How To Stop Callers from Getting Your Price and Vanishing

29 replies
I've seen some questioning lately about what to do when people call in and just want a price, and nothing but the price. And once you give it to them, they disappear forever. Obviously there's an issue here.

Below is what I gave to the franchisees of the $20 million elderly mobility equipment company I work for, to help them combat this very problem. I say that not to brag, but to demonstrate that this is legitimate and proven methodology...not somebody's "maybe this'll work" idea. I was well paid to write this down, and this afternoon my corporate trainer and I are filming a vid about it for training purposes.

Don't worry about copying the exact wording--get the intention down, and play the music your own way.

**Fair Warning: technical details will probably not make sense, but you'll get the idea.**

When you receive an incoming call, what can you do to increase your chances of making a sale? Of course the first action is to answer the call. But once you’ve done that, what should you do next?

I’m sure you’ve had calls go like this: a retail prospect calls and you answer. They immediately say what they want and ask for the price. You respond by giving them the price. They thank you and hang up. You never hear from them again.

What happened here? The prospect viewed what you offer as a commodity—like a bag of oranges or a department store couch—and went off to find it at the lowest price.

To get a different result we need to behave differently. The result we want is for our prospect to view us as a problem-solver, not as a commodity provider. So when a call comes in, the steps we can follow to achieve this result are to:

• Interrupt the Pattern
• Get Contact Info
• Set Expectations
• Uncover Pain
• Diagnose
• Check Budget
• Propose Solution.

Review this list and note a couple of things. First, we need to Interrupt what they are trying to do, and put our process in its place. Second, the discussion of any Solution goes last—not first.

The prospect is not the “doctor”; they are not the person with the knowledge or experience to determine the best-fit solution. We are. This is why we need to take control of the process and the call.


Step 1: Interrupt the Pattern
The typical incoming call involves a prospect phoning and briefly saying what they want, and that they want pricing for that product. The problem with this is that the prospect is not, unless they are an expert in adaptive technology, qualified to determine the right solution. What if the prospect says they want a stairlift, but a perch lift or IPL would actually be the best fit? If we let the prospect do what they want, we may never find this out.

Greeting
When you answer your phone, ensure your greeting identifies your company and yourself. I have heard many recorded calls in which the person answers with their name only. “This is Bob.” The prospect does not know they have reached your business or the right person. (This is very, very common.) A complete greeting, such as:
“Thanks for calling The Company; this is Jason. How can I help you?” informs the prospect they have gotten ahold of who they want to talk to.

The prospect will likely start to talk and continue with the aim of having you divulge a price for a specific product. At the first opening, you will interrupt their pattern.

Interrupt
Just because a prospect asks a question does not mean we have to answer it. To ensure we offer them the right solution and the right price, we need to take control of the call and run our own process. We accomplish this by saying in a nurturing tone:
“Well, hold on a sec. I appreciate what you’ve shared so far. Let’s back up a moment.”

This interrupts their pattern and starts to put us in control of the call.

Step 2: Get Contact Info
Calls do drop and people do accidentally get disconnected. So the next step is to get the prospect’s contact information:
“Just in case we accidentally get disconnected, could I take down your name and phone number?”
This is an important yet often-ignored step. Odds are if you are accidentally disconnected and don’t have the prospect’s name and number, you’ll never be able to speak with them again.

Step 3: Set Expectations
The time has come to educate the prospect on how we do business. People like it when someone says there is a process to follow. It shows them confidence, consistency and experience. Also, when you explain what is going to happen before it does, you make your prospect feel more comfortable.
“Okay. I understand that you’ve had a look into (whatever product they’ve been talking about, eg. stairlifts). Now the way we work is first we talk about your specific situation. We help people with this equipment every day, and by learning about what’s going on in your world, we may find that there’s a different product that will better match your needs. So I’d be a lousy doctor if I didn’t find out what you were experiencing before talking about any kind of a solution, wouldn’t I?”
Pause for the prospect to confirm.

At this point the prospect may insist that they want a price for the product they called about and that’s it. You can be sure they have recently had a bad experience with a pushy salesperson. This kind of experience has a strong negative effect upon people, and makes them mistrust anyone in a sales capacity. Do not take it personally. Give the prospect a price range. For example:
“Well sir, without knowing the details of your situation, I can share that the investment for a stairlift can range anywhere from $2,500 to $5,000 or more. “

If the prospect agrees that you both should talk about their specific situation now, continue with:
“Now, the process that we’ll go through is first, we’ll talk about what you’re going through. That way, I’ll be able to figure out how I can best help you. Second, we’ll talk about the investment for these solutions. Third, I’ll share my recommendation on what would best fit your needs. If it turns out that we can help you, we’ll figure out what the next step looks like then. Does that sound fair?”

