How do you respond to the customer who says they will buy from you only if you first match the price offered by a competitor?
First thing you need to do is not panic.
This is a customer tactic used by many sharp buyers on unsuspecting salespeople to gain a quick discount. Many times the price you’re being asked to match doesn’t even exist, but rather is a figment of the buyer’s imagination.
If the competitor’s price is real, there is still no need to panic. Key is in never forgetting the competitive price is not a valid comparison because of the value YOU bring to the table.
Your competition is not you. Only you are you, meaning any comparison of your offer to another is not valid.
Now, I realize that what I just said most likely isn’t going to initially get you that far with the customer, but it will once you start breaking apart the competitor’s price.
Regardless of how much the customer may see you as being no different than a competitor, it’s your job to create differences the customer will value.
This is where your knowledge of the customer and the outcomes they’re looking for is critical information you must leverage.
Customers don’t buy anything. They only invest, and this means you have to show them how the return on investment they’re going to get from working with you is going to be more than the other guy.
Focus your comments and questions on the customer’s outcomes, and combine this with the value of time. This is the most effective way to ward off a competitor’s price. Your questions must call into play the confidence the customer will gain in achieving their desired outcome.
If you panic during this phase, you will lose, because the customer will see you as lacking confidence.
Keep in mind throughout the entire process that more discounts are given to customers due to the salesperson lacking confidence in what they’re selling than for any other reason.
Yes, you may need to walk away. Nothing expresses confidence more than a salesperson walking away. Ironically, walking away can wind up creating significant profit because it tells the customer there is no discount, thus forcing them to buy at the stated price if they want what you are selling.
Will you win every time you do this? No, but the strategy is effective, and you will win far more than you realize.
A customer request for a competitor’s price need not be a reason to panic. If you notice with what I wrote, not once did I say anything about matching their price.
Price matching is not a strategy. If your only plan is to price match, then you have just told your customer you as a salesperson are nothing more than an order taker.
Copyright 2015, Mark Hunter “The Sales Hunter.” Sales Motivation Blog. Mark Hunter is the author of High-Profit Selling: Win the Sale Without Compromising on Price.