How to Avoid Price Objections with Examples

When a prospect says they want to buy, but they don’t like the price, you need to know why they are objecting. To avoid price objections of your product, you need to know if it’s really a price objection. Does “that looks more expensive than we expected” mean that price is a problem or is it quite an obviously polite way to say:

  • We can’t decide what we really want, so everything seems expensive.
  • That’s 25% more than the amount I have left in my budget for this quarter.
  • I’m nervous about making this decision wrong, so I’m trying to postpone or kill it.
  • We’re about to reorg, so I’m just working to make this go away until the dust clears.
  • I’m trying to save some money to take my team to a conference in Spain.

If those prospects were never really in the market for your product, this is a positioning failure. Take measures to avoid wasting time on conversations that cannot be profitable. If you’re dealing with someone who is utterly not in the right position, politely recommend some better alternatives and take action to position better.

Next, you want to know if the price is a real problem. When prospects don’t feel comfortable with a buying decision, they usually say that price is the problem, even though, consciously or not, there are other issues catching up the sale.

Also see: TeamWave.com – Integrated CRM, Project Management & HR platform.

Basics

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When the prospect says, “It is too expensive..” is the prospect saying that currently, they don’t have enough funds in the budget or in the bank to cover the cost? Is the prospect saying that if he wrote a cheque, the bank would return it unpaid? Or is the prospect really saying, “Your product or service is not worth the money?”

These are tough questions that you need to ask yourself…but it is critical that you understand the real problem in order to solve it. Many salespeople use the economy as an excuse for poor sales interactions that don’t build enough value. So be honest with yourself.

A price objection is about the value and while we have another audio session dedicated to teaching specific ways you can add value to your product or service in a sales interaction, in this session, we’re going to explain strategies on how to add value in specific areas to avoid the price objection.

First, let us give you two specific strategies to use during your sales interaction to avoid the price objection more often.

Strategies to Avoid Price Objection

When you do a sales presentation, by the time you are done the prospect should be thinking that your product or service is far more expensive than what it is. When the prospect hears your price, they should think, “Wow, that’s cheap. It’s a bargain.”

So here are two techniques to help you achieve this during your sales interaction.

1- Be proud of your higher price and mention it throughout the interaction

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Be proud of your higher price. You should be proud that your product is all about quality and how your company aims to spare no expense in producing the very best. Mention that high quality equals higher cost.

And do this even if your prices are lower than your competition—talk about quality and that your company spares no expense to get that quality delivered as your product or service. We’re not saying that you misrepresent the facts. Just talk about the huge investment your company makes in what you sell and therefore you are not selling at a low price.

Here are some samples of sales talk to better explain what we mean:

“Michael, our main plant is in Hyderabad. We’ve upgraded all of our equipment and we maintain the latest software and processes. It costs a lot, but we are a quality conscious company and more concerned with customer satisfaction than with bargain prices.”

“Rajat, all of our instructors have a minimum of five years of real world experience. They cost us a lot more than those kids fresh out of university, but our clients feel they are more than worth the higher rates…”

Talk about quality and high prices throughout your sales interaction.

2- Build the value of the problem

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You need to build more value into the problem. The primary reason you get a price objection is that the product or service isn’t worth what you ask for in the mind of the prospect. The primary reason this occurs is that the problem or pain that the product is supposed to solve is not that important or painful

In other words: the bigger the problem, the more valuable the solution. The smaller and more insignificant the problem and the pain, the less valuable the solution.

So let’s look at it this way, would you buy a gigantic champagne bottle cork, right now? That’s right. Let’s say I had a huge, ten-foot cork, would you buy it for, say, $70? No? How about $30? $5?

No. But what if you were shipped wrecked in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean? Would you be interested in a big giant cork then? Not only would you be interested, but you’d gladly pay a million pounds! The problem dictates the value of the solution. The greater the problem, the greater the solution.

When you get a price objection, you do not demonstrate to the prospect that the problem they have is costing more than the solution and therefore, the solution costs too much. Does that make sense? You must raise the value of the problem and here are a few ways to do that:

First, you must identify and magnify the problems and the pain. You must uncover the pain and problems the prospect is having and intensify them. If you have difficulty doing this, please listen to the audio session on asking questions to unearth the prospect’s problems. Asking the right questions to uncover problems is a critical part of the sales interaction.

