I was chatting to one of my Soft Selling clients recently. Sally was asking for advice on how to convince someone with no money to invest in her services. Sally’s prospect desperately needed her services but ‘could not afford it’. She was considering dropping her rates to something she felt her prospect could afford.

‘This keeps on happening to me’ said Sally ‘I know the other person needs my services but I just don’t have the heart to turn my prospect away or to exploit the pain’

I asked Sally to put herself in her prospects shoes and to imagine the consequences of doing nothing. ‘Well his business is going to go bust’ she said ‘I am convinced of it’. I asked Sally whether she had asked the question of the prospect. Sally said that she had not but she had told him. I suggested Sally go back and ask the question. ’What are the consequences of things staying as they are now?’

The next day Sally phoned me as agreed ‘He has signed up and has even paid in advance!’ She said all excitedly ‘You should have seen his face when the penny dropped! He went as white as a sheet! He worked out that he could not afford NOT to go ahead. I stuck to my fee but I did say that I was so confident that if he was not happy I would return his money without any questions. Now he can see a way forward he looks ten years younger’.

When ever I am selling, especially big ticket solutions, I always want to know the cost of the status quo. It is the key to ‘No Brainer’ ROI. If the cost of the status quo is high then provided the prospect has come to that conclusion themselves, you stand a much better chance of closing the deal at decent rates.

Always think twice about dropping your prices. If the cost of the status quo is low then you would be better off taking the time to find a better prospect rather than wasting your precious time doing work for a client who is not your target audience. The temptation is to just take the money but unless you are consistently earning enough margin on your services then you will not be in business for too long.

The next time you are speaking to a new prospect and before you come close to discussing fees ask the question – ’What are the consequences of things staying as they are now?’.