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Business Matters: Talk Value, Not Price

By Glen J. Dalakian Sr.

If you are a business owner and/or in sales, you know there is no trophy for second place. One of the keys to winning a deal is to be sure the relationship you have built with the potential client is solid enough to handle the price questions. But keep in mind that when the cost comes up, talk value, not price. It is key to your success to keep the prospect’s eyes on the value of what you provide and not the cost. Of course, your pricing needs to be fair for what you deliver – that’s integrity – but as soon as the discussion shifts to dollars, your odds are of winning diminish.

What value have you added that differentiates you from the competition? What does your client find more important than the dollar amount? What is your solution for the client’s greatest pain? Answer these questions and stay with them. Point to them often to reinforce your offering. Be sure the concept of what you are delivering meets the need and that you focus on the key points. Importantly, don’t over-sell. People won’t remember all the fine points, but there are key issues that will trigger their buying, and that’s where you need to stay.

So how do you answer the price question and move them in the direction of value? Start with a question. When asked about the price, don’t go to the bottom by diving into a cost negotiation. Engage their feelings and find out why they are asking about price (beyond the obvious). When asked something like, “Is this your best price?”, respond with, “How do you feel about the number?” or “What did you have in mind?” Both questions will give you an opportunity to better know the prospect’s thoughts and to redirect to value. Eventually you will need to discuss price, but don’t go there too soon. Learn the “why” before you offer an answer you may regret later.

Yes, times have changed, and face-to-face meetings may never be the same. This means relationship-building will be even more of struggle, and getting the value-added proposition across more challenging.  But it also means the value you bring to the table is of greater importance as it will become rare. Find a way, as this may make the difference between being average at what you do or reaching into the top realms of success. You can do it!

“There is hardly anything in the world that someone cannot make a little worse and sell a little cheaper, and the people who consider price alone are that person’s lawful prey. It’s unwise to pay too much, but it’s worse to pay too little. When you pay too much, you lose a little money — that is all. When you pay too little, you sometimes lose everything, because the thing you bought was incapable of doing the thing it was bought to do.” – John Ruskin

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