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You're Too Expensive!

Brian Buck
© Scotwork NA

The most common objection I’ve heard from customers throughout the years is, “You are the most expensive.” I must be the luckiest the guy on the face of the earth to have only represented the most expensive brands and products in the marketplace! Who knew? Sarcasm aside, that’s obviously not the case. So why was I always hearing that I was the most expensive? More importantly, what did I do about it?

I know I’m not alone in hearing this objection. It’s probably one of the most common objections we get asked for help on. Before I dive into what to do about it, let’s talk about why it happens. The number one reason this objection is heard so often is, because it works! Simple as that. When people hear that they are too expensive, more often than not, it reduces their confidence and weakens their resistance to the buyer’s demands.

Buyers have found this to be a very useful way to, as a boxer might say, jelly-leg their opponent. Those that are not as experienced or confident in their position will usually start to give concessions quickly. The more the buyer holds the line, the more the poor seller will give. And when it works once, the buyer will continue to keep using it.

Outside of commodities, we know that price is not the most important reasons to buy. In fact, based on our research surveying over 13,000 buyers and sellers, buyers tell us that quality, results, relationship, AND price are the four most important factors in their buying decision. The reason why buyers use price is that it’s easy. It’s a number. It’s easy to compare. It’s easier to quantify. And, it works. That’s why price is used so much.

Here are some things you can do to not succumb to this tactic:

  1. Understand decision making criteria ahead of time. Too often sellers provide quotes and pricing without ever fully understanding how the buyer is going to make a decision. Finding this out after you make your proposal is too late. Ask up front, “What factors will go into making your decision?” If possible, as the buyer to rank them in order of importance. This way when they tell you are too expensive later on, you can ask them how you did on the other factors and put yourself in a position to trade price against the other factors.
  2. Be prepared and know your numbers. If you know price is a decision factor, then you better be able to defend your position. Your position should be realistic and credible. If it’s beyond the marketplace, you risk not moving beyond the quote phase. You should be able to defend your position based on the value you are bringing to the table. Be ready to explain how you to your position.
  3. Ask questions before reacting. The best reaction to, “you’re the most expensive” is to ask a series of questions about that statement to fully understand who/what they are comparing you too, what they consider expensive, what they consider a value, and the circumstance they would pay the price you’ve quoted. You’re seeking information. You want to know if this is a legitimate claim or if they are just shaking the tree. Dig into the details of their analysis - you might be surprised to find out what they are basing that statement on.
  4. Trade for movement. Before you pull out the red pen and just start slashing prices, ask for something in return. It could be reduced scope, longer commitment, exclusivity, or a variety of other business drivers that can have a positive impact on your business. Think about those thing ahead of time so when you are asked to reduce price, you can trade for something of value to you.

Last, but not the least, prepare for this statement ahead of time. The odds are, no matter how expensive or cheap your solution might be, you’ll hear this objection. If you prepare for it ahead of time you’ll be in a much better position to respond. If you are not prepared, enjoy your jelly-legs!


You’re Too Expensive?

We’ve all heard, “you’re the most expensive”. You may or may not be but don’t let that statement alone shake your confidence or get you off your game. Let Scotwork help you respond to this statement effectively.

We help organizations of all sizes and in a variety of sectors win their most critical negotiations. Let us help enable your success at the negotiation table. Talk to one of our experts today.

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