How to Sell to Price Shoppers: Easily and Profitably Every Time

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In any market there can only be one business who consistently has the lowest price.  Everyone else must "Differentiate or Die".  If you have a business where you get lots of "price shoppers" who, once they hear your prices, they hang up or walk out and never call again, then I have some advice here which can help you triple your sales overnight.  The best part is that the changes you need to make are simple and require almost no cost or effort!

The reason this works is that studies have shown that about 20% of people buy on "price" alone, whereas the other 80% of buyers are looking for "value".  I will show you an easy way to turn all the phone and walk in inquiries into profitable sales.  The key is...

You must have a PROCESS to find out what's really important to buyers, BEFORE you give them a firm price on anything.

This takes the form of a qualifying questionnaire where you ask some questions BEFORE you give them a price.  The reason is that when you answer a price question before finding out about their needs then you are effectively selling a "commodity" where people can only judge you on price - and guess what, they'll often pick the cheapest.  So, you must first seek to understand their real needs and in asking them some qualifying questions you will UNCOVER their real drivers or pain points - the things that they would be willing to pay more for.  At the very least, you will gain their respect for what you do because you are concerned and interested in their needs.

Over the phone, this will require a 2 step process where your immediate objective is to get an appointment with the person.  For example:  "Could you please tell me how much a 200 metre pathway will cost me?" could be answered with:

  1. A firm price.  You will then most likely get: :Thanks very much.  I'll get back to you."  What are the chances they will call back - maybe 5% chance.   Or, my preferred approach is...
  2. "Before I answer that I need to ask you a few questions, so that I can better understand your requirements.  Once I understand what you need, and if I am able to help you, I'll give you a firm price".  If they insist on a price you should give a range and then say "I'll need to make a time to meet you on site to give you a firm price."

Your objective is a followup meeting not a price.  This will greatly increase your chances of success from 5% to maybe 30%.

Remember: Don't just give the price & details of a product or service, without also explaining WHAT it will do for them (benefits) and WHY they should buy it from you (value proposition).

Here are 7 types of questions you can ask which I always use in my qualification processes:

  1. Have you used us before?  How did you hear about us?  This will allow you to monitor where your leads are coming from so you can ensure your promotions are well targeted and not wasted.
  2. What do you currently have/use?  Where did you get it from?  This may give you a clue as to what they previously paid for something and past habits.
  3. What do you like most about what you currently have?  What do you like least?  This will allow you to choose which benefits to highlight in your proposal and what to avoid.
  4. When do you need this by?  What is your timeframe?  If they are not ready to buy you may be wasting your time by going further.  Better in this case to say "How about I call you in a few months and we can talk then".
  5. How long would you like this to last?  Are you planning to sell this in the future?  This will determine whether they want a cheaper short-term solution or whether they are prepared to pay for a longer-term more expensive solution.
  6. Who will use this product/service? This is a good question to determine whether there are other decision-makers involved in the process.  In that case, try to make a time to see the other decision-makers as well. 
  7. What else have you looked at?  What have you been quoted so far?  This will give you some idea as to your competition and the likely price-sensitivity of your buyer.
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Chris Pattas

Chris Pattas lives in beautiful Melbourne, Australia. He is happily married with two children. Chris is a successful business leader who enjoys helping organisations reach their full potential. Whether it is driving greater profit or sales, growing market share in competitive industries, inspiring executives to achieve great things, negotiating compelling business deals or working as a board member implementing exciting change programs, he knows how to get the most out of any organisation. Chris has worked in various product and service industries including: advertising, software, IT&T, travel & tourism, utilities and telecommunications. His interests and expertise include: leadership & strategy, sales & marketing, online & social media, science & technology, travel & tourism, photography and music.