Price objections are common in sales; primarily because most prospects have learned pushing back on cost will get them a discount. 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.
How to Discuss Price
This process will help you overcome price objections:
Step One: After the prospect has finished speaking, pause for three to five seconds.
(Hit the “Mute” button if you need to.)
Step Two: Explore the pricing objection. Don’t be afraid to ask questions to uncover the real reason behind the objection.
Step Three: Summarise their price objection in a few sentences.
Step Four: Circle back to your product’s value.
Here’s an example (using response #17 from this list):
Prospect: “We really like the product, but it costs too much.”
Prospect: “The other options we’re exploring are 10-15% cheaper. Is there any way you can come down a bit?”
Rep: “I understand. In fact, I had two other customers just like you who were uneasy about the price at first. But what they found was … ”
When to Discuss Price
These findings make sense: High-performing reps bring up pricing at the beginning of the call to set their prospect’s expectations, and again near the end so they can transition smoothly into the close. While you shouldn’t abruptly change the topic right when the clock hits 40 minutes, you should structure the meeting so you can hit pricing when you’re around 20% and 65% of the way through.
20 Responses to Price Objections
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 [product] is too expensive?”
This prompts the prospect to break down 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. “I understand. The best products are often more expensive.”
There’s an argument that 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 tyres.
4. “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.
5. “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 you categorise the objection, youcan negotiate more effectively.
6. “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 could also invoice 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.
7. “Let’s say money was no object. Would our product/service help solve your problem?”
This is a fast track back to value. Make them think about their situation and visualise 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.
8. “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.
9. “Is price the only thing that’s keeping you from signing?”
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.
10. “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.
11. “Will price keep you from getting what you really want?”
You’re not calling them cheap, 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.
12. “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.
13. “What’s the ROI you’re looking to see?”
This steers them away from thinking in terms of “expensive” or “cheap,” and towards the long-term value for their business. It also puts you in a position to objectively define the value of your product or service.
14. “It might seem expensive for one day, but let’s break it down by month/quarter.”
A lump sum can seem scary to anyone, so parcel the number out a bit. Show them a new way to conceive of your pricing. Have figures on how the cost distributes over years, months, or days at the ready.
15. “Is what you’re saying that our prices are high in comparison to our competitors’?”
Like so many others on this list, you have to deliver this one without aggressiveness or condescension. And if your price is indeed higher than the competition’s, this question opens the door for the salesperson to differentiate on value.
16. “Price is an important consideration. So I have some context: How much research have you done on what a typical investment is for a product/service like this?”
What you’re really asking is, “Do you already know what something like this should cost?” Thanks to your prospect’s inexperience, they might be placing your product in the wrong category.
17. “I understand. In fact, I had two other customers just like you who were uneasy about the price at first. But what they found was … “
Empathise with the prospect, and then address their concerns with a strong case study that proves value. Be able to demonstrate real results — having hard figures is a big plus when doing this.
18. “In your own business, is your product/service always the least expensive option available?”
If you’re a B2B salesperson, this is a great line to have in your back pocket. The buyer’s organization has to win deals too, and they probably do it on value and not just price. If delivered correctly, this line might elicit a chuckle — and a signed contract.
19. “Up front, it’s a significant purchase. But when we look at [weekly, monthly, yearly] ROI, you’ll actually save money.”
Put your product in context. Let them know you understand their hesitance and concern, but assure them that those issues can be smoothed over. Again, having hard figures to back up this question is huge.
20. “What are the most valuable parts of the product/service for you?”
If it’s just not possible for them to afford your full product/service, ask which parts would be most valuable to their business and work to create à-la-carte pricing. This might not be possible with your business model, but if it is, you’ll earn a thankful customer — and hopefully more business from them down the line.
Once you’ve understood the blocker, you can determine whether it’s surmountable or you need to walk away.
There are a myriad of ways you can address pricing objections. If you’re struggling to overcome them, then let’s talk.
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