“Hey Noah, what do you say to a customer when you’ve lost an order based on price but they tell you they appreciate your service and what your company has to provide?” — Robert
I’d say, “Sounds like you don’t appreciate my service enough.”
Or, if you want to be softer, “Sounds like my service and what my company provides is worth something to you, but not enough to justify the higher price we charge.”
Then I’d ask questions until I got to the heart of the issue. Don’t forget that customers will often lie to you if they think the truth would hurt. Maybe they really don’t appreciate your service. Maybe they are upset about something else. And maybe they’re just trying to negotiate a lower price. Be sure you find out the real objection, or you’ll be left empty-handed and have learned nothing in the process.
I’m challenging you to take personal responsibility for losing the sale. If you go back to your boss and say, “Hey Boss, we lost this one because our competitors are cheaper,” you’re letting yourself off the hook way too easily. If you lose on price, it’s because you haven’t done your best to prove your value. You haven’t established enough of a relationship with your customer. In other words, the customer was vulnerable because of what you did (or what you failed to do), NOT because of what your competitor did.
Here are a few questions you should ask to start the process of trying to save the sale:
“Mr. Customer, in addition to the lower price, is there anything else that you’re concerned about?”
“Let’s put the price on the side. I’d like to be sure we’re comparing apples to apples. How about we sit down together and compare both companies’ offers and if in the end, it turns out that the other guy does, in fact, provide a better deal, I’ll tell you. Does that sound fair?”
The more value you provide, the less the price matters. Keep in mind value isn’t value if the customer doesn’t perceive it as valuable. You can make your list of the value you provide all day long, but if the customer’s list is blank, you’ll lose the sale. The best way to find out what the customer thinks is valuable is to ask him.
“Mr. Customer, when deciding who to buy from, what three things are most important to you?”
“What factors go into your decision?”
“Is there anything else you may be worried about?”
Ask questions that engage the prospect or customer and hang in there until you either make the sale or you no longer believe you are the best choice.
I think you’ll be surprised what you learn. And you just may sell something.