It’s an all too common phenomenon. A fresh lead calls in and declares, “I just want a price.” These prospective customers have often conducted extensive research on their own, formed a clear idea of what they want, and are primarily seeking quotes. Reality is that buyers have changed, their expectations have changed, and this can make traditional sales approaches seem outdated and inadequate – because they often are. Old-school sales techniques often depended on buyers who were uneducated, leaving us as the oracles of all wisdom. It isn’t that way anymore. Studies show that the average buyer has completed nearly 60% of his or her Buyer’s Journey before reaching out to a salesperson.
Trying to take one of these buyers and slam them into your “sales process” is a sure way to failure. Nowadays, “sales processes” are obsolete, and the Buyer’s Journey rules all. If you haven’t read my article explaining the five steps in the Buyer’s Journey, do it now – that will help the rest of this article make sense. The only way to handle this type of call is to treat these informed prospects with respect; by doing so, you can still have a significant impact on influencing and persuading them.
You have to understand that, when this type of buyer calls you, their mindset is that they don’t really need you. They have already (at least in their mind) gone through the Motivation, Investigation, and Solution steps of their Journey, and they aren’t going to be excited initially about backing up. Look – we know that sometimes, buyers get it wrong, and what they’re asking for won’t really solve their problems. Been there, done that. But you absolutely MUST NOT give the impression that this is what you’re thinking; that will turn this prospect off like a faucet. So, how do you handle it? Here are a few steps:
- Acknowledge and Validate Their Research:
When a prospect comes in well-informed, it’s essential to acknowledge the time and effort they’ve invested in their research. Begin the conversation by saying something like, “I appreciate the effort you’ve put into understanding your needs. It’s clear you’ve done your homework.” This not only shows respect for their knowledge but also helps build rapport by demonstrating your understanding of their situation. What this buyer has missed out on is the experience of being heard, respected, and understood. You have the opportunity to give them this experience, and in doing so, you’ll build rapport.
- Ask Open-Ended Questions:
Instead of jumping straight into pricing, ask open-ended questions that encourage prospects to share more about their needs and goals. For example, “Can you tell me more about what you’re looking for in a solution?” or “What challenges are you hoping to overcome with this purchase?” These questions steer the conversation towards a deeper exploration of their needs and allow you to provide tailored solutions. Let your buyer give you their definition of success.
- Share Your Advantages:
Rather than listing features and pricing, focus on the advantages your product or service can provide for your buyer. Help the prospect connect the dots between their needs and how your offering can address them. Highlight real-life success stories or case studies that illustrate how you have solved similar problems for other clients.
- Address Concerns and Objections:
You should never have to reinvent the wheel when it comes to objections. You already know what your common objections are – and you should already have “first, best” responses to resolve them. Be prepared to sell at a higher price than your competitors. ALWAYS.
- Offer Options:
Provide prospects with different options, such as various product packages or payment plans, to give them a sense of control over their decision. This approach allows them to weigh their choices more thoroughly and may reduce their fixation on price alone. I always like a “Good/Better/Best” approach. In fact, if you want to be more effective, present it in a “Best/Better/Good” scenario. When you start low and add advantages and price, those advantages can seem less important than if you start at the top and take them away. And when you do quote price, quote it forthrightly and directly. Be proud of your price.
Never forget to ASK FOR THE BUSINESS. Even if your buyer says that he or she is going to check multiple sources, ASK. People do buy without multiple sources, even when they say they won’t.
- Stay Connected:
Even if you don’t get an immediate sale, stay connected with these prospects. Share valuable content, industry insights, and updates to reinforce your expertise and maintain a relationship. This keeps you top-of-mind when they’re ready to make a decision. If you have a drip marketing program, put them in it. Lost sales now can result in wins later.
Our reality today is that the buyers are the stars of the show, and they KNOW IT. It’s tempting to just fire off a price to this type of buyer (what we used to call the “price and puke” in the car business), or to treat their research with a certain amount of disrespect while looking for mistakes. DON’T. Ultimately the relationship will go to the salesperson who makes this buyer feel respected and validated. If that’s you, the rewards will come.
Navigating the Buyer’s Journey is an essential skill for today’s salesperson. It’s also the topic of my Webinar coming up in a few weeks, and if you haven’t registered, what are you waiting for? It’s on November 16. Click here and get signed up.