7 years ago
February 21, 2017

3 Mistakes to Avoid When Talking Price for Salespeople

In this article, we’ll discuss three of the most common mistakes you might make when talking price and how you can avoid those pitfalls.

Rhys Metler

Talking price is one of the easiest places for salespeople of any experience level to make deal-killing errors. When you move from discussing all the benefits and gains your product provides the prospect to discussing what you need in return, you step away from thinking and into action. Thinking about how great a thing would be to own is fun and costs a prospect nothing, but talking price means action and losing something. Knowing this creates a high-pressure environment that forces mistakes from otherwise savvy salespeople. In this article, we’ll discuss three of the most common mistakes you might make when talking price and how you can avoid those pitfalls.

1. Don’t Give Without Getting Value

There are many ways salespeople give up ground in negotiations without meaning to. When talking, this often comes in the form of naming a range of prices. When you say ‘between’ $x-y dollars, you’re giving the prospect a low end to seize hold of moving forward. In return, you likely received nothing.

This problem presents in several other ways, all coming back to the basic issue of giving up ground because you’re worried about scaring the prospect off. To put it bluntly: if a fair price scares the prospect away then you failed elsewhere in the discussion, not when talking price. So don’t make any concession that doesn’t put you closer to the sale you want to make.

2. Leave Yourself An Out

Having a way to put on conversation on hold legitimately for a day or so can be greatly beneficial when talking price. The most common method would be to allude a need for input from other decision-makers, whether such individuals exist or not. Salespeople with more room to negotiate when talking price have more room to cause themselves trouble, so this counterintuitively leads to those who least need to consult others having the greatest reason to make such claims.

This works on multiple levels. Sometimes silence completes a sale better than any word could. There’s also a benefit in reinforcing your position’s legitimacy in the prospects eyes with the input of external figures such as a partner or supervisor.

3. Don’t Let Fatigue or Annoyance Ruin You

When you’ve been talking price for entirely too long, or the prospect has been rude or overtly-aggressive, it’s not uncommon for salespeople often get sloppy. Don’t let mental fatigue ruin what could have been a successful sale. There are a few ways this can manifest.

You never, ever want the prospect to realize you’re in a hurry and just want things finished. Don’t even say something positive like ‘We’re close to finishing’. It’s a concession without gain, because now the prospect knows you value something other than the money: being done with the sale. If you absolutely need a break, you can always use the out mentioned earlier without giving away your hand.

The other big No would be losing your temper. Take nothing personally. Don’t fluster. Shrug off insults, dismiss stalling tactics and absurd counter-offers, and accurately respond to criticism of your product or service with calm. The emotional advantage counts for a lot when you’re talking price, especially if the negotiations have taken on a more adversarial tone.

They’re talking to you. They want what you have. So keep up your motivation and energy and get the deal done.

Rhys Metler

Rhys is a tenacious, top performing Senior Sales Recruiter with 15+ years of focused experience in the Digital Media, Mobile, Software, Technology and B2B verticals. He has a successful track record of headhunting top performing sales candidates for some of the most exciting brands in North America. He is a Certified Recruitment Specialist (CRS) and has expert experience in prospecting new business, client retention/renewals and managing top performing sales and recruitment teams. Rhys enjoys spending quality time with his wife, son, and daughters, BBQing on a hot summer day and tropical vacations.