Paul provides the Dos and Don’ts of presenting your price confidently.
Nervous? You’re asking the customer for money. There’s no greater time to display absolute confidence.
DO NOT telegraph that a cheaper price is available. The customer’s expectations will be anchored to that lower-priced option.
Apologizing for your price sends the message that you’re not providing the prospect a fair deal.
THE PRICE IS…Simple, easy to remember, confident.
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How should I present price?
(Transcribed from podcast)
On today’s episode, we’re going to discuss pricing. Recently I was working with a sales team and the topic came up: How should we present our price? And we spent about 20, 30 minutes going through some ideas. I’m going to give you seven tips—four don’ts and three dos—when you are presenting your price. Because again, at this point, you have demonstrated your value; you’ve presented your solution. The key is we want to make sure that we present our price confidently.
Now, before we get into that, I know that we are going to experience tough times. They’re always on the horizon, but so are the good times that follow. Now is the time to prepare. Again, 2024 is looking like we may be having a downturn. It’s going to be an election year here in the States—that always brings a little uncertainty—so now is the time to prepare. Pick up your copy of Selling Through Tough Times. It’s available wherever you get your books.
Let’s get back to it: How should I present the price? It’s interesting how salespeople are somewhat reluctant to discuss price. I hear this all the time. And when they start discussing price, they almost clam up; they get nervous. And now is the time where you must display absolute confidence. You need to confidently present your price because you’re basically asking the customer for money. There’s no greater time to display absolute confidence. So, I’m going to share some dos and don’ts. Let’s get right into the don’ts.
So DO NOT telegraph that a cheaper price is available. We don’t want to do this for several reasons, but one of which is, when you present your price and then you start to backpedal, say, “Okay, well, we do have this other option too, that’s a little cheaper” or “It’s a little less.” What you are doing is you’re anchoring their expectation to that lower-priced option. Remember, customers need to feel that the exchange is equitable. Once we telegraph that a cheaper price is available, at some level, they start to look at the difference in price and think, “Okay, it’s not fair. Why are they charging more? Yeah, maybe we’re getting a little more value, but this other option may be good enough.” We don’t want to telegraph that there’s a cheaper price.
Number two: don’t apologize for your price. Don’t apologize. I hear that from salespeople often say, “Oh, I’m sorry. This is the best we could do.” Apologizing for price is admitting that you’re wrong and you’re not wrong. And when you apologize for the price, at some level, the customer thinks, “Okay, they feel guilty. They must be ripping me off.” Don’t apologize.
And tip number three: don’t stare off into space or around the room when you’re presenting price. When you break that eye contact, it shows a lack of confidence on your part. Again, we want the prospect to feel confident in us and we want to display confidence, not only in our pricing, but in our solution. The more confident we appear, the more comfortable the customer will feel in moving forward.
And the final Don’t: don’t use list price, discounted price, manufacturer suggested retail price. Don’t use those descriptors when we’re talking about price. When we use words like a list price or discounted price, or even your price, manufacturer’s price, market price, each one of these descriptors shows flexibility. When the buyer hears that, they may be thinking, “Okay, maybe there’s better price in there somewhere,” or “Maybe they’ll be willing to discount to earn my business,” because those words, they demonstrate flexibility. Again, we want to demonstrate firmness in our price.
So, in order to display confidence, use these three ideas. So here are the three Dos. Number one: words matter when you’re presenting price. Use these three words, the price is—THE PRICE IS. It’s simple, it’s easy to remember, and it’s confident. We again, don’t need to use words like list price or generally, here’s what we’re trying to get. No, THE PRICE IS. Present it matter of factly. And when you present it confidently using those three words, it’s simple, easy, and it displays firmness. We want to demonstrate firmness, not flexibility, when it comes to pricing. So use those three words, THE PRICE IS.
And this is one area where we got some pushback in this training where salespeople said, “Okay, well, what about using your price?” Here’s how this sounds to the customer. When they hear your price is this—. If you’re ABC Supply: “Hey, ABC Supply, your price is this.” ABC is thinking, “Okay, if that’s my price, I wonder what XYZ Supply is getting” or “is my competitor getting?” When they hear your price, again, it demonstrates flexibility. So, remember those three words, THE PRICE IS.
Also, frame your price in terms of what the buyer is getting versus what they’re giving. That’s important to know, because oftentimes price objections happen when the prospect is too focused on what they must give up versus what they are actually going to gain. I recently experienced this price objection in what I do as a sales trainer, speaker, and author. When I’m working with clients, occasionally I’ll get an objection on my fee. And recently this happened. A sales leader mentioned, “Hey, your price is a little high. Is there a little room in there? Can you do any better” and all that. What was happening in part maybe is, maybe one, they’re just testing me to see if I’ll hold the line, which I always do. But there was a chance he was more focused on what they were giving up versus what they were gaining.
And so we want to explain that and respond by saying, “Okay, well, Mr. Customer, if it’s a question of what you’re getting with that investment, here’s what we’re going to help you do.” And then you can explain your value. And I would even use that word investment instead of pay. Instead of, “Okay, here’s what you’re going to pay….” “Here’s what you’re going to invest.” Because that word investment, it triggers a different response. When we think investment, we think in terms of return on our investment, which naturally lends itself to framing it in terms of what they’re gaining versus sacrificing. So frame the price in terms of what they are getting versus what they are giving up.
The third Do—the final tip: maintain eye contact. This is critical. Maintaining eye contact demonstrates your confidence. When we break eye contact, a couple of things are going on. Maybe the buyer is starting to lose a little confidence. Maybe they’re thinking, “Okay, they’re not as trustworthy as I thought.” Breaking that eye contact may break the trust bond a little bit. We want to maintain eye contact. We want to frame the price in terms of what they get versus what they give. And finally, we want to use those three words, THE PRICE IS.
So go out there, present price confidently, present it matter of factly. It’s the next natural step in the process. Role-play this in front of a mirror so you get comfortable. The key is we want to present confidently and firmly.
Make it a big day.