Sales Effectiveness
7 min reading

Objection Pricing: 12 unbeatable techniques for convincing

Cyprien Borios
Published on
10/6/2024
12 unstoppable techniques against price objections
"We would like to work with you, but really, you're too expensive..."

Classic. This is a universal objection: "You're too expensive".

In such cases, you have two possibilities:

  1. Sticking to your guns😤
  2. Finding common ground 🤔

While beginners will resist and mechanically list all the benefits, the best sales will accept to lower their price... and still win!

In this article, discover 12 ways to turn the "too expensive" objection to your advantage and get your sales process moving in the right direction!

Introduction

If there was only one negotiation rule to remember:

"When I give from one side, I must receive from the other."

The basis of sales techniques: Never give anything away for nothing!

To understand how negotiation works in your business development process, you must first understand the concept that has underpinned commerce since the dawn of time:

Value asymmetry.

Def: "The value I perceive in a product is not equal to the value my interlocutor perceives in that same product."

=> Some things cost my client almost nothing, while they are very valuable to me. Knowing how to identify this intersection is the key to making you a great negotiator.

Why do people negotiate?

Often the root of the "too expensive" objection is not what you imagine.

Let's try to break down the different specimens you may encounter:

1. The one who negotiates "out of principle"

We've all had to deal with them... That client with a huge budget who still negotiates every penny! Actually, this person has simply put their ego in the equation: they want to leave the discussion thinking "I am a good negotiator" .

The solution? Let him simmer for a while before finally telling him: 

"Okay, you win! I'll give you a 0.2% discount, and in return we'll sign on Friday."

By adopting this action plan, you can motivate the customer to accept the discount by giving them the feeling that you've won a negotiating victory, whereas ninni!

2. The one who negotiates to show his superiors that he can negotiate

He's the cousin of the person who negotiates on principle because he likes to steer negotiations, except that his ego is in the eyes of his superiors. In the same way, give him a cookie, but keep some cartridges in reserve. More devious, he may do this up to 3 or 4 times. Don't reveal all your cards on the 1st round.

3. The one who really has no choice

In general, it's the managers or the people in charge. They're the ones who have to scrape by every day to bring in the cash, and don't intend to throw a single penny out the window. Often, these professionals have strict budgetary constraints, and seek to maximize the value of every investment, including in tools like CRM.

Your advantage: French law is relatively flexible, so you can write a lot of things into a sales contract. Your target wants to pay less? No problem. I'll open my bundle, and here's what I can offer you in return:

  1. A customer testimonial
  2. Detailed feedback
  3. An immediate signature
  4. A longer commitment
  5. An upfront payment
  6. The modification of a clause
  7. A reduced offer / service
  8. A volume increase
  9. The opening of their address book
  10. A commitment for the future
  11. Exclusivity
  12. Communication

1. Customer testimonial

"Oc for x% reduction, and in return we want video feedback from the director on the impact of our solution within 1 month."

Customer testimonials are too often underestimated. Ask for a video format, which you will then translate into text, adding the quantified impact of your solution.

You will benefit from a strong, impactful, and infinitely reusable live proof :

  • ... to incorporate into your email sequences for your prospecting.
  • ... that can be used in negotiations, to justify your value or a use case.
  • ... shareable on your network and your website.
  • ... that you can send between your prospecting and a first meeting, to add some intensity to your deals.
"Before our meeting, I wanted to share with you the feedback from Qonto, who had the same issue as you at the time."

The icing on the cake is that these testimonials are real assists for your marketing team! Thanks to these testimonials, they will be able to attract new customers => Customers that you will sign, and from whom you will ask for new testimonials => Virtuous cycle! 🔁

Example with Qonto (725 employees - 🇫🇷) ⬇️

The testimony must be well planned so as not to create friction afterwards. Plan it contractually by agreeing beforehand on its scope, the right to use the company's image and that of the person testifying, and the broadcasting methods.

2. Detailed user feedback

"Ok for a reduction of x%, and in return we want a detailed user feedback including ..."

More advanced than the testimonial, the user feedback details the use of your solution, all illustrated with before/after figures.

  1. The initial situation: Why did you take our solution?
  2. How did the implementation of the solution go?
  3. What were the first impressions?
  4. Final situation: What has changed today?

This type of testimony can tip the balance in the face of a hesitant decision-maker:

"I understand your hesitation. I suggest you take three minutes to look at the feedback from the Payfit teams, who were in the same situation."

⚖️ Agree upstream on the KPIs to measure, the expected format of the study, the size of the panel, etc. - As well as on the broadcasting conditions.

3. Immediate signing of the contract

"Ok for x% discount, in that case I expect the signed contract by Friday 12pm."

