Resist the Temptation to Send Pricing…

Resist the Temptation…

Resist the temptation to send pricing at a client’s request if you haven’t had a real conversation with them. No matter how much you want to accommodate their request, you will only hurt them and yourself by going ahead and sending over the pricing before you’ve had a chance to either meet them in person or have a short exploratory call over the phone.

Here’s why… Preparing information to send electronically or via hard copy takes time on your part and also your client’s part to read and review. It’s time you can better spend on revenue generating activities, and it’s time your prospects can better spend in being more efficient and effective in their own roles. Buyers standardly use “Send me something” or “Can you send me the pricing information?” as a brush off to actually get sales professionals off the phone or to avoid meeting with them. It’s the easiest and politest way to brush you off without actually having to tell you “No!”

Often times, sales professionals send the details on pricing after just a few seconds of talking to a prospect, and they mistake a client’s request for more information as “interest.” They reason with themselves: “Well, he/she asked for pricing info, so they must be interested.”

This salesperson then goes into a never ending follow-up rut after having sent the pricing, annoying the daylights out of the prospect for weeks, months, or even years to come. “Hey Steve, It’s Brian again here… Just trying to see if you’ve ‘received the pricing,’ or if you ‘had any questions’ about it.”

You’ve been here, and I’ve been here, and it’s no fun.

It’s entirely too easy to waste your time in preparing details, sending them, and following up countless times with your prospect. You also waste your prospect’s time as well by continuing to follow up. They have to delete those unwanted voicemails and sift through the hundreds of other emails they get every single day to delete your email follow ups! Most sales emails go unread, and rest assured even if your prospect asks you to send pricing, it usually goes either unread, deleted, or flagged and never followed up on from their side.

Instead of wasting your time and your prospect’s time when they were never interested in the first-place, you can avoid this entire situation by just implementing a few simple steps into your sales presentation! Wouldn’t it be better to know if you’re really dealing with a SERIOUS buyer on the front-end, so you don’t waste your time and theirs?

Here’s how all of this can be avoided, and here’s how you can earn major respect with your prospects, and ultimately, how you can start getting more warm leads into your pipeline!

I’ve been testing this out in in my own sales calls, presentations, and in-person meetings, and it looks something like this…

Client: “Hey Brian, can you please just send me the pricing?”

Brian: “Hey Bob, I understand your desire to see pricing, and to be transparent, we typically don’t just send pricing without having an introductory meeting or call, and here’s why… There are so many factors and circumstances that come into play in why our pricing is what it is and what pricing I can offer for companies like yours, so it’s not really helpful for me to send general pricing or a rate sheet without first having had a brief conversation to determine what you really need and what would serve you and your company best. Also, often times, I can beat the pricing you’d see on our rate sheets, and for me to just send it without speaking with you first will hurt you more than it will serve you. Are you free for a short call tomorrow or one day next week to have a brief discussion?”

The goal with this response is to get your client to see that it’s truly NOT IN THEIR BEST INTEREST to just send the pricing without first having determined whether or not they’re even a good fit for your product or service. Many clients can appreciate this, and will actually give you a few minutes of their time on the front end to avoid that unnecessary email that’s coming their way later.

Another Situation:

Client: “Brian, can you please send over the pricing prior to our meeting, so we have time to review?”

Brian: “I could do that, but I don’t feel that it would be a beneficial way for you to spend your time before we speak (or meet), because our sales kit is about 15 pages long, and it can take more time to review than it would to just have a brief conversation. I respect your time, and mine, and I don’t want to flood your inbox with something that’s going to be another item on your already busy “to do” list! If we can speak for a few minutes during the meeting, and if after that time it makes sense to review the pricing, not only will I send it, but I’ll actually go above and beyond to craft a custom proposal that fits your needs and goals, so you’re not having to take time to review a long price list when some of it doesn’t even apply to your company.”

The goal with this response is to show your prospect you respect their time and your own time too much to just blindly send pricing without first truly evaluating what they need to see in the first place. If you can trim the pricing list down or send only a few pages that apply to them as opposed to a long document that will never get read, you’ll earn their respect, and you’ll also have a better chance of earning their business as well.

Another Situation:

Client: “Brian, can you just send over the details? We don’t do anything without seeing what you’re offering in writing.”

Brian: “I understand. I would never ask you to do do business with me without seeing something in writing.”

We create customized solutions & rate proposals for our clients based on what we have available at the time, through discussing creative & collaborative ideas for how we might fit your needs, and whatever budget you might have available, so sometimes just sending rates actually can hurt us and you more than it helps us. I find we are at our best, and so are our clients, when we do short, exploratory calls with our clients or meet up briefly, rather than just sending rates via email.

If you’d like to set-up a call to know more, I’m happy to send the details via a custom proposal after the call.

I CAN tell you that pricing starts around $300 a month, and that we have a variety of payment options available.”

The goal with this response is to show the client that you understand their concern and they need to be able to trust you, and that you will ABSOLUTELY send them whatever they need to see, but not until you first establish the fact that you don’t want pricing to be the determining factor in how they make their decisions. Notice in this case that I gave them a little teaser at where our pricing starts, so they can also see that we are adequately priced and cost-effective right out of the gate. This strategy is specifically effective when someone comes back to you multiple times requesting pricing before a meeting.

This is the mindset I like to take, and I’d encourage you to take it as well… If I send you pricing before I know what your goals are, and if I know deep down that I can actually help find something to fit your budget, why would I ever agree to just send you the pricing and let you choose like you’re ordering off a menu at a Drive-Thru? It’s not in your best interest to buy for your company in this manner, and it’s most certainly not in my best interest to let you try to buy that way, because then I wouldn’t be doing my job as an advisor, consultant, and strategist, which are every bit as important as closing an actual deal. In most industries, simply sending pricing is NOT the way B2B sales work (although there are some industries that have a flat rate sheet that never changes), so relying on price sheets, sales kits, and presentation decks to sell your product is almost NEVER going to work.

If B2B companies could sell just on price alone by sending out rate sheets, there would be no need for sales professionals. They would just eblast and direct mail every prospect in the world and wait for the literature to do the selling.

If you really want to save your time and energy and the time and energy of your prospects, STOP sending out information prior to determining their true needs, goals, budget, etc… It’s a disservice to them, and it’s most certainly a disservice to you.

Instead, take a more collaborative approach, and try some of these strategies, and you will start noticing a difference in the number of actual appointments and presentations you make as well as the number of sales you close!

And consider this… If someone isn’t willing to give up a few minutes of their time to talk, do you really think they’re going to give up even more of their time to review your sales deck that you’re blindly sending over?

Think about that next time someone brushes you off the phone or tells you to just send over the details…

Brian Donohoe is President & CEO of The Sales Partner. Brian Donohoe is a keynote speaker, sales consultant, sales trainer, and sales workshop facilitator who has a passion for helping individuals, teams, and entire organizations overcome the roadblocks that prohibit them from being their best in sales, business, and life.
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