I was in Chicago, presenting two talks on selling; Closing and Creating Urgency. In the second talk I walked them through a Baseline Selling Tip, “First Impressions”, from several weeks ago. I was asked, “but what if the decision maker says ‘I want to save us both a lot of time. We’re looking for the lowest price.’?”

In this case, assuming you’ve made the proper comments about being an expert, you should say, “It won’t be me.” Remember, they might be bluffing! If they aren’t bluffing, you can say, “You know, experience tells me that if you were totally happy with your current vendor, I wouldn’t even be meeting with you right now. In the area of (what you sell) what’s the single biggest issue that keeps you up at night?”

If they repeat that they’re only interested in lowest price, you have one more shot to turn that around but under no circumstances should you proceed with this prospect unless your company’s strategy is to win with the lowest price (not a very profitable strategy). For your last attempt, try, “When you say lowest price, do you really mean the lowest quoted price are do you mean the lowest cost of ownership?”

If they agree that it’s lowest cost of ownership, you can proceed but you’ll need to go right back to their single biggest issue that keeps them up at night. You’ll need to identify their compelling reasons to buy using the Rule of Cause and Effect and quantify the cost of their problems using the Rule of Ratios. Once you’ve done that, you can show them how, even if you don’t have the lowest price, you can provide the lowest cost of ownership. Read the chapter on Getting to 2nd Base and the Chapter on Running Home for all of the details.