I would love to own a Maserati convertible, but the $130,000 price tag is too expensive for my budget. No matter how sure I am that the car would meet my needs, I simply can’t afford it.
When a prospect tells you that your product is ‘too expensive,’ typically what they mean is that your product is just that, too expensive for their budget. It isn’t an objection. It is a fact. They can’t afford what you are selling, even though your product meets their need.
You don’t have a qualified prospect until you qualify them on price.
There is no mystery to price qualification. Qualifying a prospect on price means that you reach a preliminary agreement about the value that the prospect will receive from your product in exchange for the dollars they are going to pay you. In other words, you have reached a tentative agreement with the prospect that your price is proportional to their assessment of your product’s value.
A qualified prospect isn’t 100 percent in love with your price. But he or she is in agreement that it’s in the ballpark and further price discussions will be a negotiation, not handling an objection. You won’t hear “It’s too expensive” from a prospect in the late stages of a buying process that you have qualified on price.
Too often, I find sales people desperately clinging on to so-called prospects because they are loathe to pass up any potential buyer. As a consequence, salespeople skip an essential early step in the sales process: qualifying a prospect on price.
When you receive price objections at the end stages of the sales cycle, it usually means you made one of two mistakes:
1. You didn’t fully disclose your price during qualification. The prospect can’t assess the value they will receive without understanding your price.
2. You misplaced your backbone at the moment of truth and didn’t disqualify your prospect when you had the opportunity.
If it’s the first, then you misled your prospect about your value proposition and it will be difficult to rebuild your credibility and win the order.
If it’s the second, then the prospect was never a true prospect for your product or service and you wasted your valuable time on someone who was never going to buy from you.
Finally, if you think you did a good job qualifying a prospect on price, but he or she keeps pushing back on price while ostensibly still moving forward in their buying process with you, then proceed with caution. It is possible your buyer has a hidden agenda, which doesn’t include buying your product, and is using you in order to advance it.