Dave Kurlan is a top-rated keynote speaker, best-selling author, sales thought leader and expert on all things sales and selling.

I have written many articles on the importance of and how to use a consultative approach to differentiate you and your company from your competitors and their companies so that the decision is not based on price.

However, many of the calls for help are just that – opportunities that are about price and only price.  Or so the callers believe.  When salespeople have an opportunity that has sunk to the depths of price despair, it can only mean that one or more of the falling conditions are true:

  • Salespeople did not uncover their (not yours) compelling reason to do business with you.
  • Salespeople are calling too low in the organization.
  • Salespeople are with someone from Purchasing.
  • Salespeople have not uncovered the prospect’s motivation for needing the lowest price (watch this video clip).
  • Salespeople have not asked what part of the solution the prospect could live without (see the image below).price
There are other factors that could contribute to salespeople regularly finding themselves in a price-sensitive discussion:

  • That’s the way that the salesperson buys – lowest price rules.  That does not support successful selling because they agree that they should have the lowest possible price.
  • Salespeople aren’t completely comfortable having a discussion about someone else’s money.
  • Salespeople aren’t comfortable pushing back and challenging.  Prospects have their way with them.
  • Salespeople are too trusting.  They take what the prospect says at face value and because the salespeople don’t question it, they can’t determine if the prospects are bluffing and playing games.
  • Salespeople get emotional when a prospect tries to push them around on price, and therefore, lose control of the sales call.
There is much more to how and why salespeople get caught up in the lowest price conversation than meets the eye.  That said, there are many things that can be done to put a stop to it:

  • Training,
  • Coaching,
  • Overcoming the weaknesses that allow these problems to occur,
  • Role-playing with colleagues,
  • Practice,
  • New expectations and guidelines and/or
  • Accountability.
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