Nothing sends fear through a salesperson more than when a customer says or implies they will have to take their business elsewhere if you raise their prices.

There are many variations of this, but we’ve all heard them.  I can’t begin to tell you the number of times I’ve heard them from customers in my 30 years of selling.  Far more often than not, it’s a bluff.

When the customer says it, though, you can’t help but react.

Whether you’re selling a commodity or a custom-designed component, the fear is the same.

Below are 8 ½ questions you need to ask yourself.

Notice not one of the questions asks you to rethink the decision of taking a price increase.

I believe once the decision is made to raise prices, it’s the sales force’s responsibility to go out and make it happen.  Over the years, I’ve written a number of articles on the subject of pricing and one of my most popular sales training programs is the program on taking a price increase.

I am not attempting to provide you with every single question. I’m merely sharing with you 8 ½ out of nearly 30 questions you could ask.

For the next several weeks, I’ll be sharing more in-depth as to what I mean by each question.   I look forward to hearing what you think.

(If you are wondering — yes, some of these questions are from the sale training program “Executing a Price Increase.”)

1. How do you know they have even started the process of finding an alternative source?

2. How much will it cost the customer to switch suppliers?

3. What is the status of the new supplier they say they will switch to?

4. How secure is the new price they say they can get?

4 ½. Will it be only a temporary savings?

5. What is the reason behind the customer saying they may quit buying from you?

5 ½. How do you know this?

6. How long would it take for them to make the switch to a new supplier?

7. How will others in the company respond if the decision is made to no longer buy from you?

8. What are you offering your customer that you know the “cheaper” competitor can’t offer?

8 ½. How has the customer responded to this?

Copyright 2011, Mark Hunter “The Sales Hunter.” Sales Motivation Blog.

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