In most places, and certainly where I live in Budapest, Starbucks coffee costs more than very similar coffee sold in places that are very close to Starbucks. In spite of this, people still seem to go to Starbucks. If you are a salesperson who gets weak in the knees at a price objections, you should think about this.

Where I live – again, Budapest – an espresso costs around 200-300 forint in most coffee houses. At Starbucks, an espresso is closer to 500 forint. Price differences for latte and cappuccino are even more divergent. Don’t worry about the currency conversions here, prices are higher at Starbucks – that’s the main point.

One could argue that people go to Starbucks for the more exotic drinks that you can’t get elsewhere, but I go to Starbucks a lot, and I see plenty of people buying the same drinks they could get within 100 meters, in a decent place, and for much less. Yet, there they are at Starbucks.

Why?

I don’t know, but that is not the point.

The point is that there is something OTHER than the price of the Starbucks coffee driving the purchase. Maybe it is the ambiance of the store, or the reliable wifi, or maybe people think that Starbucks is somehow cool and fits their self-image.

What this other factor is doesn’t really matter. What matters is to recognize that there is more to the equation – for at least some people – than just price.

Of course, there are those people who complain about the price and go elsewhere, but Starbucks is usually full of those who do see value in the Starbucks experience, in spite of the higher price.

And that IS the point. Many times, if not most of the time, when a buyer considers a purchase, there are factors other than price at work. If price is all that they talk about, then maybe you as a salesperson have not shown them sufficient value in your offer.

Think I’m off base? Take yourself or anyone you know as an example:

  • Do you or most people wear the cheapest clothes?
  • Drive the cheapest car?
  • Eat at the cheapest restaurants?

Most of the time there is another factor, and the answer is usually “no”.

As a salesperson then, it is important to find out what is important to a buyer. Almost no-one buys something only because of the price, they buy it because they want or need it. The thing they buy offers some value to them. The amount of this value will determine the amount of money they are willing to give up in order to enjoy the benefits. The more you can discover the value, the benefits, the real reasons why the customer is buying and what they want to do with the thing they buy, the more you will increase the value of the solution, and the price you can get for it.

If you get the price objection a lot, think about what you can do to increase the perceived value of the product for the customer. When “price is not an issue”, it is because of the value you create. Do this before you drop you price, and you and your customer will both be happier with the sale!

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Authors note (AKA shameless plugs)

So, this 7-step sales process and associated topics…. Yup, I write about that a lot. I’ve been working with it since I developed it about 25 years ago – in my own diverse work experiences, with my teams when I had them, and with clients ever since.

If you would like to develop you own personalized and customized, highly effective and efficient B2B selling system, here are some further steps you can take:

The Salesman’s Guide to Dating is a free or very cheap (depending on Amazon) Kindle book that walks you through the sales process using the familiar analogy of dating. It’s a good, fun and quick way to get your mind around the whole process and how the pieces fit together.

Building Your Sales Process (BYSP) is a free and very thorough exploration of the same 7-step process that will walk you through the development of your own customized, personal B2B selling system. When you are done, you will know exactly what to do to get new business.

The Momentum Selling System® is an inexpensive but very robust online sales training course that is similar to BYSP, but goes deeper into the concepts behind each of the steps, and also helps you develop a plan not only for the 7-step process but also addresses mindset, repeat business and client base management.

If none of that sounds right, I do personal coaching and offer a free 30-minute intake session so that we can both learn if it makes sense to work together 1-on-1. If this sounds interesting, click over to the coaching page on this site and sign up for the free session.

Here’s to your success!

-David