Now, once you have identified the problems and the pain, use these three steps:

  1. Be slightly shocked and surprised
  2. Get serious and concerned
  3. Get the prospect to apply a monetary value

Ok, let’s look at each step:

The first step after you have identified the pain and problems is to become a little shocked. We’re not talking about acting here. You should be shocked. The first time you saw your product in a sales interaction and saw the great benefits it provides and witnessed the considerable problems prospects have without your product you were surprised. But now you’ve seen these things dozens or hundreds of times and the freshness has worn off. Well, remember that the prospect has not seen this before.

Be astonished that this prospect is losing so much money, that this person is suffering so many losses, that this company is losing so many sales.

Now, the second step when discussing a problem the prospect is having is to be very careful of your attitude; your demeanor, as well as during the first step. Huge mistake salespeople make– -even the experienced pros—is to be a little animated, or enthusiastic when discussing the prospect’s problems. When salespeople notice that the prospect has a huge problem and therefore a great need for the product, they tend to get a bit excited. But this is a mistake.

You’re talking about something that is costing this person or company money, valuable time, pain. You’re talking about something that is hurting this prospect in some way.

You should not be happy and excited about that!

You should be showing concern and compassion. Also, the more lighthearted your attitude is, when discussing the problem, the less serious the problem becomes. When discussing the problem – the pain – it gets serious. Show concern.

Step three is that after identifying the pain you should get the prospect to assign a number, a monetary value or cost to the problem. Now, depending on what you sell, this may not be possible but still get the prospect to assign some value to the problem. Narrow the scope of the problem and define it clearly.

If you do these three steps exceptionally well, usually the prospect will ask you to rate the problem and the pain that they are facing to other customers that you deal with.

Now all of that may sound like a long undertaking but it’s normal and it flows.

Listen to this example:

Salesperson: “So, Harsha, you’ve got 300 servers and your team members have to go to each one, individually, and personally reset the accounts and they do this almost every day!? Damn. How much does that cost you?”

Prospect: “I don’t know exactly.”

Sales Person: “I’d say. That’s err, um…. Well, you said you have 10 techs and each handles 20 servers, so how much time would you say they spend per day on each?”

Prospect: “Only about 5 minutes.”

Sales Person: “Ok, so each techy takes 5 minutes.. times 20 servers… so about 100 minutes a day, times 5 days….so you’re saying they spend over 8 hours a week or the equivalent of an entire day, Harsha? That’s about £240 per week per techy….Harsha……..that’s over 12 grand a year! times that by 10 and your whole team wastes the equivalent of £120,000 a year just by resetting accounts!”

Prospect: “So is this the worst you’ve seen, the most waste?”

Sales Person: “Well…no, I’ve seen worse. But it’s up there.”

So, when building the value of the problem, remember to be a little surprised and get serious and then get the prospect to apply a value to the problem.

To help avoid a price objection, during your sales interaction you want to boast about quality and price throughout, and you have to magnify the value of the prospect’s problem and pain. Now, you need to relate the problem and pain to the prospect’s peers—and do so immediately.

Let’s assume that you’ve just finished demonstrating to the prospect that they are losing or hurting badly in some areas. You were surprised at the prospect’s situation. At this point, the prospect is not feeling very good—which is what you want. You must get the prospect of becoming uncomfortable about their present situation.

However, you do not want the prospect to begin to feel as if they are the only person in their position with this problem. When the prospect begins to feel as if they are the only one suffering from this problem then two things happen:

  1. The prospect feels ignorant and goes on immediate defense
  2. The prospect begins to disbelieve you and goes into defense mode, denial, and distrust

You do not want either of those outcomes. So, after the problem, let the prospect know that their peers suffer the same problem—a problem that you have solved for many of those peers!

Let’s go back to the last example and add this to the last step.

Salesperson: “Well…no, I’ve seen worse. But it’s up there. Harsha, you’re not alone. Most IT departments in companies of this size have a similar problem. I specialize in working with directors just like you, and have helped them solve this problem quickly and efficiently…”

So, start talking about quality from the outset. Then increase, magnify and intensify the value of the problem, and finally relate the problem to other customers in the prospect’s peer group.

If you follow those steps, you will rarely get a price objection.

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Handling Sales Objections: What to do When They Say “NO”

When we talk about handling sales objections, we often focus on the later stage of the buying process. However, at the initial stage, you will probably hear any of the following objections from prospects:

“It’s too expensive.”

“I’m busy right now.”

“I’m not interested.”

An objection at the early stage of the buying cycle will come up when you are trying to set up a meeting with a new (or existing) prospective client, and they want to tell you – one way or the other – “No, I don’t want to meet/talk to you at the time you propose or at all”. Rather than simply saying that they may offer what we call a sales objection.