If the prospect wants to add anything to the process, they can at this point. Then continue by uncovering pain.


Step 4: Uncover Pain
Pain is an urgent, emotionally-driven problem that we can help solve. It’s what is keeping your prospect up at night. If you can uncover pain, this is what will make you different in the prospect’s mind from any other vendor. While the rest are selling on features & benefits and price, you will be solving a real problem in their lives…and that has real value to your prospect.

Pain can be uncovered quickly, but you need to ask probing questions to do so. A prospect will not usually talk about pain, because they are afraid of getting ripped off. Everyone behaves this way. We don’t share how bad the problem really is, because we’re afraid the salesperson will jack up the price. So do not get upset with your prospect—we would do exactly the same thing in their shoes. Expect the prospect to begin by talking about things rationally. Only through questioning will we get to emotional reasons for buying. For example:
You: “Now, John, can you tell me a little about your diagnosis?”
Prospect: “Well, I was hurt in a car accident and am having trouble getting into and out of my house. Also, I want to get upstairs and downstairs more easily.”
You: “I understand. How long have you been having this trouble?”
Prospect: “It’s been about three months since the accident.”
You: “Okay. Now how big of a yard do you have outside of the door you most commonly use to go into and out of your home?”
Prospect: “Oh, it’s a pretty big yard. I’m not sure. “
You: “And inside, is your staircase a straight one, or is there a landing with a turn?”
Prospect: “The second one. With the turn.”
You: “And does it turn and go up in the other direction, like a 180 degree turn? Or is it a 90 degree turn?”
Prospect: “90. Does that make a big difference?”
You: “Well, it tells me what kind of product might be right. So what has been your biggest frustration with getting up and down the stairs so far?”

The conversation so far has only taken about one minute. We’ve found out that a ramp will likely fit in the prospect’s yard. You have just asked an open-ended question designed to bring out some pain.
We don’t know how the prospect will respond. They may tell you that they are extremely uncomfortable sitting, and from that you can determine that a perch lift is a better fit than a stair lift. Or, they may say that it would be a real help if their wheelchair could make it up and down the stairs with them—and now you know that an IPL is an option to discuss.

Continue to ask open-ended questions to uncover pain. These will usually include words like frustrated, concerned, upset, irritated, aggravated, afraid…negative emotional words. For instance:
“Just out of curiosity, is there anything to do with the installation of a stairlift that you’d be concerned about, in regards to your home?”
If your prospect responds that they’re afraid a huge mess will be made and they’ll be left to clean it up, you have pain on the table. You can let them know your installers are professionals and will make sure the area is left nicer than they found it—and be a step ahead of your competition, who will hardly ever take the time to ask this type of question.

Step 5: Diagnose
Once some pain is on the table, you will be able to figure out what product(s) are the best fit for this prospect. With the product(s) in mind, you can ask:
“We do have a solution for you. Before I go into that/those possibilities, can I ask you if you’ve talked with anyone else about your situation?”

This simple question will uncover whether you have or will have competition. You probably will. If the prospect shares that they have talked to anyone else, or will, you can ask if they’d be okay sharing who. With this knowledge, you can determine how you’ll stack up against them. With pain on your side, it’s not always about price and features; however, it can be useful to know this information.

It is not yet time to share your solution(s)—there is one more step to follow.

Step 6: Check Budget
Taking a moment to find out whether your prospect has the money to pay for your solution. There is no sense in wasting time with tire-kickers. You can use a range to begin discussions about money.
“John, before I share with you the details of a possible solution for you, I’d like to talk about budget. What kind of a budget have you set aside for this project?”

The prospect may share a figure with you. Compare it against the actual investment range and let them know, nurturingly, whether it is a fit or not.
If the prospect insists on a price (“I don’t know; you’re the expert—you tell me!”) then give them a range:
“Investment in the kind of products I’m going to discuss with you range in the $2,500 to $5,000 range. Now, I’m not sure if this is in the budget range you’ve been thinking about…”

The prospect may qualify themselves out by loudly exclaiming how much that is, and telling you they cannot afford it. At this point, it’s up to you whether you want to continue educating them for free, or politely say you’re sorry that’s beyond their budget and end the call.

