There are two words that I never hear our top sales reps say, but often hear spoken on the sales floor among our lower performing reps. These two words are “Expensive” and “Cheap.”

“Expensive” and “cheap” are subjective words, they have no meaning on their own and only have meaning when compared to something else. For example, a $100 pair of shoes are only “expensive” compared to a $20 pair but become “cheap” when compared to a $500 pair. It’s not fair to compare all three pairs of shoes based only on price because there are a lot of other factors that go into your buying criteria like the fit, quality, and brand recognition.

Customers don’t want to buy something they feel is “expensive” because they will feel like they overpaid, and are equally weary of choosing something they perceive as “cheap” because they associate that with having lower quality. So the minute you hear a prospect using these words to describe your product, or even worse you use them, an alarm bell should go off in your head.

If you ask a prospective customer how they will make their buying decision, and you should early and often in your deals, they will always say that price is important but will not be their determining criteria. I have asked this question to my customers in every single deal with my team and I have NEVER heard a customer say that they will make a buying decision on price alone. It’s critically important that you get your prospects to say this out loud because it will then frame how you handle pricing objections further along in the sales cycle and direct them away from words like "expensive" and "cheap" towards a conversation around value instead.

No one wants to make a buying decision based
on price, they want to make it on value, and
reps who understand the difference here sell
deals for a much higher average selling price
and their customers feel like they got better

In a sale like enterprise business software, there are many options on the market (including doing nothing and waiting another year) and each will have varying price points. The sales reps that present their pricing compared to the value derived and ROI instead of compared to competitors have a much better chance of not only winning the business, but winning it for more money, and the best part is customers walk away feeling like they won too.

Sometimes your product is priced higher than alternatives, and sometimes it’s lower, but it’s never more expensive or cheaper. Expensive and cheap are editorializing phrases that will only hurt you and don’t belong in a sales rep’s vocabulary.

Your customers might still use these words and it’s very likely your competitors will too. Don’t fall into their traps. When this happens I see our best reps turn the conversation around to value. They educate the customer on what would really be more expensive- choosing the wrong partner and having to go through this again in a year. This is where being able to articulate your value statements creatively and concisely will save your deal.

Next time you catch yourself saying “expensive” or “cheap” or hear a colleague on your sales floor saying these words on a call, remind yourself that you are falling into a trap and instead think how you can turn the conversation around and educate your customer about your value statements instead.

When you can build more value into how your solution is perceived you can charge more money for it, and the best part is, customers will feel like they are getting a better deal! So decrease your discounts, increase your ASP, and improve your customer satisfaction this quarter by removing these two words from your vocabulary today.


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