After making the best possible presentation and after spending most of the night before preparing an extensive written proposal, Tim waited with bated breath for the prospect to say “yes.” The silence in the office was broken only by the prospect leafing through the written proposal. Tim was tied in knots.
“Well,” said the prospect looking up with a smile, “you have given me the best presentation that I ever had.”
Tim wanted to relax, but he knew something was coming. The last objection! Get ready! Here it comes!
The prospect leaned back in her chair, looked Tim in the face and stated, “Your price is too high.”
Tim was ready. Before the prospect could utter another word, the words came out, “I really want to make this happen; I’ll take off 10% if you sign today.”
“That’s really nice,” said the prospect leaning over the paperwork, pen in hand. As she signed, she went on, “You know, I would have paid full price because your product is exactly what I need. Thanks for the discount.”
Well, Tim is going to get his commission, but it’s going to be 10% less than what he had earned. Tim chose to earn less because he assumed the prospect was objecting to the price. The price was not an objection. The prospect made a statement. What do you think would have happened if Tim had responded to the statement about the price with, “The price is too high, which means . . . ?”
Tim would have heard that the product was exactly what was needed and worth the price. And, Tim would have taken another 10% to the bank.
It is absolutely amazing how many statements a prospect makes that a salesperson will automatically assume are questions and/or objections. In our story, “Your price is too high,” is a statement. It is NOT a question. The salesperson does not have to answer it.
If you want to see just how easy it is to manipulate a salesperson, go into any car dealership, get a price on a car and then state, “Your price is too high.” Nine times out of ten, assuming that you just stare and do absolutely nothing else, the salesperson will automatically start redoing the numbers to get you a lower price or ask you how much you want to spend.
When a prospect makes a statement, you have to decide one of two things. Are you going to take what he said and ask “Which means?”, or, are you going to just sit and wait until a question is asked. Either approach is okay.
Statements do not require answers. If you want to know why a statement was made, ask the prospect a question.
Once you define your goals, it's time to identify the specific behaviors and schedule that will get you to your goals.