In the past, our leading IT-buying Emissaries have told you why you should stop freaking out about pricing, discounts, and trials. But with so much riding on a subject as delicate as pricing, we knew there was more to say. This time around, some of our most sought-after Emissaries tell you how you can set expectations to make these discussions easier and smooth your path to closed-won.
Price for partnership
Your potential buyer will be looking closely at pricing—there’s no way around it. That's why it's key to be up front about what your pricing structure will look like today and in the future to nip those concerns in the bud.
Bear in mind that your prospect is interested in a serious partnership, not a one-time transaction—and a long-term working relationship means stability for your buyer, plus potential account growth for your sales team.
So take care to build the kind of trust that demonstrates you’ll be around for the long haul.
“If you're putting a price that is just to get the deal out of the door, then in three months inevitable issues will arise, and your customer will be looking to replace you as a vendor, rather than continuing to build a relationship where you really become a partner,” said our Emissary, a former VP of IT at Kellogg's.
In addition to being transparent about pricing, consider extending an olive branch to your prospect in the form of a discount or proof of concept to win them over to your cause.
Giving away a piece of your product for free sends a powerful message to buyers that you’re confident in your solution’s capabilities and serious about the business.
Prove your price is right
Your prospect will be doing everything in their power to get the lowest price possible for their organization—they’re looking to protect their bottom line at the same time you’re looking to grow yours.
Unavoidable though these discussions may be, they don't also have to be interminable. Wasting too much time mired in lengthy pricing negotiations can kill your momentum, so look for shortcuts to whittle them down to something much more manageable.
If your product is the lowest-priced product on the market, great. Move along. But if it’s not, making a strong case for why your product is more expensive than the rest with case studies, testimonials, or other tools like ROI calculators can shorten, or even eliminate, lengthy negotiations altogether.
While your prospect may have originally fought to bring your asking price down, with new evidence before them as to how your product can deliver a unique kind of value that's not available anywhere else, they may be much more willing to proceed at a higher price point.
Connect the dots between value and price
A majority of buyers don’t find any value in their sales meetings and a full 96 percent of them say that a product’s ability to deliver value affects their buying decision, so just emphasizing how your solution specifically addresses their needs will automatically set you above the rest and warm them to your pricing structure.
For a stronger argument, bring along a case study to your meetings to provide tangible examples of how your product has delivered results for other clients at a similar price point in the past.
"Show us a client that’s a similar size in a similar industry, and lay out their pricing structure for your solution. We want to know we’re not being taken for a ride," said our Emissary, a former director of engineering at Refinery29.
Illustrating the clear relationship between your price and actual results can be a strong selling point and prove to your prospect that signing a contract with you is a sound investment with the promise of real return.
Don't get discouraged by pricing. When talking cost, be forthcoming about your product's pricing structure. Will it go up after an initial trial period or is it scheduled to change in the coming years? Communicate that to your prospect from the get-go to build trust going forward. And, in general, work hard to spend as little time as possible negotiating price. Many times, justifying your product's high cost from the outset with a clear demonstration of how it outperforms competitors will keep the sales cycle moving along at a steady pace.