Closing on Price

One issue when talking about ‘closing’ is that there is no ‘correct’ form of words for any given scenario: closing or winning commitment in the moment is always a matter of timing and tone more than particular word formation.


Closing, by definition, is a dialogue: it’s about them and their decision not you. People can ‘close’ themselves. In which case silence is the close: knowing when *not* to speak as valuable as having a good ‘close’ in terms of a tried and tested line or phrase ready to hand.


A price question after we’ve demonstrated value, i.e. the client has been talking about their business requirements and we’ve established some common ground with our value proposition, *logically* implies the possibility of a buying decision.

Otherwise it makes no sense to ask about price.  Of course it doesn’t have to be price, the same principle applies to any question that implies a sale or buying decision, price is just a common denominator for most sales scenarios.


(N.B. this is only when we’ve demonstrated value: if someone asks about price earlier in the sale, when you’re making the appointment on the phone, for instance, or at the beginning of a meeting, that’s a different kind of question, and not a buying signal. How to close for meetings on the phone is another topic altogether.)


People will often ask about price without having made any kind of buying decision or commitment, which is precisely why it can be counterproductive to simply respond with a price, because attention could then deflect to price and away from perceived value, putting you on the back foot.


Either way, it’s an ideal time to raise any other matters that might influence the sales process: if a prospect asks about price when you’ve demonstrated value, that’s a buying signal and as a salesperson you *must* respond to it as such.


One possible response is to use the price question to bring to light, i.e. to ‘close’ on any other factors apart from price which could impact on the buying decision.


If the prospect has already raised an ‘objection’ himself this is an ideal opportunity to ‘test’ it. If he’s asking about price he’s effectively cancelling his previous objection. To repeat: it makes no sense to ask about price without intent to buy, but you can never take that intent for granted. Your purpose is to convert ‘intent’ into explicit commitment.


Alternatively one could ask something like: ‘Is there anything else apart from price you’re unclear about?’ He’s talking about price so you’re entitled to assume he’s interested in buying. And once he’s asked the question, he can’t then deny his interest. It’s your duty as a salesperson to call him on his intent in the moment.


Sales people are often reluctant to raise possible objections themselves. But if there are genuine reasons not to do business it’s better for you as the salesperson to raise them and impel the client to make a decision, or at least give you some commitment in the moment – and this *is* all about timing.


Not only does it keep you on the front foot but the client will respect you for being candid enough to raise something not obviously to your advantage.


You can’t advance the sales process unless you’re willing to ask questions that invite the possibility of arresting or even terminating it. And if there are valid reasons for the sale not to proceed, it’s better to discover them sooner rather than later, and on your terms rather than theirs.


You’ll also feel better about yourself knowing you’ve assumed control of the situation. As opposed to kicking yourself when you lose a sale and realise you should have raised the issue previously yourself but didn’t for fear of losing it!


The other possibility is that you win it.

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