Bob Schultek Author of The Gauntlet

Price is obvious to all customers. It’s clear, direct and easy to evaluate. It simplifies, and so expedites, their buying decision with minimal consideration. It’s why they like to hear the numbers as early in your discussion as possible. 

But talking price too early, without first learning more about the customer’s need and why its resolution is important, just confirms their initial perception of your offering as a commodity. And like every other commodity supplier, they then assume that your primary motivation is to sell, not to solve. They sense that you’re seeking the one-time transaction, not a contribution to their success or an enduring relationship; like them, you agree that price is the dominant deciding factor. 

Talking price too early enables the customer to treat you like a vendor, wasting an opportunity to reveal your organization’s experience and competency, and your genuine interest in their success. It discounts your expertise, diminishes your brand, and sets you up for a one-way journey down in revenue and profit. 

For your offering to be seen as more than a transaction -…for it to be recognized as a solution that resolves a need while contributing to a strategic aspiration,…for it to reveal your company’s expertise and capabilities, your distinctiveness and your credibility,…for it to be appreciated as the customer’s best, lowest risk alternative,…for it to be seen as creating value, as an investment in their progress,-   before talking price, first discover what the customer values, and why resolving their need will help them achieve their goals. 

Value is different for every customer. It is derived from the benefits produced by your offering, benefits which create strategic value for the customer. 

How quickly do your proposal discussions turn to price?

How often do you sell price vs. value?