I recently read a great article by sales trainer Geoffrey James and wanted to share it with you. As small business owners, we are all too familiar with the “It Costs Too Much” objection from a client and most of us don’t quite know how to handle it effectively. We are uncomfortable and unwilling to dig deeper and find out WHY?

Meanwhile, “It Costs Too Much” is the single most common objection to a sales pitch. When that phrase (or something like it) comes up, it means that you haven’t yet shown the prospect that your offering is valuable enough to justify the price.  Your next move should be to ask for clarification, so that you know how to adjust the cost/value equation.

Below are thirteen questions you can ask when you receive the “it costs too much” response. These questions will move the conversation forward and get you the information you’ll need to reposition your product. When using any of these questions, you should preface them with a phrase that confirms that you’ve heard and understood the objection.  (Examples: No problem, Just out of curiosity…, I understand that cost is always an issue.., etc…)

Here are the questions:

  1. When you say it costs too much, what do you mean?”
  2. What has been your past experience with solutions like ours?”
  3. How do you know that it costs too much?”
  4. What do you know about us or our industry?”
  5. What has been your past experience with companies like ours?”
  6. What are some of your priorities around _________?”
  7. What if our solutions weren’t really expensive at all?”
  8. What if it turned out that we didn’t really cost as much as you thought?”
  9. What if we really could solve the problem of __________?”
  10. What if we really could generate a measurable business value?”
  11. What if we could help you create a competitive advantage?”
  12. What if we could show you how our solution would actually save money?”
  13. How do you plan to handle this problem or opportunity without our offering?”

What’s important is that it not seem as if you’re questioning the validity of the objection, but rather to change the way that the prospect views the cost issue. The “no problem” and the “just out of curiosity”, provide the bridge to keep the conversation going and give you the opportunity to show that your offering has value that more than offsets the cost.

Leap of the Week:
If and when the excuse is about money, let me assure you that it’s NOT. It’s about the perceived lack of value for the amount of money asked. So, re-read the above questions carefully and keep them close by when reviewing a proposal with a client. Digging deeper always pays off. Give it a try and you’ll see, it’s much easier than you think.

Let me know how it goes!