By Paul Reilly

Have you ever asked a salesperson for a discount just to see if you would get it? If you’re like most people, you have. If that salesperson was like most, he or she probably gave you a discount. Our research shows that over 70 percent of salespeople discount when a buyer asks for one.

Over the past month, we’ve asked over one hundred salespeople from different industries the following question: “You are competing for an order and the buyer believes your solution will save them time and money. However, the buyer says your price is high. How much would you discount?” Seventy percent of salespeople would still discount even though the buyer believes their solution saves them time and/or money.

When reading the above question, on what information did you focus? Did you focus on the buyer’s price objection or the buyer’s preference for your solution? Salespeople get hung up on the objection and forget about the value of their solution. You move in the direction of your thoughts. If you focus on the price objection, you’re more likely to discount. What if you treated every price objection as an opportunity to sell value instead of an excuse to discount?

When you save the buyer time or money, you don’t need to be the cheapest. When you save the buyer time or money, they expect to pay more (not less). In a separate study, buyers from various industries reported on their purchasing behavior. We asked buyers a similar question: “Multiple companies are competing for your business. If one salesperson presents a better overall solution that could save your company time or money, how much more would you be willing to pay for their solution?”

Buyers would pay 9.13 percent more for a solution that saves them time or money. Who is making a bigger deal out of price, buyers or salespeople?

The next time a buyer gives you a price objection, hold the line. Use the objection as an opportunity to reinforce your value added. Give the buyer three reasons to choose your alternative and stand firm. Salespeople discount because they fear losing the business. But remember, most buyers will pay more for greater value.

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