There are many points in the sales call where the balance of power is potentially in jeopardy. Once we as the salesperson lose control, all heck breaks loose and the rest of it spirals out of control like a weekend with Charlie Sheen.
One of these such moments is the “OK, let’s cut to the chase; how much does it cost?” moment; it can stop even the most seasoned sales professional in his/her tracks and it attempts to derail your momentum train. However, like any obstacle – the “initial shutdown”, the objections or the inevitable short attention span of your potential clients – you must anticipate, diffuse and bat away this statement to move forward in your sales process.
Let’s call it what it is: the “how much does it cost?” moment is an attempt by your client to bottom-line it; the lure you have cast has yet to catch onto something and spark interest in the customer. At least, that is partially true.
If the customer has stayed with you to this point, and they are asking this question, it means the idea has not repulsed them and they are on the verge between hanging in there and dropping out. It’s like the Clash song, “Should I Stay or Should I Go?”
You’ve heard it before and I shall say it again: everything is selling. Every facet of the sales call or visit is selling through process points until you reach the climax. In this event, you are called upon to sell your customer on why they should divert their attention from the price, and pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.
You have an agenda. Your customer has an agenda. To keep on yours, you must often pacify them into thinking they are still on theirs; by that, I mean you will acknowledge their statement, put it in its proper place with a little salesmanship and you will continue on your process without typically drawing so much as a breath.
“Mr./Mrs. Customer, absolutely – I understand price is a concern and I appreciate your enthusiasm. Fact of the matter is, I don’t make the same program for the butcher, the baker and the candlestick maker. If I’m making a building, I need to know if I’m making a treehouse or the Sears Tower. I need to know a few more specifics so I can tailor-make a recommendation, personalized just for you and your situation. If I create something that works for someone else but not for you, our relationship suffers and so does your business. Where specifically do you need to market yourself geographically?”
Of course, not every statement in there will apply to your situation, but that’s just it; you have to utilize best practices, make them your own and get used to saying them through repetition. The point I am trying to make here is you are selling your potential client on why they should let go of the price point at this exact moment. At the same time, you are weaving immediately into asking another question, which forces your momentum train back onto the track.
Dealing with sales call obstacles, overcoming objections and making it to the close are all actions that require lots of practice, lots of poise and lots of precision. The “how much does it cost?” moment means your customer is interested, but you cannot abort the process of building your masterpiece.
There lies the second key point of this discussion: just because the client has shown some interest in listening to you does not mean you can stop what you’re doing and head to a half-baked conclusion. You are involved in an intricate process; if you do not glean the answers to all the necessary questions, your recommendation will be shoddy and your chances of convincing the customer to change their current scheme to go with yours diminish greatly.
That is why the “how much does it cost?” moment is just another bump in the path; it is a good bump to a degree because it indicates you have done something to spark some interest. However, do not abort your process; stay the course, stay on target and finish your agenda so you can approach the apex of sales moments: the almighty close.
Carson V. Heady has written a sales book unlike any other, entitled “Birth of a Salesman” that has a unique spin that shows you proven sales principles designed to birth in you the top producer you were born to be. It is a how-to sell/career advice book inside a novel about the fictional author who practices what he preaches.
If you would like to strengthen your sales skills, go to http://www.carsonvheady.com/