If the prospect replies that this investment range fits in their budget, you can continue.


Step 7: Propose Solution
At this point, we:
• understand the prospect’s situation
• know their pain points
• are aware of our competition
• have determined what solution(s) best fit the prospect’s situation
• have learned that the prospect can afford our solution.

You can now explain how the solution(s) get rid of the prospect’s pain. Rather than competing on features, benefits or price, you stand out as different.

At the conclusion of this explanation, you can ask for the order:
“All right. I’ve answered all your questions and you’re happy with everything, right?” (Wait for the response and give further info if necessary.) “Okay. Now if you want to go ahead, we can come and take some measurements and get started on the process. Would you like us to do that?”

Transitioning from the Call to On-Site Evaluation
This process is one that allows you to do the full sale over the phone. However, at the end of Step 4: Uncover Pain, you may want to transition to an on-site evaluation. The way to do this is to say:
“I appreciate that. What would be best for us to do next is come by and take some measurements. We can continue to talk about your needs, and you can show us things in person that we can’t see over the phone. We can be there __(day)__ or __(day)__. Would you like to do that?”

At the appointment, you can continue through the steps. Remind the prospect of your phone conversation by beginning with:
“Now on our phone call last ____, you shared with me that you were ___(pain)____...”
and trail off. The prospect will continue talking about the pain and you can proceed through the remaining steps.
#callers #price #stop #vanishing
  • Profile picture of the author maxrezn
    Home run post here....great job.
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  • Profile picture of the author paulhamak
    It a long post but worth reading thanks for the valuable information on sales that this represent
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    • Profile picture of the author Alex Makarski
      Jason, this is awesome stuff!

      Now, with this franchise you work with, do you record phone convos and review them later? Other than putting together the training video, how do you make sure the troops follow the orders and don't resolve to their "normal" way of doing things?
      Signature

      "I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand." -Confucius

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      • Profile picture of the author Jason Kanigan
        Originally Posted by Alex Makarski View Post

        Jason, this is awesome stuff!

        Now, with this franchise you work with, do you record phone convos and review them later? Other than putting together the training video, how do you make sure the troops follow the orders and don't resolve to their "normal" way of doing things?
        Well we have several corporate offices in addition to many franchisees.

        We record all the calls including the franchisees'.

        The answer is Field Coaching. We can't "make" the zees do anything, so between myself, our corporate trainer and the field business development coach who visits them, we are constantly keeping the zees on message. Emails, calls, something called Salesforce Chatter (kinda like Facebook for business), presentations, conferences...it's an ongoing battle to keep everyone engaged and striving to improve. We spend an awful lot of $$ on this, but that's what their franchise royalties are for--to have us around to help them do better.
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  • Profile picture of the author mindreaderwriter
    Banned
    Nice initiative, Jason.

    What you just illustrated are the things that we were doing, being part of the QA Team, when I was working for a Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) company, than handles Microsoft's lines of business.

    We follow a call flow model. In additional to getting the caller's call back number, I suggest to get the main and alternate phone number. Just in case you're using an Avaya or if your phone has a caller ID, it's better to take a note of that number too (Phone # appearing on the Avaya: ######). On top of it, I also recommend getting the best two-hour time-frame when we may call the customer back should the call get disconnected. Don't forget to consider the time zone.

    I concur that setting proper expectations is vital in this process. The ability to take control (we call it as "call control") of the call commences here. You educate the prospect that you need to ask a few questions about this and that or check this and that. We set proper expectations to the caller/prospect because there are and there will be instances that you'll come to experience a caller asking, "Why do we need to undergo this series of Q&A?" If you didn't set proper expectation, you might end up getting into the trap of the caller by saying "Oh OK. Let's go straight to business." Also, by setting proper expectations, we can avoid comments like "So why didn't you tell me that at first?" The ability to compose a working spiel or pattern in setting proper expectations comes from experience. Once you've experienced those cases, you can turn those thoughts into a written form as your pattern in setting proper expectations. That's what I call "pre-emption" technique.

    This technique enables me to think ahead of what the other person over the phone may be thinking or saying at a later time. This enables me to take control of the call better. Since I can control the call better, I can drive the conversation to wherever I want it go - a closed sale!

