Money is a tricky subject for most of us to talk about. In many societies and cultures, money is something you just don’t discuss.
So, it makes sense that sales professionals and entrepreneurs alike might struggle during the sales conversation, especially when it’s time to talk about your fees.
Even if you’re enjoying a sales call, your heart skips a beat when your prospect asks the question, “How much will that cost?”
Now it’s the do or die moment.
Will you quote your fee with confidence?
Are they going to freak out by how high your fees are?
Will they sign up right away?
How can you maintain rapport during this potentially awkward part of the conversation?
There are PLENTY of ways you can own the sales call, even when quoting your fees.
Let’s take a look at how to best prepare for this part of the sales call and where most people trip themselves up when they’re asked “How much?”
Know Your Prices
First of all, know your prices.
I know that many of you are in fields where you offer customized projects and engagements. So, you might not have an exact figure in mind before a call; you want to get a better idea around what this prospect needs before you start contemplating prices.
That makes sense.
HOWEVER, you still need to know some of your basic price points.
First, know your pricing floor.
How low are you willing to go to take on a new client? Is it worth it for you to hop on board for a $500 gig? Or is it not worth your time until you’re in the $5,000 range? Or is it $50,000?
Once you know your pricing floor, then be very clear on what you’re willing to do at that floor price point. This will ground you and give you confidence during negotiations if they happen.
Next, decide on your “everything and the kitchen sink” price point. If you were to throw everything you’ve got into a project, what would that cost?
In general, your floor price point and your “everything and the kitchen sink” price point will be outliers. Most of your engagements will be somewhere in the middle.
So, finally, what is that middle price for you? On average, what would be included in that middle of the road project?
Knowing these three price points (floor, kitchen sink, and average) will make it easier for you to calculate during the call what this particular project would look like and how much it would cost.
Without these price points in mind, you’re adding to your stress during the call.
Have these three projects and prices points in mind before the call. That way it will be easier for you to identify which type of project and price your prospect requires on the call.
You just slide the scale up or down based on what they need and what you would deliver.
Of course, quoting an exact fee right then and there on the call might not be possible. In which case, let’s look at tip number two…
Range then Review
Even when you have your basic price points in mind, your prospect can always throw you a few curveballs on the call.
Many factors can dictate your prices: time spent, resources needed, materials to create, outside contractors…the list can go on and on.
You discover your prospect doesn’t want 6 months of support, they want a full year. They don’t want one project built out, they want three.
There will be times when you have too many factors to calculate on the call.
Now you feel stuck because you want to answer your prospect’s question “How much?,” but you also want to quote a fee that is fair to them and fair to you.
The good news is that you don’t have to quote your exact fee on the call.
Instead, you just range and review.
This simple technique will help you and your prospect get on the same page price-wise, while still giving you enough time to come up with an appropriate quote.
Give your prospect a range in which your fee will likely fall and ask for a bit of time to review the information before giving an exact figure.
Here’s how this can look:
“Based on our conversation, I’ve got some things to calculate and think about. Let’s schedule a call for us to go over the specifics of what this project would look like. In the meantime, I can tell you that we’re probably looking at a project rate between X and Y ($ and $$$).”
By giving a Range, you’re satisfying your prospect’s curiosity while giving you the needed time to Review what you’ve learned and come up with a proper quote.
So, don’t feel pressured to give an exact quote right away. Just Range and Review.
Saving the best for last.
When your prospect asks, “How much?,” DO NOT just say a number!
Here’s why, and what you should do instead.
A lot gets covered on sales calls. You talk about what your prospect needs, what they’re struggling with, what they want to achieve, how they enjoy working…not to mention all of the lovely side topics that help you build rapport with your prospect.
The highlights of your services have been sprinkled throughout the conversation. At various times your prospect has said things like,
- “Oh, that sounds great.”
- “That’s exactly what I’m looking for.”
- “That sounds perfect.”
But, those pique moments might have happened 7 minutes into the conversation, and again at 20 minutes, and again at 34 minutes.
Which means, your prospect has likely forgotten one or two of those “Oh wow” moments, especially while they’re bracing for impact waiting to hear your quote.
It’s your job to remind your prospect of the value associated with your quote.
When you answer the question, “How much?” with just a number, you’re missing out on major influential opportunity.
Associate your fee with value.
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To do this, answer “How much?,” with a recap of what’s included in the project, what value your prospect will derive, and THEN state your fee.
It looks something like this:
“Ok, so for this project, we’re looking at a Processes Review Day, followed by the Action Report, then we’ll move into implementation. During that time, we will have calls twice a month coaching your team. Our main objective will be to improve your internal systems so that you can step away from working in the business and start working on the business. We’ll know that we’re successful when you see improvements on progress reports and when you have fewer “crisis” meetings with team members each week. To accomplish that, we’re looking at ONE BILLION DOLLARS” (or whatever your quote would be).
Notice the distinct difference between the above statement versus saying, “That’ll be a billion dollars, please.”
By recapping the components of the project and highlighting the value of the project, you’re creating a stronger positive association with your fee.
Which, in turn, makes your prospect perceive your fee to be more “worth it.”
So, when quoting your fee, always associate it with the value that it brings.
Confidence plays a key role in successfully quoting your fees. If there’s any doubt in your voice when you quote your prices, your prospect will doubt the value you’re trying to communicate. If you doubt yourself, why shouldn’t they doubt you, too?
Use these three techniques to quote your fees with more confidence and influence in your future sales calls.
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