This is the first article in a series on how to handle price objections or, to be precise, avoid them from arising in the first place. It can be a huge waste of time to go through the consultative sales process only to find out that your prospect has massively different expectations about what it would cost for a solution to their problem.

A key stage in the consultative sales process, and one often neglected, is the ‘Qualify Interest’ stage. Once we have generated interest in our services, we then check a few things to ensure we will not be wasting time proceeding with a sales conversation. The sales term for this is ‘Qualification’ and checking price expectations is an important part of it. Typical sales trainers teach people to do this by asking your prospect for their budget. In my experience, people have become wary of giving their budget and say things like:

“We do not have a budget for this yet”; or

“I would rather not say at this stage”

If we are being truly consultative then budget is actually meaningless at this stage. We may have an idea of what projects normally cost but until we have the full detail, how can we know what the solution will look like, let alone cost?

However, we do need to ask something to ensure that we are on the same page as our prospects in terms of pricing expectations. Here are a few alternative approaches:

Give a minimum spend

“Our projects start from £5,000. Will that be an issue for you?”

Give a range of prices

“The projects we work normally range from £5,000 to £50,000. Will that be an issue for you?”

The “Stellar Artois” technique

“In terms of budget, I need to make sure I will not be wasting your time. I will need to ask some questions before I can give you an indication of cost. What I can say is that we are not the cheapest on the market. Will that be an issue for you?”