If you were selling the perfect product with excellent communication with your prospects, objections would not come up. Since you are not selling the perfect product,
then it’s likely that you’ll encounter objections.

Also see: TeamWave.com – Integrated CRM, Project Management & HR platform.

 

Basics

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Sometimes the prospect says one thing but it means something else. For example, the prospect may say that the company doesn’t have time to take on a large project right now. However, the real issue is that he doesn’t believe you can deliver on your promise. He’s not willing to risk it because there’s a lack of trust.

Initially, your prospects may not think you’re worth it. If they did, they would buy it. (Or so they say).

Sales Objections are a natural step in the selling process. Be wary of a buyer with no objections at all; he might have them and not be sharing them with you. If objections are viewed as a necessary step towards gaining commitment, they are less likely to derail your sale.

Sales objections are a great way to learn and talk about the value of your product. It lets you know what your prospect finds valuable.

By communicating the value of services upfront with your prospects, it will be simpler for you to counter objections. However, your prospect may still have concerns that you need to address given market transitions, and the increased pressures to reduce costs and drive greater innovation.

Handling Predictable Objections

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Here’s a list of 10 sales objections and a suggested way to handle each one.

Note: You don’t have to like or use these approaches, but by reading this, you can come up with a way that you are comfortable responding to each of these  sales objections, because chances are, if you are selling, you will probably hear and need to address some or all of these before you know it.

1- I don’t have time to talk to you.

Suggested response:
“I understand, but if you do have time, would (the reason for your call) be of interest to
you?”

Comments: 

This is a common sales objection. The aim of our response is to counterbalance their immediate issue (no time) and to try to test for interest in the absence of a time restraint.

If the reply remains negative, then it is time to move on. If there is interest outside of the time constraint, then try to find another time when the prospective buyer can meet or speak with you.

2- Send me something.

Suggested response:

“I would be happy to, but we have a lot of different materials. Can I ask you a few
questions to help me choose the right information to send to you?”

Comments: 

If you start by agreeing to their request, you will disarm them. However, by clarifying what information you should send, you are clarifying their specific needs. If they answer, “Just send me anything about your product,” then they are seemingly just trying to get you off the phone. If, on the other hand, you are able to discuss different service lines or specific solutions with them, then you are qualifying them and getting information to help you set up the meeting.

If the discussion starts to become too detailed and involved, then offer to bring the materials by their office, so you can show them the options and answer any questions.

3- We are working with someone else.

Suggested response:

“Yes, I would expect that. The reason that I am calling now is to show you what we are doing that may be different, and may, in fact, complement what you are already doing. If we can meet for about 20 minutes in your office, I can show you what you may need to know about our solution to be able to decide if it fits into what you are already doing now. Are you available on Friday at 2:00?”

Comments: 

Most good leads of yours may already have a product for what you sell. The worst thing you can do is speak badly about their current product, talk too well about your product, or worst of all, ask, “Are you happy with your current vendor?” That question is insulting to the prospect.

If they were not happy with their current product, they would not be using them. Remember if your prospect is not using your product it is because they don’t know all that there is to know about it. Your role is to help them understand your product, and taking the path above to this VERY common objection will get the prospect to start thinking that there may be more available in the section you offer than what he receives from his current vendor, and that meeting with you, if nothing else, is a way to learn more about it.

4- We don’t have that in the budget.

Suggested response:

“If you did have that in the budget, would you want to move forward with it?”

Comments: 

If you are talking to a prospect who is a decision-maker, and they want something, they can customarily manipulate the budget to get it. The value of asking this question is that it directs you to another objection, which you can address.

For example, the prospect may say something like, “No, our boss had a bad experience with this kind of product in the past.” Now you are behind the budget question and onto another objection to address it.

If they reply “yes” to the budget question, indicating that if it was in the budget they would purchase it, then you can start talking about either how to get it into the next budget before that budget is written, financing options or what other budgets this might be able to fit into that might have cash for something like what you are selling.

5- I am not the decision-maker.

Suggested response:

“Thanks for letting me know. Can you tell me who I should be speaking to about this (and can you transfer me?)”

Comments: 

If the prospect is not a decision-maker, it is very important that you get the proper name, title, and phone number, and ask that you be transferred. Many business systems indicate which calls come from outside and which come from inside the company; a call that is transferred within is more likely to be answered than one that comes from outside.

