What to do when buyers ask you about pricing on the first call
Why they ask, how to respond and cue cards to practice your answers
The common practice in sales is to follow a linear process with your buyer where you start by finding a problem you can solve, then find the impact and deadline, then prescribe the solution and finally present a proposal with pricing.
However, this doesn’t align with how prospects approach buying.
Instead, they start out by realizing they have a problem, then figure out how much they can afford to spend on fixing it, then narrow their search to vendors who fit with their budget, then evaluate solutions (demos + proposals) and finally select one to partner with.
There’s clearly a mismatch between buyers and sellers over who needs what information at what point.
If your pricing is not displayed on your website, your prospective buyers will likely ask you about it early in your sales process, earlier than you planned for, often during your first call.
Q: “What’s the pricing?”
The ABSOLUTE WORST thing you can do is to try to dodge the answer with something like this:
A: “Oh, it’s based on the number of seats and a few other factors. We’ll get to that on the next call. By the way, what’s your budget?”
Instead try this:
Prepare a range of pricing in case the question comes up
Identify some current customers of yours who are a similar size to your prospect and look up their annual spend.
Select the highest and lowest spending customers, make a note of what they are buying (e.g. seats, features, integrations, support level). This gives you a range.
Practice answering the question
Answer the question with the range and end by asking how it lines up with what your buyer had in mind.
Based on your buyer’s response, ask a series of follow up questions.
Recap what you’ve heard.
A: “Customers of your size with Z users are spending between X and Y per year, depending on the final features, integrations and support level they select. How does that line up with what you had in mind?”
You’ll get one of 3 responses to this:
“That’s in line with what we are looking to spend.”
“That’s more than I expected.”
“Hmm, what is included at the lower end of the range?”
Here’s a cue card for how to handle each of these responses: