No one likes a product price increase. You don’t want to sell it. Your customer doesn’t want to pay more. Yet, rising costs are inevitable so how are you going to handle them as the sales person? The right expectations and tools will help you navigate a price change like the professional you are.
1. Allow Time to Build Rapport
The higher the price of your product, the more rapport you need to build before you can close a sale. The price of a product directly correlates to the time it takes to sell it. Why? You need more time to win over your client, to show them that this is a worthwhile investment. Customers like to buy from people who know their product and their trade.
If you’re a sales manager, keep your sales team educated, whether it’s your day-in, day-out salespeople or the team you send to a trade show. Even the “booth babe” should know about your product. If you have anyone at your booth who can’t talk knowledgeably about your product, your sales will suffer.
If you’re a salesperson, keep yourself in the know. People are more likely to buy from someone that can answer their questions and that understands the product. People want to trust their sales rep. Be that type of person.
2. Don’t Raise the Objection
There’s always a reason for rising costs, but you don’t have to be the one to bring it up. If you start by explaining to your customer, “We had a price increase because of a shipping issue…,” you’ve just raised an objection they may not have had.
Sometimes an increase in price isn’t a problem. Don’t make it one. If the customer points out the price change, talk about it. Just don’t get ahead of yourself and raise the objection on the front end.
3. Educate Customers
Once the customer brings up the change in cost, explain why the price has risen. Maybe there’s a new material used in the product that upped the price (and hopefully the efficiency of the item.) When you take the time to talk about why the cost has increased and the potential benefits, you justify the extra money.
4. Choose Your Words Carefully
The way you talk about the change in cost matters. It’s human nature to make things a big deal to someone else if it’s a big deal to us. Resist the urge to say, “I’m SO sorry. I don’t know how to fix this issue. I hate that they just increased the price…” You’ve just made the issue significant to the client because you feel it’s significant. The client will naturally feed off of that emotion.
Instead, downplay the price change and the client will probably follow your lead. Say something like, “There’s been a slight adjustment on the pricing because the materials used are a little different, but I also noticed that you’re ordering ___.” Just gloss over it, maybe change the subject, and avoid over-exaggerating the cost.
Sure, no one wants to address a price increase, but it’s part of sales. It may take a little longer to close some deals, but when you’re intentional about building your rapport and navigating your approach, you can sell despite the changes that have come your way.