First of all, I can’t and won’t blame you if you just put an end to the whole thing right then and there. It’s the equivalent of being “friendzoned” by your love interest. Hey, don’t pursue it, don’t force the issue. And move on. There’s plenty of fish in the sea. You can even throw in the “it’s your loss, not mine” card.
That would have been my advice 10 years ago, when I haven’t had the benefit of a ton of experience yet – both stressful and rewarding — in marketing, sales, negotiation, compromise, and yes, nurturing relationships. I, too, wish it were as simple as that.
But it’s amazing how much the years teach you. As you log on miles in life and in whatever career you are in, so do you gain wisdom – wisdom necessary to prove your point, to refute a claim, and to respond to statements that the inexperienced of the lot dread. Such as when a client tells you — after you’ve gone through all the barriers and checklists and demos – that “Your product/service is too expensive.”
It will stun and it will sting and sometimes, it will leave you groggy – just like what a punch to the temple does to boxers. But when you’ve had more than your fair share of hits like that, you instinctively roll with the punch — and sometimes, throw a counterpunch or two.. Here’s what I’ve learned from experts, from clients, and from my personal experience.
Yes, exactly what I would have said 10 years ago. But why? Because whether you like it or not, there are really times when you don’t have to defend yourself, or in this case, your price. When you’re in a position where you’re filled to the brim with other clients (who don’t complain), it’s better to use your energy on them than waste it engaging with people like this.
In this case, just thank the client for considering your company and tell them you were glad to have helped them. Never apologize for your price and stay connected with these prospects. We’ll never know when they change their minds and vacate to your company. Don’t stop nurturing and keep them interested always. Send them some digital downloads like your case studies or white papers. That’ll make him/her think twice.
Read more tips on How to Hold Prospects Longer on a Phone Discussion
Admit it. And sound proud.
Say, “Yes, you’re right. But our company – and most other self-respecting companies, actually – believes that price is a reflection of quality. You get what you pay for.”
Then proceed explaining in detail the kind of software or technology behind the product or service, the amount of work or the extraordinary skills required to come up with your special kind of product, or the amount of time it took to develop the product.
Some clients will be enlightened, some will even be ashamed of themselves, while others will not budge. But you’ve sent the message – you get what you pay for. Here are 3 steps to follow when defending a high price.
Respond by saying, “What makes you say that?”
This brilliant counter move should put the assertive-bordering-on-aggressive client on the retreat. Follow up by saying, “Expensive compared to what?”
Make sure your tone is genuine and curious and not aggressive. The last thing you want to do is alienate the client or create an air of animosity. Trying to put things in perspective will give the client an opportunity to justify himself, and you, the opportunity to know whether the client knows what he’s talking about.
Why is this important? Because this is the phase where you decide whether to pursue the client or not, and it depends on the client’s answers.
- If the client honestly doesn’t know the cost, you have a chance to explain why the price they’re paying you is worth the investment. If it’s $5000, compare it to something of a similar value but with less or without ROI, like buying a big bike or a used car, both of which depreciate over time. Your product, meanwhile, alleviates a pain point, and has a huge potential to have a high ROI.
- If the client has done his research, asked around, and happened to compare you with a cheaper company, then you have another opportunity to emphasize your value. Explain why your rates are higher – you shouldn’t have trouble doing that. And don’t forget to remind the client why he called you even when he’d been quoted a cheaper rate before.
- If the client is just using the “you’re too expensive” card as an excuse because he’s not yet ready to buy, perhaps you can offer a limited-time-only promo or something to make him reconsider.
Bottom line is, asking “Expensive compared to what?” will open doors for you and potentially tilt the scales in your favor, and even lead to a sale.
Here are some tips on how to bounce back from a lousy sales call? Watch this!
Read more details on Rebound After a Horrible Sales Call [Video]
You might also like: CHAMP Methodology: Spot on Sales-Ready Leads with These Questions
Don’t Take it Personally
Every time you’re in a position where clients say your product is too expensive, don’t take it personally. Remember, most buyers have a linear way of seeing and understanding value: it’s a good or great price when perceived value is higher than the amount they pay for it, and it’s too expensive when the amount they have to pay outweighs the perceived value.
If it’s any consolation, think that if you’ve never had clients telling you that you’re too expensive, you’re probably not charging enough.