Reframing the Cost Question as a Sales Advantage

Reframing the Cost Question in Sales

“But how much does it cost?”

The cost question sends shivers down the spines of even the most seasoned sales professional. It’s a quick indicator that your prospect is looking for a solution via a checkbox approach.

  1. Will it solve my problem?
  2. Does it work for my team?
  3. Is it in budget?

These aren’t bad questions for potential clients to consider, but there is a much greater question we need to help them pencil into the list.

Sales Solution

“How valuable is the solution?”

Though some customers snap their fingers with: “What is the cost?! Function?”, their subconscious is screaming for value.

The difference? Cost is a price tag. A marker of how much you spend. It doesn’t tell you how much you’ll receive.

Value is an amalgam of variables that weighs your immediate problems, latent problems and related costs against the solutions presented.

Here are 3 values you can bring to the table to help tip the scale in your product’s favor:

1. Time

Time is money. It’s not just a clever colloquialism. That phrase is a fundamental part of value. A solution that works but works slowly may cost more than the price tag suggests. Likewise, a solution that shaves time off other areas of your customer’s business may be more valuable than they originally considered. “Good enough” solutions might fit their budget, but if they lose in the cost/value equation, is the spend really justified?

A good salesperson knows how to bring time savers to surface during the dreaded “what’s it cost” conversation. If they can break down exact numbers of where their solution can help and convert hours into dollars, no-deals can quickly turn into deals.

2. Reducing losses

All businesses have places where they’re losing. When a company looks at your price tag they may have tunnel vision on one problem. Make sure they are aware of all possible areas your solution can play. 

When you map out all the holes your product can patch, you can paint the picture of dollars back in the customer’s pocket. When you save them money they didn’t know they were losing, your product will become more compelling and therefore justifiable with a greater return.

3. The lean factor

The simplicity of use can play in the time saver category above, but it also doubles down on things like operational costs. Multi-function solutions may do more than save time, they may eliminate tasks, freeing up manpower to focus elsewhere. More free hands mean you have a more productive team. Productivity turns to profit. And again that profit weighed against your product’s cost may make the solution that much more appealing.

By reframing the cost question with these three value elements, you can steer your prospect away from the painful part of your solution (the paying part) and back toward a discussion of how your product will make their life easier.

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    • Julie Parker, freelance writer
      ( 0 POINTS )
      4 years, 3 months ago

      Matt, I love the concept of this article. As a sales person I value tools that help me think about the buyer. I enjoyed your article. As the VP of Sales for RightNow did you find your mentoring to be successful in changing a person’s mindset or behaviors or both?

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