Written by: Ken Kupchik
Working in sales requires you to constantly juggle multiple demands simultaneously. Unless you only have one customer, you constantly have to meet your prospect’s needs, no matter what stage of the sales cycle they’re in. Of course, you have to do all of this while continuing to prospect for new business to keep your pipeline full, but that’s not what this article is about. (BTW, if you do want to know how you can handle juggling all your sales deals with ease, check out how Spiro can help do that, and so much more!)
One of the trickiest aspects of meeting your prospect’s needs has to do with price. There are, occasionally, prospects and customers who don’t negotiate for whatever reason. But in many cases, you will be asked by your potential (or existing) customer for a price discount.
When that happens, here is what you should do:
1. Stay calm
First, don’t panic. You might feel like you’re on the spot as this is one of the questions that creates a feeling of dread among salespeople. But that’s only because you’re associating it with something negative. Instead, look at it as a possible step closer to getting a deal made, and be confident that you’ll handle it correctly.
2. Find out the reason
Asking “why,” in a polite way can serve two purposes. First, it can catch the prospect off guard, and even sometimes cause them to withdraw their request and move forward at full price. Second, and more importantly, it can uncover a whole number of reasons or scenarios that should factor into the sales equation, whether it’s a limited available budget or certain aspects of your product or service that the prospect doesn’t see the value in. Whatever the case, it will give you some clues as to the next steps to take.
3. Confirm that price is the only obstacle
When you’re asked for a discount, it’s a great opportunity to confirm that there aren’t any other obstacles to moving forward and to get a firm commitment from the buyer. This way, you can agree that once you come to an agreement on the price, any other major concerns have already been addressed and you can move forward with the deal.
4. Turn it around
If you’re asked for a discount and it’s not feasible or realistic, don’t be afraid to steer the prospect into something more in line with their price range. Of course, depending on what you sell this might not be an option. But if you have a cheaper option than the one you’ve been discussing and the prospect is really set on a particular budget, build value in the more affordable choice and make them happy that they were able to save money and get something valuable.
5. Ask for something in return
If you are going to bend on the price, then you should get something in return. The prospect is asking for you to change the terms, so it’s perfectly acceptable for you to do the same. Whether it’s signing a longer contract to get the reduced price, removing a certain feature or service, or expediting payment, if you’re going to give up money, you shouldn’t do it for nothing.
6. Be willing to say no
You and your company are in business to make money, and there comes a point where even a closed deal no longer makes sense. If this is the case, or if you (and your management) simply don’t think the prospect deserves a break on price for whatever reason, then don’t be afraid to say no and be willing to walk away from the deal. In many cases, the prospect will balk and you will have a full priced deal on your hands. Of course, sometimes they will walk away, and that’s ok too. After all, you have plenty of other deals in your pipeline, right?
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