    The 5th step of Jason is just one of the MANY ways on how you can make your caller talk about his/her previous inquiries from your competitors. This will allow you to position yourself better and make a counter offer that is far greater than what your competitors have offered to this prospect. That's a phishing technique. This 5th step is also an opportunity for you to execute this BIB technique:

    "Based on what you told me, I would recommend you.... because...."

    I'd like to share more about this but I still need to drive a few miles. Let me see if I can share more of my experiences and thoughts in sales later.
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    • Profile picture of the author Jason Kanigan
      Originally Posted by mindreaderwriter View Post

      Nice initiative, Jason.

      The 5th step of Jason is just one of the MANY ways on how you can make your caller talk about his/her previous inquiries from your competitors. This will allow you to position yourself better and make a counter offer that is far greater than what your competitors have offered to this prospect. That's a phishing technique. This 5th step is also an opportunity for you to execute this BIB technique:

      "Based on what you told me, I would recommend you.... because...."
      Just remember not to concentrate your selling on features & benefits, or even worse, price compared to your competition--it's pain we're selling the solution to. So back to Doctoring for Pain...anyone can ask questions. That isn't the issue. It's a mistake to limit yourself to a list of questions, too: even a list of 50 questions still limits the conversation. Start anywhere, go everywhere. Listening is the most important, and the most difficult, skill to develop.
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  • Profile picture of the author af7850
    Great share, thanks.


    Posted from Warrior Forum Reader for Android
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  • Profile picture of the author Tsnyder
    I spent many years teaching an army of salespeople how
    to take and maintain control of the flow of information.

    Jason is right on the money. Excellent post!
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    If you knew what I know you'd be doing what I do...
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  • Profile picture of the author Jason Kanigan
    We finished our filming today...it was tough for me to do the "trainwreck" version where the salesperson folds immediately and gives the prospect the price...I had to do 3 takes!
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  • Profile picture of the author massiveray
    I've only just found this about 2 weeks ago, it is literally magical.
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    Join my private strategy group on Facebook or find out how I made £2000 recurring in 2 weeks.

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  • Profile picture of the author Jon Martin
    Definitely worth reading. Thank you for suggesting this in my thread. I learned a lot about dealing with incoming calls of this sort.
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    "Be the hero of your own movie."
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  • Profile picture of the author henry Argueta
    just what i was looking for, thank you again
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    • Profile picture of the author Blase
      Jason,

      My hat is off to you for taking the time to share
      that information. I've paid a lot of money for simalar
      information, that was a gift!

      I think another take away is that selling does take
      knowledge and skill. I get the feeling here sometimes
      that people think there is nothing to it.

      Look at what Jason just posted, copy it, read it
      until it's a part of you, adept it to your situation,
      then practice, pratice, pratice, until it's second nature.
      Signature
      "Nothing Happens Until Something Is Sold"
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      • Profile picture of the author Jason Kanigan
        So true, Blase. Selling is not a magical phrase. It's a skill like cooking, driving, programming...it takes awhile to get proficient at it.

        Don't do a day of it and give up. That's like falling off your new bike when you're 5 years old and saying "Forget it, I'll never ride."

        Originally Posted by Blase View Post

        Jason,

        My hat is off to you for taking the time to share
        that information. I've paid a lot of money for simalar
        information, that was a gift!

        I think another take away is that selling does take
        knowledge and skill. I get the feeling here sometimes
        that people think there is nothing to it.

        Look at what Jason just posted, copy it, read it
        until it's a part of you, adept it to your situation,
        then practice, pratice, pratice, until it's second nature.
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6691379].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Marvin Johnston
    One question, do you know the conversion rates before and after they started using your training?

    Part of me wants to say I don't want clients who are price shopping. But I'm not sure that philosophy would work in the market you described, hence the question.

    Marvin
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    • Profile picture of the author Tsnyder
      Originally Posted by Marvin Johnston View Post

      One question, do you know the conversion rates before and after they started using your training?

      Part of me wants to say I don't want clients who are price shopping. But I'm not sure that philosophy would work in the market you described, hence the question.

      Marvin
      It doesn't much much what market you're in or what product/service
      you're selling. Most shoppers/customers have one strategy...

      Get the price and talk to the next guy.

      So they can...

      Get the price and talk to the next guy.

      So they can...

      Get the price and talk to the next guy.

      That's pretty much it. For the most part they really don't know
      what else to talk about. They don't know what questions to ask.
      They don't know what might be more important than the price.

