Overcoming the "It Costs Too Much" Objection

The price of your product doesn't have to be a hurdle any longer. Try these techniques for getting past "no."

By Tom Hopkins

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

If you've been in business longer than a week, you've probably heard this objection from at least one potential new client: "It just costs too much" or "I'm really interested, but I think I can get it cheaper somewhere else."

Everyone wants a bargain, but not everyone really believes they can get your product somewhere else for less. And many who use this line will never invest the time required to shop around for a better price anyway. So how do you handle this situation?

Begin by understanding that most people are afraid to part with their money. Money equals security, and it doesn't matter whether you're asking them to part with $19.95 or $1,995 for your product.

People are happy to spend their money when they see there's more value in having your product than in having their money. That's what you need to get them to think before they'll consider making a buying decision.

When a client objects to your price, the first thing you should do is feed it back to them. Warmly ask, "You think the muffler costs too much?" They'll either agree or hesitate, re-thinking why they said that. If they agree, ask how much they had expected to pay for a product like yours with all the quality and benefits it offers. List the benefits of the product briefly. What you're doing is building value in order to decrease their money resistance.

Use ownership terms when discussing the product. By the time they object, you should have built some rapport, qualified them and presented the product. So you're not discussing "a" product anymore. You're discussing "their product" and "their benefits":

  • "When you drive home with your new muffler, your neighbors will be happy not to hear you coming for a change, don't you agree?"
  • "Just picture how proud your child will be when their next report card shows great improvement from our tutoring."
  • "Knowing that your mom won't have to worry about keeping up with the groceries and housework will be a load off your mind, won't it?"

If they're still stuck on the money objection, say something like, "It may very well be true that you can find a similar product for less money elsewhere. And of course, we all want the most for our money. A truth I've learned over the years is that the cheapest price isn't always what we really want. Most people look for three things when making an investment: 1) the finest quality; 2) the best service; and 3) the lowest price. I've never yet found a company that could provide the finest quality and best service for the lowest price. I'm curious: For your long-term happiness, which of those three would you be most willing to give up? Quality? Service? Or low price?"

No one wants to own inferior products. And great service is always important. These words help minimize the price issue.

On a larger ticket item, you'll want to determine how much less they'd want to invest in your product. When they say, "It costs too much," you should say, "Today, most things do. Can you tell me about how much too much you feel it is?" If the difference between your price and what they want to pay is only a few hundred dollars, build the value once again.

If the amount is larger, however, try the "reduction to the ridiculous" strategy. It goes like this: Let's say the difference is $1,000. First determine how long they'll keep or use the product. "Mary, if you were to invest in these new cabinets for your bathroom, how long do you think you'll enjoy them? Are you planning to stay in your home for at least five more years?"

Get them to give you a number. Then divide that number into the dollar amount you want them to pay to get an annual amount. If it's five years, then that breaks down to only $200 per year or $16.67 per month. Walk them through the math. You might even hand them a calculator to do the division themselves-people believe the numbers when they're the ones entering them. To break it down even further, divide the figure by 30 (the number of days in a month). That now brings our $1,000 down to $.56 per day. Then you'd say, "Mary, do you really think you should keep yourself from enjoying these beautiful cabinets for the next five years for $.56 a day? That's less than you'd spend for a soda from a vending machine."

This "reduction to the ridiculous" strategy puts the larger amount into a daily perspective and makes it seem much more manageable. And if your customers see it as manageable, their hesitation very often loses its strength and they go ahead with the purchase.

Tom Hopkins

Tom Hopkins is world-renowned as "the builder of sales champions." For the past 30 years, he's provided superior sales training through his company, Tom Hopkins International.

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