Customer Experience News & Trends

10 ways customers will try to lower your prices

Much like sales reps are given tips to overcome customers’ price objections, customers are given strategies to get the lowest prices possible.

Here are the 10 leading strategies customers use to get a lower price:

  1. Paying attention to the salesperson’s eyes. Customers are taught to notice any uneasiness or hesitancy that might signal weakness. There is no greater sales tool than a salesperson’s eyes. They show confidence, commitment, belief, passion, sincerity, integrity, humility, honesty and willingness to serve. Prospects make subconscious, split-second decisions based solely on the look in the eyes of salespeople. They may even use them to measure how far to push and prod salespeople for a better price.  Motivated salespeople who love what they do and sell are able to show this commitment in their eyes.
  2. Creating multiple buying influences. Customers are taught to create escape hatches by letting salespeople know that they will have to check with other people or a committee before making a decision. Sometimes this may be true, but most of the time it’s a convenient way to say “no” or to stall a decision. The best way to deal with this tactic is usually to ignore it.
  3. The art of avoidance. Customers are taught to conduct business by email and fax and to solicit bids where decisions can be made void of emotion and be based strictly on bottom-line price. More and more prospects are using the bid process to select the salespeople they do business with.
  4. Taking charge by asking questions. The strategy behind this is for the buyers to be on the offensive and force the salespeople to be on the defensive. In every selling situation, the person who asks the questions is usually the one who dictates the action. It’s not because doing the talking is power. It’s just the opposite. Listening is much more powerful and persuasive than talking. That’s why asking the questions and listening to the answers is crucial. It’s the key to building trust and establishing a relationship with the buyer.
  5. Downplaying their needs. Buyers are taught to minimize their needs in an attempt to get salespeople to think smaller instead of bigger. This is the perfect example of why it’s crucial to take charge of the sales call. If salespeople let the prospects take control, they’re reduced to the role of order taker.
  6. Asking about price right up front. Sometimes, even before saying hello, buyers ask about price. Talking about price too soon puts the entire focus on money. While salespeople can’t ignore the question, most buyers will accept the explanation that more has to be learned about their specific needs before price can be discussed.
  7. Flinching. A flinch is when buyers verbally or visually react when a price is quoted. It may be a raise of the eyebrows, a scratch on the head or a frown. Whatever the reaction, it’s best to ignore the flinch. Usually it’s a conditioned reflex on the part of buyers that has nothing to do with price.
  8. Using the word “budget.” After getting a quote, buyers explain that it’s too high for their budget. When salespeople ask questions about the budget, they indicate that there’s flexibility in the price, and negotiations begin. A customer’s budget should be completely irrelevant to a presentation. A salesperson’s job is to provide the maximum value to the customer at the best price. If salespeople do the job correctly, the buyer will find the money to pay for it.
  9. Putting off a decision as long as possible. While some salespeople like to blame customers for stalls, they are usually the result of an incomplete sales job. A stall means a customer’s hot button hasn’t been pushed. Think of a stall as a request for more information rather than something negative. A stall is nothing more than a hiccup in the relationship if a salesperson handles it right and doesn’t overreact
  10. Playing off the competition. This is an attempt by customers to get a better deal by announcing the competition is offering a better price. Many times it’s simply a negotiating tactic, and there’s really no better deal from a competitor. Value is where salespeople should compete, not price. Having the lowest price may help complete a transaction, but having the best value will ensure a customer for life.

Adapted from: “Contagious Selling,” by David Rich, founder and President of Rich Ideas, a speaking and corporate education company. He can be found at his website:

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