I’ve written a lot about defending your price. But I haven’t yet shared what you can do to not have to defend your pricing in the first place. What can you do to preempt ever having to have a conversation about lowering your price?
Here’s the best recipe I know:
1. Open opportunities and get there early. You are not going to have an easy time building value throughout the sales process if you don’t get to the buyer early in their process. The earlier you establish yourself as someone with ideas the greater the chance you can create value in their buying process. The opposite is also true: the later you get in, the lower your chances of creating and capturing value. Get in early.
2. Create massive value. You can’t play small ball and command a higher price. You have to create the biggest, most compelling, most differentiated value proposition you can. This means you can’t play it safe by presenting something you believe is small, palatable, and won’t ruffle anyone’s feathers. Go big.
3. Get price on the table from Jump St. If you know price is going to be an issue, get out on the table as early in the process as possible. Don’t fear your pricing. Embrace it. Tell your dream client you are going to cost more and spend your time and energy showing them how much more they are going to get for their money. Talk about the right investment.
4. Build consensus. You want as many supporters for you and your solution as you can muster. The more time you spend building your case, the more support you gain. You want the decision to choose you to be fait accompli. You want to eliminate resistance and doubt. Build support.
5. Reiterate the value. In every conversation, reiterate the value your solution is going to create. Remind the stakeholders exactly how you are going to help them produce the outcomes they need. Always talk about the value.
6. Tie investments to outcomes. When you speak about your outcomes, tie the investment they are making to those outcomes. Explain exactly how the greater investment is necessary to producing the greater outcomes. Also explain how a smaller investment puts those results at risk. Investments equal outcomes.
7. Help justify your price. If you want to protect your pricing, provide your contacts with the ability to justify the pricing inside their own organization. Give them the tools, the rationale, and the language to speak intelligently as to why your price is the right price to deliver the outcomes they need.
If I were going to add an 8th point here it would be this: focus on relationships. Without relationships, everything on this list is more difficult to accomplish. Relationships, despite anything you have read to the contrary, never go out of style in the fashion business that is sales advice. It’s the most fundamental and foundational of all things.
Which of these 7 things can you start doing now to preempt any need to discount your offering?
P.S. Mark Hunter and I have both been asked to speak at Dreamforce this October. Mark and I had a chance to work together in July when we both spoke at Toro’s Centennial Anniversary sales meeting. I spoke about creating Level 4 Value, and Mark spoke about High Profit Selling (also the subject of his first book). It was an excellent one-two punch, since value and price are so tightly connected.
Mark and I are going to give you a two webinar preview on August 29th at 1:00 PM Eastern and September 18th at 3:00 PM Eastern. We’re calling these webinars The Value/Price Equation. Sign up for the webinars now! And, if you’re going to Dreamforce, shoot me a note and let me know you are going to be there.
P.P.S. Have you subscribed to my new YouTube channel yet? They say that you have to ask for the close 5 times, right. I think this is the 4th time I have asked. Please go sign up now. I promise I’ll make it worth your while! And I promise to ask again later.