How to Diffuse “Can you give me a better price?”

Good news.  We’re in!  But I need you to give me a better price.  What can you do?

Look, I get it.  You’re anxious.  You’ve been working this deal for 3 months.  You can taste the sale.  You just want to ask your VP for a 10% discount and close it.

But offering a discount can actually work against you and your potential customer because you’ll:

  1. Condition your prospect to ask for discounts in the future
  2. Devalue your product
  3. Erode trust  (You’re prospect will wonder why you didn’t give them the best price to begin with)

Here are 7 ideas and a proven framework for diffusing this objection.

Step 1: Isolate the Objection

First find out if your potential customer has any other objections.  Sometimes prospects will convey one objection but may have several.  So you want to get them all on the table so that the deal doesn’t stall with objections they didn’t communicate.  Here’s some phraseology that will help you isolate the objection:

“Lisa, in addition to getting a better price, is there anything else that concerns you?”

Step 2: Diffuse Sales Pressure With Humor

Few things diffuse sales pressure more than making someone smile.  Research shows that when people are in a positive emotional state they are more likely to be persuaded.  Here’s a way to use humor for this objection:

Ok so just a better price. Lisa, since you don’t have a max limit, why not just put this on your personal credit card.  No discount needed.  We take Visa, American Express, Pay Pal?

{Pause for chuckle}

Disclaimer: On rare occasions (less than 2% of the time)  I’ll skip this step if I sense that humor won’t play well with my prospect.

Step 3: Empathize

When you hear an objection the first thing you probably do is to figure out how you can neutralize it. But often times that creates sales pressure which can cause your prospect to shut down.  So instead relax.  Take a breath and empathize.  Here’s some phraseology:

I kid, I kid. Lisa, I completely understand.  And I can see why you’re asking.  You want to make sure you’re getting the best price possible. But let me ask you a question.”

Step 4: Understand the Why

Next you want to get to the truth or the “why”  behind the objection.  Here’s a way to dig in:

“Typically when people ask me for the best price it means one of three things.  Either one, I did a poor job of explaining how we can help you increase your conversion rates, two, you’re comparing this to something else or three you need to show procurement or your boss that you got a discount. Do tell Lisa . . . “

Now let’s say the prospect responds with:

Yeah, it’s actually procurement.  I need to show them that I got a discount. What can you do?”

Step 5: Respond to the Objection (7 ideas)

Now it’s finally time to respond.  But first thank your prospect for being transparent.  Studies show that thanking someone makes them feel friendlier towards you, and more likely to help.

Thanks for the transparency Lisa.  OK, here’s what I can do:

Idea 1: Reduce what you’re including

We don’t discount, but what I can do is to remove some of the things we’re including.  Which one of these things can you live without?

Idea 2: Reduce the term (if you have a SaaS)

We don’t discount our product, but what I can do is to shorten the term from 12 months to 6. Would you be open to that?

Idea 3: Offer a Different Version of Your Product

Hmm.  We don’t discount.  But how about this.  Instead of the “gold” version we have a “bronze” version that doesn’t include x, y and z.  How does that sound?

Idea 4: Detach

Hmm.  (Long Long pause.)  We don’t offer discounts but what I can do is tell you about a do it yourself approach (or another product you don’t sell). How does that sound Lisa?

Idea 5: Give them something with a high perceived value

Lisa, we don’t discount our product but what I can do is include our highest tier support package which is typically a 5k buy up.   How does that sound?

Idea 6: Extend the term

Lisa how about this. I’ll give you a 10% discount if you extend your license term to 2 years.  How does that sound?

Idea 7: Get something in return

Lisa, tell you what.  I can discount the product 5% if you folks would be open to giving us rights of publicity.  (A testimonial of case study if they are happy).  How does that sound?