Once you get to the decision-maker, begin again with the SCORE (Sales Conversation Request) script, but your reason becomes that you talked to this other person in the company (use their name), and they recommended that the person you are talking to now is the right person to talk to about your offering.

6- We do that internally.

Suggested response:

“Yes, a lot of companies that I work with now had been doing this internally when we first spoke, but over time, they came to realize that we bring a broader experience set, more focused diagnostic tools, greater accountability, and ultimately improved performance at a lower cost than their internal solution. If we can meet for about 20 minutes, I can show you some of the specific areas in which we help clients make improvements above and beyond that possible with their internal resources alone. Are you available on Friday at 2:00?”

Comments: 

Sometimes your biggest competition will come from inside the company; however, you have an undeniable asset. The fact that your business works with a large number of customer companies gives you a knowledge base and a set of tools to solve problems that are almost surely more robust than those of your prospective customer.

Find a way to show the benefits to the customer/prospect of harnessing your wide extent of experience, and get an excuse to show these benefits in a compact and compelling way. That should get you to the first meeting.

Most people want to know what they are missing. When you get the opportunity, don’t offend the current team doing the work, but help them to see how working with you will get better results faster, and you may win.

7- This is not a good time for us.

Suggested response:

“If it were a good time, would you want to move forward?”

Comments: 

This is one of the common objections. If it is a matter of timing, and at some other time they would want to move forward, your discussion becomes about “when” not “if.”

It is crucial to know in this case WHY it is not a good time now. Then get a time-frame to call back when the time is better for a reason you know and agree on with the client. Be sure to clean up any other concerns that may need to be addressed, so that you don’t need to challenge them when the time in the future comes.

If the “now is not a good time” sales objection comes up for a few follow up calls in a row, respect the fact that it may NEVER be a good time, and suggest this to the client. What do you have to lose – other than your own valuable time?

8- Your prices are too high.

Suggested response:

Can you help me understand what pricing you are comparing us to?”

Comments: 

If a prospect brings up a cost objection at the time you are trying to set up a first meeting, there is some data that has not yet been exchanged. At this time, you have not discussed product and pricing, but your lead is making assumptions.

You need to know why they feel the way they do about your cost so that you can address those concerns. The end of the “compared to what?” discussion will be most successful if you can look forward to your sales method and recognize that you will need to do a needs analysis. As such, you may say to your prospective client something like:

“We offer a lot of solutions for a variety of issues, and there are different costs associated with each specific approach. Why don’t we meet for about 30 minutes in your office and talk about the details of your requirements? This will allow me to estimate the pricing, and to show you what the value we add to your project justifies the prices we charge. Are you available next Friday at 2:00?”

9- We’re not interested.

Suggested response:

“That sounds familiar, some of my best clients said the same thing at this stage of the conversation, but once they learned how we can help them, they became interested, and started benefiting from the results of our system. Would you allow me 20 minutes in your office, perhaps this Friday at 2:00, to show you how we changed so many minds in such a short time?”

Comments: 

Like the “cost” objection above, this sales objection indicates that the prospect thinks they know more than they might really know about you and your offering. Your work is not to get disturbed by this, but to try to look out for this fact, in a soft way, and to recommend that with a little more information, prospects might be as many of your best clients today, and come to see the value of your offering. The only price is a 20-minute meeting to get the information—and guess what—you got your meeting.

10- I need to think about it.

Suggested response:

“I’m not sure what issues you want to consider, but what might make sense is for us to meet for about 20 minutes to flesh out your concerns together. Are you available on Friday at 2:00?

Comments: 

This sales objection can be a killer after the proposal is addressed unless you handle it right.  The philosophy behind an effective response to this objection is that whatever the issues are, it makes more sense to address them together now, than to have the prospect of thinking about the issues alone, and later. Suggest this in the right way, and you will probably either get your meeting, or you will find out the main thing that the prospective client is thinking about, in which case you can address that.

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How to Handle Sales Objections?

Sales Objection

Sales objections are actually good for any sales representative.

When a prospect raises an objection, it means that the person has considered your offering and found out couple of issues before going ahead with the deal. As a sales person it is your job to understand the objection, resolve the issue and convey the value of your solution.

