The Secret to Overcoming the Price Objection
By Lee B. Salz
This is false advertising. There is no secret to “overcoming” the
price objection. The truth is that the price objection cannot be
overcome. That is because it isn’t intended to be overcome. It is
meant to be resolved through thought facilitation by a sales person.
The sales person’s role is to help the prospect work through the
price concern as opposed to attempting to overcome it.
can we agree that it isn’t really an objection? It is a concern. I
know that many sales books call it an objection, but it is not. It
is an attempt by the prospect to resolve financial questions in
their mind. People want to feel good about decisions they make and
that is why concerns are brought up.
mistake many sales people make is that they think they understand
the prospect’s concern when the price issue is initially raised. A
fatal flaw, indeed! The truth is that the cause for this concern
isn’t initially known. A myriad of possibilities could be causing
this to come up now such as:
a question of how much use they will get of the product?
whether or not they can afford it?
that they saw a similar product at a cheaper price?
it a sales person being hyper-sensitive to the mere mention of
are others, but you get the point. The bottom line is that without
knowing what is causing the price concern, you can’t possibly help
the prospect work it through. To share a personal example, I live in
Minnesota where owning a boat is commonplace. To me, however, it is
expensive. It isn’t the price of the boat, or the cost of
maintenance, or even the price of the slip. It is the fact that the
season for boating is so short that I don’t feel I would get enough
usage out of it to make it worth the financial investment.
other hand, I bought Peg Perego, motorized cars for my three kids.
Each one had a $300 price tag on it. Expensive to some, but cheap to
me. Why? Because I’m rich? Hardly. No, it is because my kids use
them, a lot! From my perspective, it’s worth every penny! If I get
significant utility out of something, I can justify the price in my
mind. At the other end of the spectrum, like most parents, I have
also bought tons of toys in the $20 price range that have been used
once, maybe twice. After that, the toys are never touched again. To
me, that is expensive.
other price concerns center on whether or not the prospect can
financially afford the product. A good sales person will facilitate
the conversation that helps the prospect to recognize the options
available to them for financing the purchase.
scenarios, the prospect has seen the same product, or a similar one,
at a lower price. The human mind tries to make everything into an
easy to understand commodity. When I worked in employment background
screening, prospects would compare a $9.95 database search with a
comprehensive courthouse search. The comparison of the two was
apples and oranges. The strong salespeople were able to explain the
difference in a way that led prospects to see that they needed the
comprehensive search. The $9.95 search can be perceived as very
expensive since you rarely catch any bad guys with it.
worst case is when the salesperson does not believe that his product
is worth its price tag. If this hits home for you, I highly
encourage you to look to be somewhere else. If you don’t believe in
your price, I guarantee you that no one else will either. If you
believe that all sales ultimately come down to price, help me to
doesn’t everyone buy generic drugs?
do people buy bottled water when they can get it for free from
doesn’t everyone drive a Yugo?
are people buying satellite radio when there are plenty of good
stations available for free?
come most people have cable or satellite television when they
can get a dozen stations for free?
isn’t everyone shaving with a single-blade disposable razor?
isn’t everyone drinking generic coffee?
isn’t everyone fighting to sit in the last row at the ballgame?
do people even go to a ballgame when they can watch it
comfortably for free in their living room?
did your company get any clients at all?
you get my point. Thus, you really do believe that someone will pay
more if they feel the purchase is worth the price. Maybe you can’t
afford the product you are selling. That is a completely different
issue. There is a great expression that goes along with that. “Don’t
spend the prospect’s money.” You don’t belong in their shoes,
so don’t put yourself there. You never truly know a person’s
one wants to get ripped off. And everyone wants to brag that they
got a good deal. So, if you can master the facilitation of the
discussion around the pricing concern, you will inherently have more
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