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30 Ways to Handle the Objection: "It´s too expensive"! (Part 1)

Updated: Jun 9, 2020

Price objections are common in sales for 2 reasons: either the clients have learned that pushing back on cost will get them a discount, or they are trying to use the price as an excuse not to purchase because there are other concerns such as value or trust. Very few times it means they can´t afford your product. If the client sees enough value and urgency they will come up with the money!

First of all, you have to establish with your client the difference between "Expensive" and "Costly": Costly means that, although the value has been established, the price is a little out of reach for the client (coming up with $200K for a Bentley might seem costly). Expensive simply means that the price exceeds the value (a VW Beetle being sold at the price of a Bentley is Expensive).

That makes it difficult to respond to a pricing objection if you don’t want to immediately lower your price. While discounting has its place in the sales process, being too discount-happy will destroy your margins and lower your product’s perceived value as well as kill the trust your clients may have, figuring that you were just trying to squeeze the most amount of money you could from them. According to Aja Frost, Senior Content Strategist on HubSpot, this 4-step process will help you overcome price objections:

Steps to handle the Price Objection:

1.- After the prospect has finished speaking, pause for three to five seconds. 2.- Gather additional information regarding the pricing objection. Ask a couple of clarifying quesitions to fully understand if they are just objecting to the cost or if they haven´t seen the value.

3.- Summarize their price objection in a few sentences.

4.- Go back to showing your product’s value or offer affordability options.

(Click here to learn about Excuses, Concerns and Conditions)

(Click here to learn to Handle Objections through "Feel, Felt, Found")

The following responses to pricing objections allow you to acknowledge your prospect’s concern without immediately slashing your price or causing them to walk away.

1. "Too expensive compared to what?"

"Expensive" is a relative term. Are they referring to one of your competitors? Are they referencing what it might cost to not leverage your kind of product or service? If you can find out what the prospect is comparing your product or service to, you can more precisely differentiate value.

2. "How are you coming to the conclusion that our [product] is too expensive?"

This prompts the prospect to justify their reasoning. It offers a better picture of who your customers are and how they think. Once a salesperson better understands the specific concerns behind the sticker shock, they can more easily address them.

3. "Are there some boxes we left unchecked?"

Give them some space for input. See where you both stand in the transaction. Circle back and make sure the sales process unfolded to both parties' expectations. If nothing else, it can help your sales efforts going forward.

4. "I hear you. The best products are often more expensive."

According to experts, a price objection isn't 'real' until the customer has brought it up twice." Using this response, the first time you hear "it's too expensive" can help you separate the prospects who truly don't have the budget from those who are merely kicking the tires. Word of caution; the fact that they say it’s too expensive should be treated initially just as a complaint; they may still buy at a high price.

5. "How much will it cost you to do nothing?

Get them thinking about the situation at hand a bit more. Reveal the bigger picture. Show the hidden costs in the status quo, and put yourself in a better position to demonstrate the value of your product or service.

6. "Is it a cash flow issue, or a budget issue?"

This question gets to the heart of whether they are asking for a discount (budget) or payment terms (cash flow). Once the rep categorizes the objection, they can negotiate more effectively.

7. “Let’s explore some creative strategies for fitting this into your budget.”

If your prospect doesn’t have enough allocated funding, try to find a workaround. Suppose their department has a set budget for software and a separate one dedicated to maintenance. Instead of charging them one flat price, you might send one contract for your product and another for your service fees. Now that you’ve unbundled or unpackaged your solution, your prospect can fit it into the budget.

You can also bill the buyer in stages. Let’s say your product would max out their quarterly budget — and they need to save money for other purchases. Charge them half now, and half next quarter.

Not only will the buyer appreciate your flexibility, but you’ll rescue the deal without compromising on price.

8. "Let's say money was no object. Would our product/service help solve your problem?"

Does the Client see the value in your product? A Ferrari might seem like an expensive car unless you know the production details and value the brand has. For some buying one might seem like "a lot of money" but they would definitely buy one if they could. Make them think about their situation and visualize what your product or service could do for them. If they have that idealistic picture, they'll be more inclined to hear your realistic proposition.

9. "What's too expensive?"

Asking this (gently) prompts the prospect to explain their conception of your product/service. Hearing a response along the lines of "Well, it's a lot for just X, Y, and Z" reveals their low-value perception.

10. "Too expensive? That's concerning."

Concerning because this product/service is so valuable for the cost. Nudge the prospect back to value. Be careful with this one, you don't want to sound too overly aggressive or condescending.

11. "Is price the only thing that's keeping you from signing?"

Isolating the objection is very important before you offer to resolve it. This one can bring other important issues prospect has to light. If they have any other objections the salesperson needs to address, this question will surface them.

12. "Okay. So which part don't you want?"

What you're telling the buyer is that price is inextricably linked to value. So if a buyer doesn't want to pay full price, they won't be able to get the full value. This question might prompt them to reconsider.

13. "Will price keep you from getting what you really want?"

You're not calling them cheap outright, but you are raising the question in their minds. And no one likes to be cheap, especially when their business is on the line. Alternatively, this will reveal if your product or service isn't the ideal solution for their problem.

14. "Does this mean we will never have the chance to work together?"

The word "never" is the kicker. When it comes to handling sales objections, 'never' is the most powerful word in the English language. Most people hate it. As a result, the vast majority of prospects will respond by saying, 'well, no … not never!'

The salesperson can then probe into the conditions required in order to strike a deal and adapt terms or walk away accordingly.

15. "Setting price aside, do we have the product/service you want to buy?"

Be frank with them. Get a definitive picture of their interest in your product or service. If they say yes, you can follow up with #12. If they say no, determine if it makes sense to go back to value or abandon the deal.

Click here for Part 2

Learn More:

The Closer´s Survival Guide

100 rebuttals for the most common Sales Objections.

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