Shifting Buyers from Price to Value

We have all come across those customers who seem to be obsessed with getting the lowest price. They will jump from one vendor to the next, just to save a few dollars. Many times, it is not worth your energy to try to keep these customers, because as soon as they find a cheaper price, they will jump ship.

Sometimes, you come across a customer who is too great to pass up, even if they have a hang up on price.  In this case, you need to be proactive if you want to hold on to them for the long haul. Here are three things to keep in mind when you encounter the price-obsessed customer:

1. Are you talking to the right person?  Just because “Jane” calls you to set up a meeting, does not mean she is the best person to talk to about this potential deal. Often the people making the initial inquiries are not the ultimate decision makers, and sometimes they will try to inflate their own sense of importance by beating up vendors on price. Other times, they have been sent in by higher-ups to do the dirty work of negotiating. If you ask Jane questions about her organization’s values or her customers’ expectations and she does not know the answers, then that is a clue that you should be speaking with someone else.

Is this prospective customer a good fit for YOU and your company? If you ask questions about values and expectations and all the customer wants to talk about is price, then her organization might not be a good fit for your products and services. You can think of the landscape of dining choices available to you in your hometown. If you want a cheap, quick meal, you are going to choose a fast-food restaurant. If you want a great quality meal with outstanding service, you are going to pick a nicer restaurant.

2. The same is true for salespeople and their customers. Some customers want fast food and others want fine dining. You need to know where you stand and only take customers who value what you have to offer. Do not try to offer a fast-food price for a fine dining experience; in the end, everyone will be frustrated!

3. What principles anchor the prospect’s business? If you can uncover what makes this company great, you can then align yourself with those strengths. You can find this out by asking questions like this:

“What is it that your customers value? Why do your customers buy from you as opposed to your competition?”

These questions will give you insight into the mindset of the company, how they sell themselves to their customers and how they are trying to differentiate themselves in the marketplace. Then you can have a discussion about your company’s values and why customers choose you over your competitors.


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Paul Cherry

For over two decades, sales expert and author PAUL CHERRY has helped B2B sales professionals close more deals in all major industries. As a recognized thought leader in customer engagement strategies, Paul Cherry has been featured in more than 250 publications, including Investor’s Business Daily, Selling Power, Inc., Sales & Marketing Management, The Kiplinger Letter, and Salesforce.

Performance Based Results

Paul Cherry is the president of Performance Based Results. PBR delivers intense, customized sales team training programs and sales management coaching to companies throughout North America. Paul has worked with more than 1,200 organizations, including 175 of the Fortune 500, plus more than a thousand entrepreneurial, small to mid-sized, cutting-edge businesses looking to dominate their niche markets. Clients typically get 7 times their return-on-investment (ROI) or better.

Questions That Sell

Paul Cherry’s top-rated bestseller, Questions That Sell: The Powerful Process for Discovering What Your Customer Really Wants (AMACOM) has been listed on BookAuthority’s “100 Best Sales Books of All Time” and has been published in four languages. He is also the author of Questions That Get Results (Wiley) and The Ultimate Sales Pro (HarperCollins Leadership).