      So...

      They talk about the only thing they know... the price.

      If you're business model consists of always being the lowest
      price in the market I wish you good luck... you're going to need
      it.

      The truth is it really doesn't matter if you're price is the lowest
      in town because, in the end, they aren't likely to buy from the vendor
      who offered the lowest price, anyway!

      They'll buy when the find a REAL salesperson who understands
      consultative selling and slows them down by suggesting any number
      of things that are more important... to the buyer... than the price.

      Play along with me, everyone... this is a great exercise that will
      point you in the right direction and increase the number of sales
      you make as well as the revenue per sale...

      Whatever product or service you're selling... list 5 things that are
      more important TO THE CUSTOMER than the price...
      Signature
      If you knew what I know you'd be doing what I do...
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      • Profile picture of the author Marvin Johnston
        Originally Posted by Tsnyder View Post

        It doesn't much much what market you're in or what product/service you're selling. Most shoppers/customers have one strategy...

        Get the price and talk to the next guy.

        So they can...

        Get the price and talk to the next guy.

        So they can...

        Get the price and talk to the next guy.

        That's pretty much it. For the most part they really don't know
        what else to talk about. They don't know what questions to ask.
        They don't know what might be more important than the price.

        So...

        They talk about the only thing they know... the price.

        If you're business model consists of always being the lowest
        price in the market I wish you good luck... you're going to need
        it.

        The truth is it really doesn't matter if you're price is the lowest
        in town because, in the end, they aren't likely to buy from the vendor
        who offered the lowest price, anyway!
        If I am reading what you are saying correctly, you are saying it is worth the extra time to develop/educate a customer who only does a first evaluation based on price alone.

        But I would still like to know the conversions for customers who don't shop on price alone vs those that do. And the time it takes to convert both types of customers from an inquiry to a purchase.

        And yes, I am thinking about the ROI.

        Marvin
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        • Profile picture of the author Tsnyder
          Originally Posted by Marvin Johnston View Post

          If I am reading what you are saying correctly, you are saying it is worth the extra time to develop/educate a customer who only does a first evaluation based on price alone.

          But I would still like to know the conversions for customers who don't shop on price alone vs those that do. And the time it takes to convert both types of customers from an inquiry to a purchase.

          And yes, I am thinking about the ROI.

          Marvin
          Neither I nor anyone else can answer that question for YOU. I have no way
          of knowing anything about you... your skill level... your experience... the quality
          of the questions you ask a potential client... your reputation in the market... etc.

          All I can say is that those who shop on price alone will be the most difficult
          customers to work with and the most frustrating to bring to a decision.

          Because they see nothing but price they often get confused when trying to
          compare various offers. A confused mind always says no. If you don't slow
          them down and turn them around by directing their thought process to something
          other than price you will waste a ton of time and probably not get the sale anyway.

          It's not that you need to spend a lot of time educating... what you must do is
          ask questions that will direct their mind to something other than price then show
          them why that thing is a benefit to them and how that benefit will outweigh the
          investment you're asking for.

          Client: OK... so I've got guys coming in here every day pitching me
          websites. So far I haven't heard a price I like. What's your price?

          Me: <amused laugh> I know just what you mean, Joe... they're everywhere, aren't
          they! <we both laugh> Let me just say this, Joe. I've been in this business a long
          time. You don't last this long without being competitive, right? (don't wait for the
          answer)

          Me: I'll get to the price, Joe, but I need to ask a few questions to get a feel for
          what you need so I can give you a solid quote. Fair enough? (wait for answer)

          Client: Sure. What do you need to know?

          Me: Let me ask you, Joe (that's called a question softener... don't charge right
          in with the question... bluntness does not build rapport) Moving along...

          Let me ask you, Joe, what's the #1 thing you hope to accomplish by having
          a website? More traffic? More sales? More community awareness and name
          recognition? What would make it a worthwhile project for you?

          Are you seeing how the process works? Get Joe talking about what HE'D like
          to achieve then show him how to get it. If it's worthwhile the price won't really
          matter very much because you're not selling websites as a commodity... you're selling
          your expertise as a trusted advisor.

          These words are golden... ignore them at your peril:

          SELLING ON PRICE ISN'T SELLING AT ALL. ANYONE CAN DO THAT.
          THAT'S WHY IT DOESN'T PAY MUCH.
          Signature
          If you knew what I know you'd be doing what I do...
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          • Profile picture of the author wislndixie
            Originally Posted by Tsnyder View Post

            Neither I nor anyone else can answer that question for YOU. I have no way
            of knowing anything about you... your skill level... your experience... the quality
            of the questions you ask a potential client... your reputation in the market... etc.

