Can You Match That Price?

Had an enjoyable lunch yesterday with a good guy called Keith, where we were talking about how to arm a prospect so that when their boss looked at two opposing quotes, when ours is the more expensive we can still prevail without dropping our pants.

And when I got home last night, he’d sent me a link to a YouTube vid by a sales trainer type bloke called John Costigan.  I loved it, ‘cos it reminded me of one of my first ever sales lessons all those years ago about how to talk a prospect through why you’re more expensive, by introducing personal buying behaviour into a business purchase discussion.  It’s well worth watching for 6 minutes over a coffee.

I particularly liked it when he started to explain the background to this scenario going on about how you would book a painter for your house.  A couple of neat bullets from his chat:

  • buyers aren’t good sellers, they don’t know how to sell to their bosses about why they should pay you more – they need ammo
  • when asked to lower price, say “I don’t know if I can, why do you ask?”
  • when you’ve got emotional buy-in, you’ll need the logical one as well for full justification
  • “can you help me with that?” is a favourite question of his to uncover why they’ve asked you to give the shop away

In my early days I worked out lots of ways to get across they’ll never be happy buying the cheap option.  The first was asking what was the last biggish thing they’d bought at home.  Most people had bought a stereo, microwave, washing machine etc.  So then ask them “did you buy the cheapest one you looked at?” (you could also mask your obvious direction a touch with “what was the cheapest one you saw before buying”).  They invariably say ‘of course not!’ so then you can examine why not and tap in to their psyche accordingly.

You always win through when they accept that it’s not the total price that’s important, but how the difference is justified.  And as the fella referred to above says, it could be for all sorts of reasons, previous service, extra features, and so on.

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