Sometimes what you hear isn’t what is said. Fortunately, I am fluent in “client,” and I can translate. You thought you heard a price objection.
Your price is higher than your competitors.
Translation: I don’t perceive the value and you haven’t differentiated that value.
If you are creating more value than your competitors, you need to be able to help your dream client perceive that value. If they don’t perceive the value, it’s likely you have not differentiated your offering from your competitor’s.
I need you to sharpen your pencil.
Translation: I can’t justify your higher price.
Your dream client doesn’t know how to justify your higher price to his bosses. He doesn’t know how to explain why he is paying more for something instead of taking the lower bid. You have to provide them a defensible justification.
I need your best and final offer on a three year deal.
Translation: I am looking for a final concession on price so I can be very sure I squeezed you hard enough.
Purchasing tactics. No matter how well you negotiate in good faith, professional buyers are going to try to take a final bite of the apple. . . just to make certain. If you are here, you are very likely already chosen, and the person you are sitting across from is simply doing their job by checking you.
I can’t take this price to my boss.
Translation: I really had no idea that the outcome I need is going to cost this much. I’m really embarrassed. [Alternative: I am going to start laying the groundwork for value capture right here and now].
Sometimes your dream client has been lied to for so long that they have come to believe that that they can have better, faster, and cheaper all in one package–if only they choose the right vendor. It takes a serious investment of time to educate them and help them educate their team.
Sometimes the person you are dealing with believes they are going for a win-win negotiation. They win, and their company wins. The right answer? “I can help with that. I’ll be happy to take it to your boss for you.”
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