When a prospect says, “Your price is too high,” she could mean any of several things:

  • “I think your product is worth every penny, but I don’t have the money”
  • “Your product isn’t for me, but you keep trying to sell it to me anyway so I need to tell you something to make go away.”
  • “I want your product, but I think I can get you to sell it to me for less”
  • “I have the money, but I don’t think your product is worth it”

“A” and “B” are qualification problems. “C” is a negotiation problem. “D” is a value problem.

The value problem is probably the most common one salespeople face. Not because they sell low-value products, but because they overestimate how well the buyer understands their value proposition.

You understand it. It’s been drilled into you. You talk about it all day long. You practically have a Ph.D. in your product’s value.

Your buyer doesn’t. In a perfect world buyers would spend as many days as it took to know your product. They’d pore over the materials you sent with a fine-tooth comb. They’d actually call all those references you provided them. They’d do a careful competitive analysis. They’d understand just why those features are so useful.

The reality is that most buyers are too busy. They have a lot of other things to think about. And all that value that’s so obvious to you is likely to get lost in the noise. But precisely because they are so busy, they don’t want you to teach them everything you know. So how do you figure out what to talk about?

The “price objection” gives you the perfect opportunity to find out. The conversation might go something like this:

“Ms. Buyer, when you say my price is too high, does that mean you don’t think the product is worth what we’re asking?”

“Yes, that’s what I mean.”

“Can you help me understand why you don’t think it’s worth the price?”

“Well, sure. Even if it does everything you say, I just don’t see how it improves my company’s bottom line.”

“How much would it have to improve your bottom line to make it worth the price?”

“Well, 5% at least.”

Now you know how to present the value proposition. “Thanks for clarifying that. It tells me I didn’t cover that issue adequately. May I show you how my product can add 5% to your bottom line?”

You’ll notice that price was NOT the topic of this exchange. In fact, price objections are almost never about price. To respond effectively, you need to figure out what the buyer is really telling you.

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