How and When to Discuss Price on a Sales Call

How and When to Discuss Price on a Sales Call
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Value vs. Price
Business sales training studies of both buyers and sellers report a recurrent theme — the importance of value. Top solution sellers know that you need to get prospects thinking far more about the value of your offering than about the price. They know when to discuss price on a sales call.

If you allow price to be the focus of the conversation, both parties suffer. For the seller, the unique value proposition becomes diluted by concerns over cost. For the buyer, they may delude themselves into thinking that the best price will result in the best deal. Most often, that is not the case.

Money-Priming Experiment
There’s another purely psychological reason to steer clear of monetary considerations in your sales process. Our microlearning sales experts describe a landmark study by Kathleen Vohs, a marketing professor at the University of Minnesota, and her research on the psychology of money.

Participants were primed to think about money by:

  • Unscrambling money-related terms such as “salary” and “high-paying”
  • Playing Monopoly
  • Staring at a money-related screensaver

Then they were asked to perform various social tasks, like helping someone who was struggling to solve a puzzle, assisting someone who had dropped their pencils, and talking with a partner.

Without exception, those participants who had been primed with thoughts about money were more self-centered and less sociable than the un-primed control group. They were less likely to help others and more likely to sit farther away from those they’d been asked to converse with.

Money’s Effect on Expression and Feelings
Another study was run by university academics in Hong Kong. Participants were shown pictures of seashells, furniture, leaves, and money. They were then asked to perform expressive tasks like writing an online review or describing a funny scene from a movie.

The researchers reported two interesting results: those who were shown pictures of money were less willing to express themselves openly and more likely to find it inappropriate when others did express themselves openly. The conclusion? Thinking about money created what they called a “business-like mindset” that brought on impersonal and self-focused behaviors.

What This Means in a Sales Situation
If your buyers are thinking about money, they’re less inclined to help reach a mutually beneficial compromise or to moderate their demands. Not only are they getting into a self-centered frame of mind, but they also tend to hide their thoughts from you.

We know from sales leadership simulation assessment data that sellers want just the opposite behavior, especially during sales discovery. Sellers want buyers to open up to talking about their current situation, how they’d like to change it, and why.

The Bottom Line
Of course, you can’t completely avoid talking about money during the sales process. Buying necessarily involves a monetary transaction. But solution selling training should teach sales teams how to skillfully steer conversations away from price and toward value.

To learn more about how and when to discuss price on a sales call, download The Top 30 Effective Sales Questions to Best Position Value

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