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4 Strategies Guaranteed to Make you a “Price Winner”

Meera sounded beaten. This was her first week with CBP Group, a luxury furnishings company. Meera had taken on direct selling of cots, beds and playpens to up market homes. 

Three days, ten cold calls. And today a near miss. The Customer seemed all excited about a home collection. “Here is my first sale” Meera had thought. That’s when the Customer asked to see the price list. And then everything collapsed. 

Sadhana, Head of Home Furnishing sales, was quietly sympathetic as Meera shared her disappointment

Smiling broadly, she said “That’s every salesperson’s story. All stellar sales careers are built on rejections. But that aside, there were several alternatives you could have tried” 

“Like what?” asked Meera. “You could have”, continued Sadhana, “drawn his attention away from the price to the price difference. Or made the price look smaller; shown him how it’s an investment and not a cost really given the quality and durability of our furniture; explained to him how our furniture is all handcrafted and ecofriendly which low-cost options are not: or focused on the pride of owning a CBP furniture set. I will go with you on your calls tomorrow. We will meet that Customer again. Fix up some time with him” 

What do you think made Sadhana so confident?   

3 Insightful Ways to Think About Price 

In many fairytales for children the hero has to kill the dragon to win the princess. The equivalent of that in the world of sales would be - beat the price objection and win the Customer. 

Selling price is one of the prized skills of sales champions. Mastering price selling can quickly put a sales professional at the top of his league 

Heinz Goldmann, founder of Mercuri Goldmann International, suggested 3 insightful ways a salesperson can think about price: 

  1. Buying power and buying desire are not the same. All sales planning should be done with this distinction in mind. What does this mean? We generally assume, for example, that a high priced product should be ideally offered exclusively to a high income group. But that may not always be true. Affordability may not be only consideration when a buyer badly wants a product. Heinz Goldmann points out interesting examples: 
  • A collector of rare stamps may spend half his income on stamps 
  • An unskilled worker with chronic headaches will spend more on aspirin than a healthy millionaire 
  • A craftsman who prides himself in his skill may acquire expensive tools though he may not use all of them 
  • Companies considering themselves to be forward looking are easily attracted to any new innovation or automation tool introduced in the market 
  1. Products aren’t ‘Cheap/Expensive’, they are  ‘Price Positive’/‘Price Negative’

Concepts of ‘cheap’ and ‘expensive’ are fuzzy as they are just mental constructs. On the other hand, seeing articles in demand as ‘price positive’ and those perceived to be “necessary evils” as ‘price negative’ is a better to way to approach price. For instance a dentist’s bill of Rs.12000 may be perceived as more expensive than Rs.15000 spent on down payment for buying a new feature-rich phone. The first one is regarded as ‘price negative’ whereas the second one is considered ‘price positive’  One is seen as ‘can’t be helped’ and other as ‘desirable and wanted’ 


  1. There are factors that outweigh price 

According to Heinz Goldmann, “to the person who buys  a desirable (price-positive) article, the price is likely to be a minor matter” 

So, potential factors that outweigh price can be identified by raising questions like: 

  • Do you sell price-positive or price-negative prducts? 
  • How does your target group react? 
  • How does the prospect you are talking to see the product? Price positive or price negative? 
  • If the Customer sees the product as price-negative, can you identify price-positive aspects to emphasise? 

4 Strategies to Successfully Sell Price 

  1. Present price at just the right stage 

Ensure that the Customer has appreciated the benefits and value of the proposed purchase completely before presenting the price. In case the Customer asks for it before you have established the value of your product or service, you can 

  1. Side step the question as you continue to dwell on how your solution will create value for the Customer 
  2. Simply request to postpone the answer – “Sir, Would you mind if we talk about it a little later?” 
  3. Move the Customer in your direction by checking on the Customer's unique requirements –“Madam that would depends on the model you choose” This buys 
  4. Give a qualified answer. For example, you can say “It is only 1.8 lakhs … it comes with a 5 year warranty. Also the price is to be seen in relation to the lifetime of this equipment. Further if you reckon the costs it will save every month, the purchase price wil be paid off in less than 2 years” 

The philosophy should be ‘still later’ till the right psychological moment is reached   

  1. Present the price positively 

Psycholinguistics has it that the words used by a salesperson to present the price and the method of doing it hads subliminal impact on the Customer’s mind – positive or negative. Keeping the interests of the Customer uppermost the Salesperson must emphasize positive aspects of price, through the well chosen words linking the investment made to the benefits that will accrue. Other positive price presentation techniques include 

  1. Put the price in perspective by showing how reasonable the price is when seen over the life time of the investment 
  2. Compare your price with other more expensive options. 
  3. Highlight the hidden benefits that don’t form part of the price. 

Emphasise value your product will deliver to prove that it is worth the investment 

  1. Focus on the ‘extra’ to beat back price objection 

The  secret  of  handling  the  price objection successfully boils down to justification of the extra price as perceived by the Customer. It needs showing her or him the extra benefits.  Handling the price objection is ultimately not so much about justifying the total price as about demonstrating the fairness of the price difference with whatever Customer is comparing. This is what Sadhana was hinting at in her conversation with Meera in our story 

  1. Stop being a ‘price conscious’ salesperson 

Many a times the issue is with the price conscious Salesperson rather than a price conscious Customer. To keep price in perspective in the sales interaction with Customer, the Salesperson must not become oversensitive to price. A comment that many salespersons dread to hear from their Customers is “You are expensive”. 

Value selling shows you 3 ways you can stop obsessing about price

  1.  Focus on value for Customer first, price negotiation can wait 
  2. Disarm the use of price as a negotiation weapon, keep the sales talk centred on value 
  3. Have a meaningful agenda, build discussions around what is most relevant and of immediate value to the Customer  

For Reflection

Which of these strategies would work in your sales context? How can you use them in your sales conversations to close more deals? 

You can find more examples of price selling in action in this Mercuri Insight Document on Are your people struggling to sell price? 

“Effortless is a myth. I mean it, I say that as someone who has heard that word a lot … The truth is I had to work very hard to make it look easy.”

– Roger Federer on his celebrated tennis skills

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