An Ounce of Prevention Beats a Pound of Cure: How to handle the "you’re too expensive" objection before your clients ask it!

prices are too high."

"Why are
you so expensive?"

"I have
another offer, so you’re going to have to do better than that!"

The dreaded
pricing objection. We’ve all had to deal with it at some point in our careers.
Regardless of what form it takes, it can be one of the most frustrating challenges sales
professionals have to face.

Over the course
of the next two issues, we’ll be taking an in-depth look at what you can do to
overcome this most difficult of client objections. We start today by tackling the question
of how to prevent the pricing objection before your clients bring it up!

with it up front

price always seems to become an issue for you, one of the most effective strategies is
to preempt the question by dealing with it up front.

be afraid to talk about price. Train yourself to bring it up first and get it on the
table as early as possible in the sales dialogue. Try telling your prospective client
something like:

"You need
to know that ours is not the cheapest product available. You will always find someone
who is less expensive than us, and you will always find someone who is more expensive
than us. We are always competitive. Knowing that we are not the cheapest, does it make
sense for us to go ahead?"

When you ask
this question, one of two things will happen:

  • The sales cycle will end right here because the client
    only wants the cheapest product and you don’t have it. This is good news, because
    there’s no point wasting your valuable time with someone who has no intention of
    doing business with you anyway; or
  • The client will say: "No problem, we’re
    not making our decision on the basis of price alone." This will effectively eliminate
    the client’s ability to raise this objection later on, and allow you to move forward
    with a high degree of certainty that price will not become an issue.

an early estimate

way to reduce the number of times you hear "your price is too high" is by
literally telling your customers your price (or an estimate of your price) before you
give it to them in writing. This will allow you to deal with any potential pricing concerns
in person, before your client receives a formal proposal.

NOTE: The estimate
I give is always about 20% higher than I think the real highest price will be. This helps
ensure I have a little breathing room later.

your options ready

you’re ready to talk price, have several options prepared beforehand to handle
your client’s response, whatever it may be. This will enable you to retain some
control and momentum regardless of whether their reaction is positive or negative.

If the client
reacts negatively through body language such as by flinching, shrugging, rolling their
eyes or falling off their chair and onto the floor, you can ask them:

"I sense
that you’re uncomfortable with that price. What were you expecting?"


"You don’t
seem happy with that price. Have you found something lower?"

Notice that
both of these questions have two distinct parts. First, you acknowledge that the client
appears to be uncomfortable. This will help build trust and get them on your side. Next,
you ask a direct question. You can use this formula every time you are faced with an

If the client
verbally tells you that your price is too high, your first move is to take a breath and
remain quiet for a full three seconds. Then ask them: "I guess you’re looking
only for the lowest price?"

They will either
say yes or no. If they say no, you can ask: "Really? What else is there?" If
they answer yes, you can say: "Okay, knowing that we will not be the lowest price,
does that mean we will never get the chance to do business together?"

most powerful word for handling objections

it comes to handling sales objections, "never" is the most powerful word
in the English language.

Most people
hate it. Very few are willing to commit to it. As a result, the vast majority of prospects
will respond to it by saying, "well, no… not never!"

In that case,
your job is simply to ask: "Really? Why?" The client will then either tell
you what it will take to do business with them or ask you for something that you can’t
provide. Either way, this puts the control back in your hands by letting you choose between
making the sale or turning down the deal and walking away.

If a client
is dead set on getting the lowest price and you know you can’t offer it, then you
may as well end the conversation right now and get to work on deals that have a better
likelihood of closing. Spending time trying to sell to someone who is never going to
buy from you is both a bad decision – and a costly mistake.

your best answers

take some time to sit down (on your own or with your team) and brainstorm your best possible
answers to every potential objection.

Practice your
responses out loud until you’ve mastered them. Make them your own. Then review
your work each quarter to make sure that everyone on your team knows which responses
are working best.

If you can reduce
the number of objections you receive, you will sell more. Period.

Join us for
the next issue of Engaging Ideas, when we’ll take a look at how you can
best handle the pricing objection when it does come up….