            All I can say is that those who shop on price alone will be the most difficult
            customers to work with and the most frustrating to bring to a decision.

            Because they see nothing but price they often get confused when trying to
            compare various offers. A confused mind always says no. If you don't slow
            them down and turn them around by directing their thought process to something
            other than price you will waste a ton of time and probably not get the sale anyway.

            It's not that you need to spend a lot of time educating... what you must do is
            ask questions that will direct their mind to something other than price then show
            them why that thing is a benefit to them and how that benefit will outweigh the
            investment you're asking for.

            Client: OK... so I've got guys coming in here every day pitching me
            websites. So far I haven't heard a price I like. What's your price?

            Me: <amused laugh> I know just what you mean, Joe... they're everywhere, aren't
            they! <we both laugh> Let me just say this, Joe. I've been in this business a long
            time. You don't last this long without being competitive, right? (don't wait for the
            answer)

            Me: I'll get to the price, Joe, but I need to ask a few questions to get a feel for
            what you need so I can give you a solid quote. Fair enough? (wait for answer)

            Client: Sure. What do you need to know?

            Me: Let me ask you, Joe (that's called a question softener... don't charge right
            in with the question... bluntness does not build rapport) Moving along...

            Let me ask you, Joe, what's the #1 thing you hope to accomplish by having
            a website? More traffic? More sales? More community awareness and name
            recognition? What would make it a worthwhile project for you?

            Are you seeing how the process works? Get Joe talking about what HE'D like
            to achieve then show him how to get it. If it's worthwhile the price won't really
            matter very much because you're not selling websites as a commodity... you're selling
            your expertise as a trusted advisor.

            These words are golden... ignore them at your peril:

            SELLING ON PRICE ISN'T SELLING AT ALL. ANYONE CAN DO THAT.
            THAT'S WHY IT DOESN'T PAY MUCH.
            Thanks TSnyder, you're a very gifted writer of words.
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            • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
              Jason; Thanks for the share. Another home run. This is officially the first time you are talking about selling on the phone where I feel you and I are reasonably close in skills.(To clarify, you are better at it) Tsnyder also has some insight I find valuable here.

              When I'm talking to a prospective client (business owner only) and they ask me for my price, I say "When someone asks you for your price at the beginning of a discussion, what do you tell them?"
              (It really doesn't matter what he says. I'm just listening)
              "Tell me, do you have the lowest price in your industry?" (I know the answer is 'No" before I ask).

              "Neither do I. And yet you make sales every day, and your customers get a better value than if they shop for price only, don't they?" (this isn't really asked as a question, it sounds more like a statement)

              "Some of my services are priced a little lower than what you'll find for the same services somewhere else. Basic services start at maybe a few hundred dollars a month. Less than a small Yellow Page ad. But maybe you don't need that much to start. Maybe you'll want me to do more for you. Do you mind if I ask a couple of questions to make sure we are talking about the service you even really need?"

              (Do you see the whole "I need to know more so I can charge you less" vibe?)


              This whole thing was if they ask at the beginning.

              For a few decades I sold high end vacuum cleaners in people homes. About 50% of the time, when I first took it out of the box, they would say "Wait a minute. Before you get started, How much is this?"

              Me? I said "If you get everything with it, and have no trade-in, the price is $2,299 that's a lot of money isn't it? (Notice there was absolutely no gap between the words $2,299 and that's).

              They always said "It sure is!" and I would say "It better be one heck of a vacuum cleaner for that much money, don't you agree?"

              I swear, my entire life, I had maybe 5 people stop me at that point. Then the only thing I had to do was show that it was worth what I was asking for it. And I did. Then, at the end of my presentation, I would drop the price slightly...and you could hear the sound of relief coming from them.

              All this "Getting agreements" was accomplished before I showed them anything they could possibly buy.
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      • Profile picture of the author sandalwood
        Originally Posted by Tsnyder View Post

        It doesn't much much what market you're in or what product/service
        you're selling. Most shoppers/customers have one strategy...

        Get the price and talk to the next guy.

        So they can...

        Get the price and talk to the next guy.

        So they can...

        Get the price and talk to the next guy.

