If you’re in sales, you already know that having a potential customer asking, “How much does it cost?” is commonplace.
The thing is, though, salespeople are usually trained not to immediately give out their prices in the very beginning, which is a smart habit.
It’s only natural, though, that people want to know how much something costs, whether it’s a new refrigerator, marketing services, or anything else. While you can’t stall customers forever, there are a few things you can do to handle this situation like a true pro.
How to Respond When Someone Asks How Much Something Costs?
One of the reasons salespeople are told not to discuss price in the beginning is because it doesn’t give them a chance to build up their product so that people can have the opportunity to learn all about that product’s many benefits, which helps them realize that it’s worth the price in the end.
You certainly don’t want your customers to run out of patience and start getting irritated with you, but they need to be stalled for a while until you’ve had the chance to brag about your product and all of its features and benefits. For starters, here are a few things you can do that make the interaction a little easier for both parties:
1. Tell Them You’re Not There Yet
Let the customer know that you’re not there yet because you don’t know what the customer really needs or wants. Tell them you need a few more details about what they’re looking to buy, and let them know that once you get those details, you’ll be able to give them a more accurate quote.
2. Tell Them the Price Is Personalized
In some cases, this won’t work. If a refrigerator costs $1,100, you can’t really sell it to them for $500. On the other hand, if you’re selling marketing or financial services or something similar, tell the customer that your price is always personalized, and you’ll need to ask them a few questions first.
3. Tell Them It Sounds Like the Price Is Important to Them
Tell the customer that it’s obvious that price is important to them, but let them know that anything can sound expensive until a person needs it or wants it. Then tell them you’ll get to the price once you discover what they need or want out of this particular product or service.
4. Tell Them You Want to Give Them an Educated Answer
Let the customer know that you want them to get an educated answer, but they’ll first have to answer a few questions so that you can gauge what their needs are. To get the best answer, in other words, they have to allow you to get answers to a few questions first.
5. Tell Them It Might Be Cheap or It Might Be Expensive
Tell them that “cheap” and “expensive” are relative terms and that most of the time, the cost of the product or service is somewhere in between these two extremes. Let them know that once they answer a few questions, they’ll realize that the price is just right for them.
6. Tell Them What Price Range the Cost Is In
You can always give the customer a price range, but if you do this, make it realistic. Never just pull numbers out of the air and tell them that’s what the price range is. If you can make it a large range, this is even better because they won’t be able to figure out what the exact price is.
7. Tell Them There Is “No Good Answer” to That Question
Let the customer know that regardless of what you tell them, they will likely consider the price either too high for their budget or too low to be of good quality. Then start asking them questions and tell them you’ll give them a realistic answer once they answer those questions.
8. Tell Them You’d Like to Know Their Budget First
You don’t want customers to feel like you’ll be basing the price on their specific budget, but this answer can help you learn whether or not it’s realistic to keep talking to them.
If they’re unsure, consider why you need a budget to start with – if they can’t spend more than $5,000 and your product starts at $10,000, there’s no point in going further.
9. Tell Them a Funny Answer
To break the ice, tell them something like, “It costs a lot,” or, “Well, it starts at around one million dollars.” Then tell them that you’re kidding and that you’ll need to know a little bit about what they’re looking for before giving them an answer.
10. Tell Them Something That Isn’t Relatable
If you say something like, “It’s more than a cab ride to the governor’s mansion but less than the mansion itself,” it’ll let them know that you won’t be giving them an exact answer anytime soon. You can then slip right into some questions that will help you determine exactly what their needs are.
Are These Methods That Stall the Customer?
These suggestions may sound like you’ll be intentionally stalling the customer, which works with some of them but not with others.
The thing is, you need to figure out exactly what they’re looking for before you give them an accurate price, and the only way to do this is to ask them some questions. It also helps weed out the tire-kickers.
If you’re unsure what the tire-kickers meaning is, these are people who aren’t yet ready to buy but are merely getting the information they need to decide if they want to buy now or later. Think of it as being similar to the car-buyers who kick tires and look at sticker prices but who aren’t one-hundred percent ready to buy.
The bottom line is that you have to get additional information from the customer before giving them the true price, and they’ll need to understand that.
Should You Simply Throw Out a Number?
Does that mean you should lie to the customer or fudge the numbers a little? It’s best never to do this because if you’re honest with them, they’ll respond much better to you and will be more likely to stick around and give you the answers you want.
You can answer the question right away, but you should still try to get them to answer a few questions before giving them a final price.
Remember that the average customer is smart and astute when it comes to talking to salespeople, and the last thing you want to do is make them think you’re intentionally trying to stall them.
You can also base your answer on your rapport with them and their body language. You may plan to answer them a certain way, but their behavior may make you change your mind.
When a customer asks you what the price is for your product or service, you can answer them in numerous ways, but try not to give them a direct answer until you tell them that you need some answers to a few of your own questions first.
Let them know that once you become more familiar with their needs, you’ll be able to come up with a price that’s accurate.
Never stall for too long, and always be honest with them because they’ll know immediately if you’re being dishonest.