How to Talk Price with Prospects: Stop Sticker Shock

Fired salesperson exiting the office

By Kendra Lee

Talking price with prospects gives most reps heartburn, so they wait, and wait, and wait, all the way until the proposal. Aside from wasting your valuable time on potentially unqualified prospects, without some discussion of price, you are setting up a sticker shock situation.

The Circular Pricing Problem

The problem with how to talk price with prospects is a circular one. Prospects want you to give them a price estimate before they’ll tell you their budget. You want prospects to tell you their budget first to give you an idea of what to estimate.

Prospects are concerned if they tell you their budget, you’ll match it regardless of the real cost. Maybe they’ll pay too much. You’re concerned if you estimate a price and it’s off, you could lose the opportunity.

The result? You both sidestep the price question. But, that only does you both a disservice, wasting your valuable selling time and your prospect’s precious productivity time.

How to Talk Price and Take the Lead

Here’s how to talk price with prospects and take the price lead with confidence in three steps.

  1. Question to fully understand the issue and financial justification driving it. The prospect wouldn’t have agreed to meet if there wasn’t something going on that he or she isn’t happy about.
  2. Recommend a conceptual solution to paint a picture of what a solution might include and get the prospect’s reaction to ensure you’re on the right path.
  3. Offer a range budget based on your knowledge of similar solutions and test it with the prospect.

Make it part of your sales process to talk price early with prospects and qualify them in or out.

Price Objections Are Inevitable

Yes, you’ll probably get objections. No matter how you talk price with prospects, they still will have concerns. This is especially true if you’re not the cheapest solution. Don’t sweat it. To overcome pricing objections:

  1. Uncover the financial justification behind why they’re talking with you in the first place. Question them to identify the scope of the problem they’re looking to solve, the severity of it, and what it’s costing the organization.
  2. Use the financial justification information to address their concerns. Using their own situation helps the prospect recognize why you’re recommending the solution you are and to see the value they’re getting by addressing that problem with you.

If a prospect doesn’t see the value in the conceptual solution after you take these steps, walk away. If he does, move forward!

Expand How You Talk Price with Prospects

Keep expanding your knowledge of pricing conversations to get ultra-comfortable with them despite prospects’ objections. Use these three free resources to guide you and your sales team and master how to talk price with prospects:

Don’t shy away from talking price. Ask questions to fully understand your prospect’s situation, make a conceptual recommendation, then offer a price range budget you can test. Better to take the lead on price and know a prospect’s perspective before you do all that work on your proposal. When you use this approach to drive the price conversation, your close rate will improve right along with your bank account.

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