How To Handle Cost / Price Objections as a Non Salesperson

This is from a Question & Answer call our team recently did in our program called The Accidental Salesperson. As we were transcribing this, we thought we’d give you a peak inside our thinking when we answer client questions.  (This is a transcription of spoken audio so forgive some of the clunkiness).

Q: “We are in a service industry and our biggest sales problem is overcoming cost objections.”

A: All objections are not created equal. The essence of an objection is that the prospect doesn’t believe that there’s any pain to not changing, or, there’s any pain to not choosing you.

So if I hear cost / price objections, you must conclude you’ve done a lousy job in two places in the sales cycle.

Sales Problem 1. Identifying The Problem

I’ve done a lousy job identifying the problem and attaching a cost to the problem they have. Or number two, I’ve done a lousy job of distinguishing myself against the other possible solutions that they have.

For example, we get asked to work with a company where we’re not the only option. They could go outside and work with other trainers and coaches like us, or, they can try to do it themselves.

There’s nothing that says they have to go out and hire trainers. The fact is that some companies can do it themselves. At least they could be marginally effective at it.

One Competitor Is Them Doing It Themselves

So my competitor is not necessarily the guy down the street who does similar things to what we do. My competitor also is them doing it themselves. Well, there is a perspective that people have that if I do it myself, it’s cheaper. Some of you are in business. I know a little bit about some of your business. You have that in your business, too.

I can either hire a realtor to go out looking for more commercial space or I can do it myself. But for certain solutions, doing it yourself is not a good idea.

First, it takes a lot of time. And often, people don’t put high enough value on their time like they should. If they only added up the time they spent doing things they weren’t good at, where it takes them five times longer to do it, they would realize quickly that hiring a professional is a much cheaper alternative.

So when I hear you say you can’t overcome cost objections, I would suggest that it’s probably because you haven’t done a good job upfront of nailing down the cost of the problem.

What’s The Cost of the Problem?

Once you have that, then the question is, “What kind of dollars are you willing to throw at the problem?” and if you can’t have a good, lively, honest discussion about that, then you’re probably going to get the objection that your prices are too high.

This goes for technical people who are doing add-on sales at a project. We work with a lot of CPAs, few of whom are natural salespeople. They’ve been trained to be a CPA and they’re very good at it. They were not trained to learn how to sell and market and manage the relationship.

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Cold Calling In A Modern World

As sales trainers, we get frequent questions centered around cold calling:

  • “What should my cold call sound like?”
  • “Should I even make cold calls anymore?”

Even on Twitter recently, where we asked the question, “What is your biggest sales problem?” the answer came back, “How do I get the motivation to pick up the phone and call people who don’t know me?” @laurenkriner

So in this episode, Bill and Brooke disagree on the answer, but still offer advice in a Point-Counterpoint style on cold calling.

A New Way To Look At Selling

Many of our models in our world are broken, but it’s hard for us to reinvent any model unless we look closer at what it is now.

In this video, Bill Caskey explains how the old sales model of “convince and persuade” no longer works. He offers a new way to look at selling and gives one tip to help you get the power back in the sales cycle.

**This sales training video took place in Indianapolis, IN on 5/1/12 at the Caskey Refresher Seminar.

3 Questions To Always Ask on Your First Sales Call

As sales trainers, we are guilty of making the sales process much more complex than it needs to be.  There are a limitless number of options and objections that a prospect can give to you throughout the sales process, and so we make an effort to understand and counteract each one.

But that is a mistake. Instead, we should be focused on one thing: The First Call.

Because if the first call doesn’t go right, then the third call won’t go right.  Consequently, in an effort to make to the first call correct, then you need to ask these three very simple questions of the prospect in whatever format you choose to ask them.

1.  What’s the problem?

It occurred to us that the percentage of salespeople who counsel never get to the question of “what’s your problem?”  After all, what else is move pertinent in the sales cycle than your solution matching up to a problem the customer has?

Once you can get to the point where you have a “spot-on” solution for the customer’s problem:

  • price is irrelevant
  • terms are irrelevant
  • what you’re wearing is irrelevant.

But how often do we all spend way too much time in the sales strategy meetings working on the irrelevant?

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Shortening The Sales Cycle and Passing On Price Increases

These two topics today — how to shorten the sales cycle by changing your perspective — and how to increase prices (if you’re in an industry that is passing on price increases to customers) seem like two distinctly different issues. But once you see these ‘whiteboarded’ you’ll see how they are connected. What connects them is the mindset of the seller.

Raw material and commodity prices are escalating rapidly. Oil, which accounts for a large part in the manufacture of anything is projected to reach $100 by the end of the year. Some project even higher. So, if you haven’t passed on increases yet, you might be soon. This episode will help you with the emotional side of this AND the tactical side.