ALL PRICE OBJECTIONS ARE DIFFERENT
by Tom Reilly
To paraphrase a famous quote from George Orwell’s Animal Farm, “All price objections are equal, but some price objections are more equal than others.” Price objections come in all shapes and sizes. No two price objections are the same.
“I can buy this cheaper from a competitor.”
“I don’t have the budget for your idea.”
“I must put this out on bid.”
On the surface, price sounds like the issue, but each of these is a different type of sales objection. Without thinking through the true nature of the objection, salespeople are left with canned responses that sound like they just returned from sales training—clever but uninspiring.
The best way to deal with any objection is to drill down on the motivation behind the objection. Ask the question, “Why?” There must be a hundred ways to ask this question. For example, you could ask,
“When you say we’re higher, could you be more specific.”
“How does your budget limit you here?”
“Please tell me about your buying process?”
Asking “why” simply means digging for the root cause of the objection. You must dig for the motive to mine the answer. The first objection, “I can buy it cheaper somewhere else,” is more likely a differentiation objection. The buyer is really saying, “Why should I pay a nickel more for your product when I don’t see a dime’s worth of difference.” Treating this objection as a differentiation objection versus a price objection means revisiting what makes your value outstanding among your peers. You get to tell your story again and hold the line on your price.
The second objection, “I don’t have the budget for your idea,” is not necessarily a price objection, it is a budget objection. The buyer does not have the money to buy your product. The problem is that the buyer’s budget is too low, not that your price is too high. Just because someone lacks the funding to buy your product does not mean your price is wrong. Maybe their budgeting process is messed up. Can you help the buyer find the money?
The third objection, “I must put this out on bid,” is not a price objection at this point. It is a procedural objection. The buyer is limited in how he or she can make buying decisions. It could be a company mandate that all purchases like your product must be bid. If it is a governmental agency, you can plan to hear this procedural objection. One way to deal with this is to ask the buyer what he hopes to accomplish with a bid that he cannot get from working with you one-on-one. Another idea is to become part of their bidding strategy. Get your product specified. Help write the specs.
The next time you hear what sounds like a price objection, drill down. Probe deeper to identify the root cause of the objection. Once you discover the why of the objection, the what is easier to deal with.
Tom Reilly is a professional speaker and author. His newest book, Crush Price Objections (McGraw-Hill, 2010) teaches salespeople how to persist when buyers resist. You may contact Tom through his website