“Don’t sell on price” is without a doubt the most common phrase in sales. Customers, clients and prospects go through painstaking effort to make price the focus in order to get the cheapest deal possible. However in the end, price is a relative number. There is no good or bad price by itself. Price is a reflection of everything around it.
Sales sells on price when they sell on the number without taking into consideration all the other elements in the decision. I pay more for dry cleaning that is close to my house. It’s still dry cleaning, but the convenience is worth it to me. Mercedes have 4 tires and an engine just like Fords, but they cost more because of everything else. It’s not the core product that drives price, it’s everything that surrounds the product. We normally call this the “value proposition.” I’m not in the mood for buzzword bingo, so that will the only time I use that word.
When sales finds themselves stuck on price it’s because they’ve not paid enough attention, early enough on all the other stuff that surrounds their product OR product didn’t provide enough other stuff.
To avoid selling on price requires starting early in the sales cycle. It requires knowing as much about the motives, limitations, goals, objectives, and drivers of the sale as possible. Knowing exactly why a client/prospect is buying and every possible impact the decision will have provides the ammunition needed to avoid getting stuck on price alone.
Price becomes less important when the probability of success climbs. Price is less important when the return on investment is higher. Price becomes less sensitive when the risk of failure diminishes. Price becomes less a factor when simplicity or ease of use is guaranteed. Price seems to hit the back burner when there is little fear of loss. Price is the last factor when there is an emotional attachment to the product or idea.
Price matters, but it matters more when there is nothing else to focus on. Finding other things than price to focus on takes time. Make price matter less, start early.