Jenny was having her first meeting with the buyer for the large IT company she’d been courting for over a year! It had taken a long time to get this meeting and she was over the moon.
She went in, expecting to talk about the product, their impeccable service and customer satisfaction. Well things didn’t go exactly as planned and she was completely taken off guard when the buyer asked for a price range of a product she was talking about.
It shouldn’t have come as such a surprise to Jenny that buyers actually want to talk price in the first meeting. In fact, Hubspot research says that it accounts for almost 60% of buyers. That’s sadly because most of the suppliers seem the same to buyers. A previous research indicates that 86% of buyers can’t see the difference. Price is the only differentiator. This is such a huge problem in B2B sales that I’ve made a living out of this very fact, naming my most popular keynote “Twinning Your Competition: Why 86% of Buyers Can’t See a Difference and What to Do About It”.
What You Want First
No disrespect to buyers and what they want, but I train my clients to have their own agenda. The first is to get the buyer to fall in love with you. I’m not talking about a sordid #metoo moment here. I’m talking about doing a presentation that knocks their socks off, makes them think you’re an expert in their pain and shows clear examples with numeric results of how you’ve helped others in the same boat. That’s what I want my clients to talk about first. Once the buyer’s in love with you, then you can think about talking price.
Again, contrary to what research says most buyers want, I actually train my clients to stay away from talking about price UNLESS one condition exists. That both the budget and the authority people who are responsible for the purchase of your product or service are in that room while you’re presenting. If they’re not, then defer when asked about the price by saying: “I’d love to give you a price but I would rather have a meeting where we co-create a holistic solution with your key stakeholders. I can’t stand behind a proposal (or price) that doesn’t take their point of view into account.” If the buyers insist on a price on the spot, you can give them a loose range. Otherwise, you have every right to hold your ground and insist on planning the next meeting with the real decision makers.
Once you learn how to navigate the sales conversation, rest assured that you will never be bested by a buyer who wants to price shop ever again.