Common Reasons Behind Sales Objections

  1. Budget Constraint
  2. Unidentified Problem
  3. Wrong Timing
  4. Limitation in Solution
  5. Ulterior Motive
  6. Alternate Solutions
  7. Stakeholder Approval
  8. Preconceived Notion
  9. Limited Information

Objection Handling Tactics

This is out of budget

BudgetThere can be three scenarios when the prospect says that your solution is too expensive:

i) There is genuine cash crunch

Ask for the meeting anyway and convey the value, as the budget might open up in the future. Who knows if your prospect really likes the solution, he might work as the internal advocate and try to increase the budget.

ii) He didn’t understand the actual ROI and the benefits delivered by your solution in the long term

Dig deep and try to understand where exactly your product fails the benchmark. Explain how your solution adds value (example: reduction in total cost of ownership) and justify the pricing. Use case studies to strengthen your position.

iii) He properly assessed your solution and didn’t find it worth the investment

In this case connect with the prospect after couple of months and showcase the improved solution, better ROI, new clients, etc.

We’re working with [Competitor]

Competitor

If your prospect is working with your competitor, try one of the following:

i) Ask your prospect for A/B test – deploy your solution along with your competitor’s to find out the better solution.

ii) Convey the additional value (if any) delivered by your solution. If your competitor is improving A and B, you can say that your solution improves C in addition to A and B.

Right now this is not a priority

Not a priorityWhen a prospect is immersed in something that requires her immediate attention, you’ll get this type of response. You might also get this response, if your solution comes off as something that would distort the established process.

First make sure that you have not approached the wrong prospect and the timing is correct. Then find out why your solution is taking a back seat.

Example:

[Prospect]: Right now we’re busy with new project requirements and we need to travel a lot.

[Sales Rep]: That’s great! You can use our mobile app to capture data during meetings and collaborate on the go.

We don’t need this solution

Say no gilfoyleThis reply might come up early in the sales cycle, when the prospect doesn’t know about the problem or has wrong information.

Sales rep should find out the reason behind this reply and educate the prospect about the problem they have.

If you get this reply later in the sales cycle, your solution actually might not be a good fit for the prospect.

We’ll purchase only if you add [additional deliverables]

additional deliverableIt is quite common for prospects to demand additional offers, features, etc. They just want to customize the solution according to their need.

The key here is to find out why that particular additional feature is so important that it can break the deal. The answer you get might not be in-line your company’s vision or it might improve your offering.

If the requirement is genuine and in-line with company’s future plan, then promise that it’ll done. Also try to see if you can provide any work around. If the customer demand has no justification or not something that company can offer, then walk out of that deal.

We’ll purchase next month

timeEither the prospect is stalling you or genuinely interested in buying after some time.

In this kind of scenario you should ask the prospect about their buying process – what are the sequential steps taken by their company to complete the purchase. That way you would know exactly what needs to happen along with estimated timeline for closing the deal. This will help you customize your action plan in case there is any delay.

I need to run this through the board of directors

sales stakeholder discussionIn B2B sales, you are bound to encounter multiple stakeholders. The number of meetings and stakeholders increase according to the size of the organisation.

In this case you should try to be present (physically/via phone) in that meeting. This will help you expedite the process, clarify doubts and give you a good shot at convincing others.

Mail the details and I’ll get back to you

mail the sales detailsThe prospect might have said this with good intentions to evaluate your solution. But most probably you won’t receive any communication, as the onus of initiating the follow-up now lies with the prospect.

Just acknowledge that you’d be sending the required information and also add that you need to know what all information is important to the prospect. This will ease the tension and open up the door to have detailed conversation.

No time to talk!

no timeUsually this response is given at the early stage of sales cycle. All you need to say is you need two minutes to explain how your offer can benefit them.

If you get this message in the later stages of sales cycle, it simply means that the prospect has become cold and it won’t be possible to close the deal without revamping your solution.

Five-step approach

Here are the five steps you can follow to handle sales objection.

1) Listen and empathise

Fully listen to the customer without any interruption and say ‘thank you’. Empathizing with customers helps them open up and leads to an engaging discussion.
Example: “I understand this can be disappointing and I think I can help”.

2) Ask questions and Identify the objection

Ask open-ended questions that would require more than yes/no and figure out the exact objection. If you’re stuck at some point, simply ask ‘why?’.

3) Probe and discover the root

Get to the root of the objection with the help of probing questions. Example: Sorry, I didn’t fully understand. Could you please give me an example.

4) Answer and confirm

Once you have fully understood the issue, answer the issue and get the confirmation from the prospect that your answer was satisfactory.

5) Show the value

Quantify the problem and show the ROI of your solution. Finally move the deal to the next stage in the sales cycle. If you’re at the last stage, ask for closure.


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