Sales Techniques, Sales Training

How to handle a prospect whose first question is “How much?”

If you’re one of, if not the highest price provider in your market, you never like it when the first question you get from your sales prospect is..

“Can you give me an idea of the cost of your program?”

It’s tricky, right? You don’t want to give the pricing to the sales prospect until they understand the value of what you can offer. Here are 5 simple steps on how to handle this question.

Step 1:  Gently divert attention on price away from the beginning to the end of the call

First of all, you don’t want to piss them off so you need to answer the question. But I hate answering the question without the opportunity of helping them understand the value of what we provide, I feel like you might as well price a black box with no idea what’s inside. So my answer is always the same “Yes, I’ll give you a rough idea of pricing before we finish the call, I’d like to understand a little about how we can help first” Then lead with the next step..

Step 2:  Why are you looking to invest  in our type of solution?  

You need to understand your prospects motive, without understanding their motive you have no idea where the value is in their decision making.   For some, price plays a huge factor in their decision, for others its value provided for the price. If you’re not the cheapest in your market you’ll be wanting to sell to the company who is aligning your product/service with tangible goals that provide real value to their organization. By asking the ‘why’ question you can start to understand if there is a good match between what your prospect is looking for and what you offer. If there isn’t, be honest at this point, if they’re looking for a cheap solution help them (and yourself) by pointing them in the direction of another provider.

Step 3: Give yourself the opportunity to explain your value proposition and model 

Now you’ve learnt what’s important to your prospect they need to learn a little about you. Keep this bit simple. Tell your prospect what makes you different, what makes you stand out from the other providers, and why that should matter to them based on their motivation to buy.

triple dollar sign - red stencil text on a paper price tag against rustic wood

Step 4: Bring it back round to price 

I’ve heard price delivered badly so many times, don’t waffle, it sounds like you’re embarrassed by your pricing or trying to justify it. Be confident and direct. I normally give a price range, so I’ll say “your price will be between $20,000 – $30,000 depending on the products you buy” Giving a range is good when you’re not sure of their budget and what products they want to buy yet.

Step 5: “Based on what we’ve chatted about during our call do you feel happy to learn more about our product?”

When I ask the final question I refer to what we’ve chatted about during our call.  I deliberately position the question that way to get them to reflect and make a decision based on the whole conversation, not just the pricing I gave towards the end.

When someone asks for pricing  right away we might not like it but it’s actually a disguise for understanding what’s really important. Just because someone asks for pricing as their first question doesn’t mean that’s all they care about.  Having read lots of content about your company online, they may already feel like they understand a lot about your service and the pricing model is left unknown and a natural first question to ask. The only thing that’s crucial to understand is how important the value you provide is to your prospects goals. I’ve sold to many clients in the past that had no allocated budget for my product, it didn’t matter as they were so passionate about it that they championed the idea in the business and convinced other stakeholders to free up a budget for the program.

So use your prospects question about the price to understand what’s important in their decision to buy, don’t’s assume a question about price is an indicator that’s all they care about.

I hope this helps

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4 thoughts on “How to handle a prospect whose first question is “How much?”

  1. Great post. Every salesperson needs to read this and memorized it so they can get to the real ussue. Like you said price is usually a coverup to what they really eant or need.

  2. Thank you Tom for the “Re’Fresher”. It’s things we’ve learned in the past yet forget to apply in our future. I’ll definitely scan and glance at on a daily basis and share it with my staff. Again, thank you.

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