        That's pretty much it. For the most part they really don't know
        what else to talk about. They don't know what questions to ask.
        They don't know what might be more important than the price.

        So...

        They talk about the only thing they know... the price.

        If you're business model consists of always being the lowest
        price in the market I wish you good luck... you're going to need
        it.

        The truth is it really doesn't matter if you're price is the lowest
        in town because, in the end, they aren't likely to buy from the vendor
        who offered the lowest price, anyway!

        They'll buy when the find a REAL salesperson who understands
        consultative selling and slows them down by suggesting any number
        of things that are more important... to the buyer... than the price.

        Play along with me, everyone... this is a great exercise that will
        point you in the right direction and increase the number of sales
        you make as well as the revenue per sale...

        Whatever product or service you're selling... list 5 things that are
        more important TO THE CUSTOMER than the price...
        T,

        You wrote:

        The truth is it really doesn't matter if you're price is the lowest
        in town because, in the end, they aren't likely to buy from the vendor
        who offered the lowest price, anyway!


        I agree w/almost everything you say. It is the above statement I disagree with.

        I disagree because I am in the non-standrad, some call it sub-prime, some call it minimum liability auto ins market. These are the folks who will call around to save $1 a month on their auto premium and spend $3 in gas driving to that office to buy the insurance.

        If they spent the same amount of time getting an education or applying themselves at their job they would make more money.

        No amount of consultative selling will work. They only want to know how much is the monthly premium. Look at the ads on TV and you'll see the reinforcement for that behavior coming directly from the insurance companies.

        This comes from fielding hundreds of phone calls for quotes. Yes, I know all the answers but here is what we learned. They don't give a rat's ass about all the fancy bells and whistles or how much better Company X is than Company Z. They want to pay as little as possible.

        I don't know about anyone else's experience in this market but we don't waste time trying to be their father confessor, consultant or advisor. Here's the premium. It is the lowest rate you've heard all day. Can you be here in 30 minutes? That's the conversation.

        Tom
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        • Profile picture of the author mak25
          Originally Posted by sandalwood View Post

          I disagree because I am in the non-standrad, some call it sub-prime, some call it minimum liability auto ins market. These are the folks who will call around to save $1 a month on their auto premium and spend $3 in gas driving to that office to buy the insurance.

          If they spent the same amount of time getting an education or applying themselves at their job they would make more money.

          No amount of consultative selling will work. They only want to know how much is the monthly premium. Look at the ads on TV and you'll see the reinforcement for that behavior coming directly from the insurance companies.

          This comes from fielding hundreds of phone calls for quotes. Yes, I know all the answers but here is what we learned. They don't give a rat's ass about all the fancy bells and whistles or how much better Company X is than Company Z. They want to pay as little as possible.

          I don't know about anyone else's experience in this market but we don't waste time trying to be their father confessor, consultant or advisor. Here's the premium. It is the lowest rate you've heard all day. Can you be here in 30 minutes? That's the conversation.

          Tom
          Tom, I'm with you on that point. I dealt with the same thing years ago when I was selling maintenance supplies.

          Customers didn't care about anything but price. If you could beat their current price, you got the order. Plain and simple.
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          • Profile picture of the author sandalwood
            Originally Posted by mak25 View Post

            Tom, I'm with you on that point. I dealt with the same thing years ago when I was selling maintenance supplies.

            Customers didn't care about anything but price. If you could beat their current price, you got the order. Plain and simple.
            mak25,

            I guess the auto ins biz isn't unique in that regard

            Have a great day,

            Tom
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  • Profile picture of the author thedomainer
    great post..thanks for the share
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  • Profile picture of the author Mwind076
    I always like to do it this way

    "How much is your _____?"
    "How much money do you have to spend?"

    Kidding.
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  • Profile picture of the author AndrewCavanagh
    I love this thread and the original post is brilliant.

    When it comes down to it you should really never be giving
    price without first going through the process of working out
    what a client needs and establishing the value of that
    solution.

    Usually the only time I'll give approximate price range is when I'm
    trying to get RID of a prospect I don't want to work with.

    So if you want to get rid of prospects go ahead and tell them the
    price.


    Ultimately the whole discussion is about giving a prospect what they
    need (discovering their problem and coming up with a real solution)
    instead of giving them what they ask for (a price when they think
    that if they get the lowest price that will solve their problem).

    Kindest regards,
    Andrew Cavanagh
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