A prospect on the verge of signing can still screw you up. The sooner your prospect signs, the more you reduce the risk in your sales cycle => "A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush" . It's at this crucial moment that the sales team needs to be clutch, ensuring that the signing process is fast and efficient, and that the deal goes through.

4. Longer contract - Duration of the commitment

"Ok for a reduction of x%, and we commit for 3 years instead of 1."

One word: loyalty. Customer loyalty is a real asset. In SaaS, as in consulting, the length of the commitment is the key to business. The longer your customer commits, the more secure your perimeter.

5. Upfront payment - Downpayment

"Ok for x% discount, provided we receive 20% of the amount by Friday."

Useful if you need cash quickly or if your partners have long payment terms.

6. Modification of a clause

"Ok for a reduction of x%, provided that we reduce the payment term."

Read your contracts carefully. Even if they are well drafted, some clauses can be changed in your favour:

=> What are the clauses that bother you, and which do not really impact your client?

⚖️ Make sure this is legal, and check that you are not creating a significant imbalance between the parties' rights and obligations.

7. Reducing your offer / service

"Ok for x% discount, but you will get limited access to customer service."

Not a fan of this one, as it could lead to frustration on the part of the client. That being said, it remains an interesting lever if the post-deal efforts are substantial: Time-consuming customer follow-up? Troubleshooting? Support? Lighten the load on the customer team, which is already overworked ;)

=> "What costs us money, and is not valued by the customer?"

8. Increase in volume/number of users

"Ok for x% reduction, and we commit to 100 licences instead of 50."

Volume-dependent offer. Classic and efficient.

9. Connecting - Opening the address book. 

"Okay for x% off, and you guarantee me an introduction to other department heads - to your counterparts - to your partners."

Your contact is bound to have connections (such as a sales manager, for example) that can be of use to you. Make sure these introductions are qualitative and in due form

It is advisable to agree on the purpose, terms and duration ofthe match. An introduction by a competent person will make it easier for you later on.

10. A commitment for the future

"Ok for x% discount, and you guarantee me ...
... to keep me informed of all your future needs."
... that when your teams grow, you will equip them with our solution as well."

Another way to secure your perimeter, by projecting into the future business while supporting your prospect's potential sales force.

⚖️ Clearly define what the triggering event for the obligation will be, what the obligation is, and for how long.

11. Exclusivity

"Ok for x% discount, and you guarantee us exclusivity for a period of ... "

Very powerful as it closes the door to all your competitors, but therefore difficult to negotiate.

⚖️ Detailed contractual formalisation is essential.

12. Communication

"Ok for x% discount, and in that case you:
... allow us to communicate with your name on our networks. "
... communicate about us on your networks. "

Classic, works both ways - even if the ideal is for your customers to talk about you (yes, we don't neglect customer relations). Beyond a simple post on social networks, make sure you appear where your prospects are, thanks to your customer!

The key principle: when your customer uses your solution, their partners should see you.

Ex: Think of Apple, which used to sign every message sent with: "Sent from my iPhone" Imagine the impact of this technique on the billions of messages sent.

⚖️ Make sure you have the right to use the company's name or logo for communication purposes.

Bonus: Build trust!

Okay, we're not in the '80s anymore... But inviting your customers is a great way to forge strong ties, while enjoying yourself at the same time. Suggest a good meal with the customer's team, an evening out, an event, etc., and above all one that's not related to your business activity - it's likely to be boring! You're in for a treat, and if it also gets you signed, you're in!

Conclusion

The number and nature of the levers at your disposal is up to your imagination!

  1. Customer testimonial
  2. Detailed user feedback
  3. An immediate signature
  4. A longer commitment
  5. An upfront payment
  6. The modification of a clause
  7. A reduced offer / service
  8. A volume increase
  9. Opening the address book
  10. A commitment for the future
  11. Exclusivity
  12. Communication

Among all these elements, list those that fit your business. Discuss them with your managers to find out how much leeway you have, and use your inventiveness to identify value asymmetries: "What costs my prospects nothing, and I can't get much for it?"

Some nuggets just waiting to be picked up ;) 

Once the negotiation is over, have you reached an agreement?

You are approaching the closing moment... 

But when is the right time to close your sale?

To answer this question, we wanted to go further. On 5 May 2022, five of the biggest names in sales got together to discuss the best way to close a deal.

Access the replay and get advice from the best salespeople from Sellsy, Yousign, AirCall, DreamcatcherSales, and of course Modjo!

And remember, a good negotiation ends with not one, but 2 winners 😉

Best,

Cyprien Borios
Sales content expert
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