By Paul Reilly
Do any of these statements sound familiar?
“There’s no way they’ll pay our price!”
“That seems like too much margin. Am I gouging the customer?”
“Price is the only thing that sells in my industry.”
Attitude is the great builder (or destroyer) of confidence. If these statements sound familiar, you’d better check yourself before you wreck yourself.
During inflationary times, buyers naturally question the value of your solution. Buyers often ask themselves, “Is it worth what I sacrifice?” As prices go up, buyers expect more value to justify the increase. Confidently presenting price instills confidence in the buyer. A confident seller creates a perception of fairness and greater value. Your confidence reassures the buyer.
Too often, sellers let their negative pricing attitude affect their ability to confidently present price. You’ve put so much effort into winning this piece of business, don’t fumble it on the goal line. Use these tips to help you more confidently present your price.
Review your previous successes
Success breeds success. Before your next meeting, mentally recap a scenario where you successfully presented your solution. This mental recap is the equivalent of taking a few practice swings before standing over the ball.
One passionate seller recently shared an example of how he refused to discount. He explained that a customer asked for a discount on a large project. But the seller dug in his heels and sold the value—refusing to discount. The result was more business, more profit, and more trust between the customer and the seller. The seller was brimming with confidence. Wouldn’t you like to feel that confident before your next meeting? Review your previous successes before your next presentation.
Review your greatest impact
Stockholm Syndrome is a psychological response to being held captive. People with Stockholm Syndrome form a connection with their captors—even sympathizing with them. This condition is named after a 1973 bank robbery in Stockholm, Sweden. During the police standoff, several captive bank employees became sympathetic toward the bank robbers.
Sometimes sellers feel more sympathetic to the buyer than to their own company. They’re suffering from Sellers’ Stockholm Syndrome. Sellers feel unwarranted guilt about the price they charge. Sellers will feel guilty if they don’t bow down to the customer’s discount request.
To help refocus your attention more positively, review an example of how your solution greatly impacted the customer.
One seller recently shared an example, where their price was significantly higher than the next best competitor. The customer urged the seller to lower the price (which she did). I asked the seller to detail how her solution positively impacted the buyer. She shared several examples where her solution increased customer productivity by double digits. Then she quantified those production figures into customer profit. After this exercise, the seller felt the original price was justified based on the customer outcomes. If you find yourself siding with the buyer, focus on your solution’s outcomes and quantify the impact.
“I’m good enough. I’m smart enough. And, doggone it, people like me.”
This is the famous tagline of the SNL skit, “Daily Affirmation, with Stuart Smalley.” Although this show pokes fun at feel-good affirmations, positive affirmations work. Positive affirmations are a way to mentally warm up before an important presentation. Recite these positive affirmations before your next meeting:
- “There are buyers who will pay more for a better solution. I’ve witnessed this in the past. I’ve seen these buyers. I’ve sold to them. I know who they are.”
- “Price is only one of several variables that go into the decision process. There are many things that affect the buyer’s decision to buy.”
- “The more value I build in on the front end, the less important price becomes on the back end.”
Your pricing attitude positively (or negatively) affects your confidence. Before your next meeting, review a success, focus on the impact, and recite a few positive affirmations. Henry Ford could’ve had salespeople in mind when he famously said, “Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right.” Attitude builds confidence. Confidence creates profit.