I need, is exponentially greater than the savings I would realize from not paying a premium.

What's the point?  When prospects tell you that they're going with the lowest price, it's total crap.  They might be saying that, but are they required to do that?  If they have any bottled water in the kitchen, pay for any streaming, or software then it's simply not true.  Can you say bluffing?

I don't blame companies for trying to buy for less, but it doesn't mean you have to sell for less, or match or beat someone's price.  They're just saying the words and waiting to see if you'll bite.  Just about a year ago at this time, I wrote another article about selling value where I used Dunkin Donuts coffee as an example.

So what should you do when a prospect asks for a lower price?

You should ask two questions:

  1.  "Is that a must have or a nice to have?"
  2.   If they say "must have" ask, "And what if I can't do that?"

If you are in a transactional conversation (which isn't really a conversation at all), I guarantee that you haven't sold value and those two questions won't help you at all. 

However, if you've been in a consultative conversation, have uncovered their compelling reasons to buy, have properly differentiated yourself, quantified their problem, and created urgency, then they already want to work with you and those two questions will end the price negotiation right then and there, before it even begins.  Ending the negotiation before it begins is the only way to profitably win a negotiation on price.  You win by refusing to negotiate because once you open that negotiation window and the prospect learns that there is wiggle room they won't stop pushing for more.

Never negotiate price!

There are some salespeople who won't like that.  Salespeople who try to get the best price for their own purchases also believe they must provide the best prices to their customers.  These salespeople have non-supportive BuyCycleTM and this belief prevents them from being able to sell value, uphold margins, and compete based on the merits of their product or service.  According to Objective Management Group's data from the assessments of well over two million salespeople, 73% of all salespeople have a non-supportive BuyCycleTM and a good percentage of them have the belief that their prospects must receive the lowest price. Non-supportive BuyCycleTM is one of twenty-one Sales specific Core Competencies and you can see the data from all twenty-one competencies, sort by industry and even your company, here.  

Salespeople who win on price eventually lose on price because there will always be someone who comes a long with a better price.  Price-won business doesn't stick, isn't profitable, and is never representative of good selling skills.  There should be two columns alongside the revenue column for each salesperson indicating how much of a discount they provided, and whether the business was new, repeat, or inherited.

Never negotiate price!

Topics: Dave Kurlan, selling tips, price shopping, sales strategy, lowest price, value selling,, price negotiation

Top 10 Reasons Salespeople Can't Move the Conversation from Price

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Thu, Jul 11, 2013 @ 12:07 PM

I have written many articles on the importance of and how to use a consultative approach to differentiate you and your company from your competitors and their companies so that the decision is not based on price.

However, many of the calls for help are just that - opportunities that are about price and only price.  Or so the callers believe.  When salespeople have an opportunity that has sunk to the depths of price despair, it can only mean that one or more of the falling conditions are true:

  • Salespeople did not uncover their (not yours) compelling reason to do business with you.
  • Salespeople are calling too low in the organization.
  • Salespeople are with someone from Purchasing.
  • Salespeople have not uncovered the prospect's motivation for needing the lowest price (watch this video clip).
  • Salespeople have not asked what part of the solution the prospect could live without (see the image below).
    price 

There are other factors that could contribute to salespeople regularly finding themselves in a price-sensitive discussion:

  • That's the way that the salesperson buys - lowest price rules.  That does not support successful selling because they agree that they should have the lowest possible price.
  • Salespeople aren't completely comfortable having a discussion about someone else's money.
  • Salespeople aren't comfortable pushing back and challenging.  Prospects have their way with them.
  • Salespeople are too trusting.  They take what the prospect says at face value and because the salespeople don't question it, they can't determine if the prospects are bluffing and playing games.
  • Salespeople get emotional when a prospect tries to push them around on price, and therefore, lose control of the sales call.
There is much more to how and why salespeople get caught up in the lowest price conversation than meets the eye.  That said, there are many things that can be done to put a stop to it:
  • Training,
  • Coaching,
  • Overcoming the weaknesses that allow these problems to occur,
  • Role-playing with colleagues,
  • Practice,
  • New expectations and guidelines and/or
  • Accountability.

Topics: Dave Kurlan, sales leadership, Sales Coaching, selling tips, sales tips, lowest price

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Best-Selling Author, Keynote Speaker and Sales Thought Leader,  Dave Kurlan's Understanding the Sales Force Blog has earned medals for the Top Sales & Marketing Blog award for nine consecutive years. This article earned a Bronze Medal for Top Sales Blog post in 2016, this one earned a Silver medal for 2017, and this article earned Silver for 2018. Read more about Dave

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