“What is your absolute best price?”
Don’t you just love that question? You are meeting with a customer and there is clear interest, and boom, just like that, they drop this little gem on you and you are back on the defensive. Seasoned sales reps struggle with this question, or even worse, try to anticipate it by offering their “Absolute Best Price” as an opener.
Price is relative to value. Is $1000 a lot of money? If I ask 100 people if $1000 is a lot of money for a cup of coffee, I am going to get an almost universal response of yes. If I ask the same people if $1000 is a lot money for a brand new Toyota Truck, almost all of them will say no. (There’s always that one person…..)
Handling price questions comes down to having done your home work as a salesperson. Some basic elements need to be in place for you to even be in a position to discuss price.
A – NEED. Does this client actually even need your product/service? Have you asked questions that confirm the existence of a problem/issue/obstacle that you can potentially solve? No one buys tires for a car they do not have.
B – URGENCY. Is the problem one of the top 3 issues your client is dealing with? I may need new tires for my car, but if the windshield is shattered, the car doesn’t run and it is on fire at the moment, my need for tires is irrelevant until the more urgent needs a met. No one buys tires for a car that is on fire.
C – VALUE. Have you uncovered the value of fixing the problem? A and B can exist and be irrelevant to the price discussion if value of fixing the problem isn’t superior to the price. You cannot calculate an ROI if you don’t know what the return is. (those of you that know me personally know how much not being able to do an ROI annoys me.) No one buys $1000 worth of tires to protect a $100 car.
D – AWARENESS. Is the client fully aware of all of the above elements? Are they really, or do you just think they are? Have you asked? Have you gotten them to vocalize to validate it? Need, Urgency and Value can be present, but if the client isn’t aware of them, then those factors are not affecting the client’s perception. Their perception is their reality. No one buys tires until they realize their current tires need replacing.
Any, I repeat, ANY price conversation prior to these 4 factors being in place is a short cut to the client going dormant or declining outright. The price question in that scenario is likely a trap, designed to give them the quick out of “It’s too expensive”.
Once you’ve locked these four factors in, you need to start with your highest possible price, not your best price.