5 tips on handling “How much does it cost?”

According to a survey by Hubspot, 58% of buyers want to discuss price on the first call, but only 23% of sales professionals feel the same way. Why? Price isn’t a dirty word and it shouldn’t loiter around in the background like an awkward elephant in the room. If you’re trying to tiptoe around the […]

According to a survey by Hubspot, 58% of buyers want to discuss price on the first call, but only 23% of sales professionals feel the same way. Why? Price isn’t a dirty word and it shouldn’t loiter around in the background like an awkward elephant in the room.

If you’re trying to tiptoe around the question by sticking to a crafty script, then you’re not building trust. But equally, if you’re just rattling off direct answers with no supporting information, you’re not creating value. If someone asks for a price, just tell them – but do it in the right way.

Don’t be sneaky

Seriously, it’s not a quick draw competition. Don’t wait pensively for a prospect to make the first move before taking your best shot. There are no tactics, just common sense. Beating around the bush doesn’t get anyone anywhere.

Provide a range

Most people feel equipped to make a sensible decision after reading around and speaking to a few competitors, but realistically many buyers are ill-informed. Maybe a competitor has made a false claim or some online information is wildly out of date. With this in mind, it’s safer to offer a price range, rather than tie yourself down.

When someone asks “how much”, explain that it depends on their circumstances and ask some further questions. By doing this, you’ll quickly gain a better idea of budget, which should help to narrow your focus. Rather than a fixed price, say “our customers tend to spend anywhere from £3000 to £20,000 a month. From what you’ve told me, you’ll probably need between £5000 and £8000.”

Feel proud of the price

Remember that you’re not trying to trick anyone – you’re not selling dodgy watches from a suitcase, or fake eau de toilette. Your role is to help someone to make a well-informed decision, which includes educating them on the reasons behind a price. So don’t baffle anyone with jargon, just explain how the price accurately reflects the product or service.

Understand the context

Price usually rears its conspicuous head at two points in the buying cycle. Either right at the beginning, when the prospect is trying to gauge what they can afford, or towards the end when there’s a shortlist.

Ideally, your website should do some of the work for you. Many companies display a pricing grid or a “budget range“ option on a form. Qualifying prospects upfront can save a lot of time later.

Support the buying decision

Without proof, your statements can sound hollow and disingenuous. Support your claims with customer case studies and make sure to mention ROI where it’s relevant.

Know your product

If you work in sales, you need to know your prices. It’s a question that’s sure to arise at some point, so you should be on hand with a confident answer. Don’t trip over your own tongue, otherwise it’ll sound like you’re trying to pull the wool over a prospect’s eyes. It’s ok to say “well that depends” and ask a few more questions, but make sure you know where you’re going with it.

Don’t be scared of the competition

If you believe in what you’re offering, there’s no reason to avoid discussing the competition. It’s highly likely that your prospect has already spoken to at least one other person, so ask them outright – “What other options are available to you?”.

Once you know, you can explain how your service differs and remove any remaining doubt. Stay clear of direct criticism though as this can sour the conversation. Focus on your own offering – even if your competitors are actually unscrupulous.

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