What do you do?
Here are some suggested ways to gain control of this situation. They are not for everyone and it is not suggested that you use them as scripts (these are concepts to be adapted to the unique prospect and the individual situation); understand that they require backbone and you just might “kill” the relationship -- but sometimes it is best to terminate a bad relationship before it starts):
1. “Ms Prospect, do you normally make decisions based only on price?” or “Mr. Prospect, do you typically make decisions before you have all the necessary information?”
Pretty direct, huh? This kind of tough question will leave the prospect with limited responses, but in most cases, they will realize what they are doing and back down. If you happen to be with the kind of person who answers, “Yes,” then it’s time to reconsider whether or not you are dealing with a prospect that’s a good fit with you and your company.
2. “Compared to what?”
In response to the continuing: “How much?” demand; just respond “as compared to what?” You’re trying to help the prospect understand that if you haven’t yet given them all of the information about the product or service, then the price is irrelevant, as it cannot relate to the product or service ... what are they going to compare the price to in order to judge it’s value?
Another way to say this is, “I haven’t yet given you the information of what is involved with the product, what comes with it, and how it addresses your current business situation ... so ... any price I give you right now will have no meaning. Let me give you all of the information you need to properly judge if the price is worth the value. Does that make sense?”
If the prospect responds, “I need to see where your price is in comparison the price to other widgets…” that leaves you the opening to get back to your presentation: “And that is exactly the why we are having this meeting, our widgets don’t compare to others; let me show you why…”
3. “Ms Prospect, XYZ Widgets is incredibly successful for two primary reasons: we deliver the highest quality widgets, and we work with the highest quality clients. Clients who make careful and well-informed decisions to do business with us. I believe our company offers you the best solution to your current needs, but I’m afraid that unless you allow me to give you the information you need to make a careful and well-informed decision, than I would not be offering you the benefits and value you want, need and deserve. If I can’t help you make a good decision than I am not doing you any service by allowing you to make any decision at all, and I will have to leave. Which will it be?”
Obviously, this a last resort move and requires strength, conviction and confidence ... but if you’re going down in flames anyway, might as well take one last shot. I’ve used variations of this statement a number of times; and more often than not, I’ve had to walk out the door. That being said, if you do this and the prospect agrees; then you are in great position to make the sale ... and, in addition, you’ll have a great foundation on which to build a longtime relationship and a loyal customer.