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Quality, speed and price. Which two do you want?

We’re discussing price objections and how to handle them, and it’s time for a visual aid.

So let’s draw a triangle: The three corners of an isosceles triangle. At the top corner, write a dollar sign for price. At the bottom left hand corner, write quality. At the bottom right hand corner, write speed. Those are three different components of your offering.

So the customer says it’s all about price. OK we’ve got two other variables we can manipulate to get you a lower price:

1)    The quality of the product
2)    The speed of getting it from our door to yours.

Now if you insist on low price, then you can have one of them, but you have to give up the other. So, if you want the lowest price, do you want low quality or do you want slow speed? Which one of those do you want?

All three of those things are available, but you can have only two at a time. So if you want high quality, are you willing to pay a premium for it, or are you willing to wait a long time for it? If you want fast delivery, do you want us to forego quality or charge you more? Do you want low price? Do you want it to take forever to get to your door, or do you want the cheapest stuff we can find?

The prospect has to understand, in order for your margins to be cut, it has to come out of somewhere. So you have to educate the prospect. And if it’s all about price, you haven’t done your job.

We have to get our customers thinking differently about us and the things we offer and how we offer them to the market place.

No restaurant ever went out of business because they paid too much for their food. Hundreds of restaurants go out of business per year because they don’t charge enough for their food, because they lose money in other different areas. But what you pay for your food is just the scorecard for what it is that you want to accomplish.

No gas station ever went out of business because they paid too much for gas. A lot of them go out of business because they don’t charge enough, or they don’t earn the right to get the customers through the door. People need fuel. They’re going to pull in here to get it. Figure out how to earn a good rate for it.

No company ever went out of business because they paid too much for their auto body parts. However, a lot of them went out of business because they didn’t hire the right people, they didn’t schedule the right way and they didn’t take those parts and use them in the most efficient manner so they can earn the best margins. Let’s work what’s in those areas.

You see, a sales professional helps customers focus on what they want the most, and what they want the most is not your product and service. If that’s all they’re talking about, well of course it’s going to be about price.

I can open up a car lot and say we have the cheapest cars in the town. CarMax is doing that no-haggle pricing, no salesperson. Why doesn’t CarMax own the market? Yugo, Hyundai, those cars are cheap — why aren’t we all driving those?

Because it’s not always about price. Customers will say it’s about price because it’s the easiest thing they can do to take you, the sales professional, out of the game.

People will say, wow, that’s a lot more expensive than I thought it was. That’s not a price objection. That’s a price statement. It doesn’t mean you have to do anything. What if a customer says, “Wow, I thought it was going to be much more expensive than that,” you’re not allowed to raise the price at that point, are you? These are price statements.

Price is a big thing. What the customer pays is always going to be a component of their decision. But your job is to sell your stuff. Stop buying their stuff. Their stuff is all about price. You have to help them think in another direction.

And for those customers where it really is all about price, you just have to decide, is this a customer I want? Is this a relationship that will grow into value? Is this a relationship that will help drive the things that I’m looking for in my sales career?

You’re looking to grow several critical things:

  • Your book of business
  • Your income
  • Your company’s revenues
  • Your career
  • Your success
  • Your savings
  • Your quality of life.

Then understand, it’s those customers who want to beat you up on price who will keep you back from growth all day. Because they will take your time. They will take your energy. They will take your desire away. They will add cynicism. And the hardest thing for a salesperson to do is to walk away from a potential sale when we see there’s a light, possibly, at the end of the tunnel.

Fight for your margin. Understand they’re not talking to you or haggling with you unless they’re truly interested in buying from you. Figure out what their highest value needs are. Serve those, and understand that comes with a cost.

Go out there and earn your margin. The professional sales are for sales professionals. Go out there and earn what a professional earns by doing some of the stuff that a professional does. Don’t get beat up on price. Don’t let somebody nickel and dime you.

Figure out where you’re spending your time. Figure out who you want to do business with. And, if you could rewrite your book of business, those ones at the bottom, those PITAs   those pains in the asses   who want to pay you the least and they expect the most, if you could redo your book of business again, would you bring them on? Would they be your customers? If the answer is no, then understand, you don’t want more of them.

Photo by qthomasbower, via Creative Commons 2.0.