This may well be the most dreaded question asked of salespeople. Too often it is asked too early or out of context. You haven’t had the opportunity to establish any credibility with your prospect. Suddenly, you are faced with that blank stare from the prospect and silence as he waits for your answer. Your mind begins to race…
Bottom line; if you blow the answer to this simple question you may lose your prospect.
It is important that you understand your prospect is trying to decide if this relationship will go further, or not. The easiest way for someone who asks this question to eliminate a potential resource/supplier is by price. It’s because HE either hasn’t given you time to establish your expertise and credibility or YOU haven’t done your job differentiating yourself from others. Therefore, let’s first look at some things NOT to do:
DON’T stumble around for an answer. You knew it was coming – it always does – be prepared with an answer.
DON’T respond with “Is price your only concern?” That’s insulting and argumentative. Your prospect is qualifying (albeit clumsily), so show a little respect and creativity.
DON’T pull some number out of midair just for the sake of having an answer. This will almost always come back to haunt you.
Try some of these with modification to fit your personal, or company style:
“If I give you a price this early in our relationship that assumes there is a good fit for both us. We don’t know that yet, so let’s get to know one another’s requirements a little more. Then, we can discuss pricing”.
“Projects of this complexity typically make sense if they are well developed and have budgets established. Our customers seldom buy our solutions on impulse. If you give me a budget range I can tell you if can meet your goals”.
“At this point, any number I give you would be a guess on my part and probably be too high. If we can talk a bit more and uncover the specifics I can respond with some pricing options you may find attractive”.
Answers such as those shown above keep the conversation going forward and reduce the tension of “So, what’s the price?”