If you think of the sales process as a movie or stage play, somewhere around scene three or four – between “gain commitment” and “negotiate” – price often becomes central to the plot.

The most common way sales professionals counter this is to build value up front to justify your price. But that is really a Catch 22: You can invest time and effort building value and still lose on price – especially if you find out late in the game that there’s a low-cost provider in the mix.

It may seem a radical idea, but why not lead with price? Sure, there’s an element of risk involved, but it’s manageable and worth considering.

Of course, saying something like “I’m Will Coyote with Acme Fireworks. Our price is $35,000 plus a 10% annual maintenance fee. Shall we get started?” is not the way to go.

But why not introduce price earlier in the process, as a way to drive the value discussion and speed up the selling cycle? After all, buyers usually know what a deal is worth early on. And if they object to the price at that point you can get to the heart of the matter by exploring their objection further.

Since price and value are relative, their reaction to the price will speak volumes about what they see as value. At that point you can use all the tools and techniques you have, to build value with them in a collaborative way that’s far less defensive.

Source: A posting by Tibor Shanto at www.sellbetter.ca

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