“Wow, that’s expensive!”

June 3, 2019
The words that strike fear into the confidence of many mobile jobbers

There you are, sailing through your presentation on the new Model P10 Hotsey-Totsey diagnostic tool. Feature/Benefit/Trial Close, Feature/Benefit/Trial Close, Feature/Benefit/Trial Close. In the back of your mind you’re thinking, “This is going great; they really like this tool and I think they are going to buy it.”

Then you quote the price and the prospect says those awful words: “Wow, that’s (expletive) expensive!”

This month we are going to talk about some ways to present your prices, and how to handle price objections.

Let’s first look at an easy way to present the price of a product when it could be perceived as high. Present the price using the lowest common denominator, or simply as low as possible – and I do not mean a discounted price. If a product sells for $1,000 and you are financing it for a year, consider presenting the price initially as only $19.23 per week or even $2.74 per day. This may sound a bit shady, but if you present the fact that the technician will save five minutes a day using this tool, it would pay for itself every single day and even more, depending on how much they use it.

Think about the advertising you see every day. The TV ad for a newly leased car says, “only $199 per month.”

Sure, in the fine print it shows the total three-year amount, plus the up-front payments. but, $199 per month is the cost that sticks in the buyer’s head. How about the $1 per day for a $500,000 term life insurance policy? Notice that they don’t say $365 per year. It’s $1 per day. Remember, you are not selling marsh-land in the Everglades; you are selling a valuable, top-notch diagnostic tool, so you do not need to be afraid of your pricing.

Even after all this preparation and the best presentation on earth, you may still get those dreaded words: “Wow, that’s expensive.” Now what?

I hate to start with a negative; the worst thing you can do is recoil in any way. Ducking your head, looking away, turning red-faced, stuttering with “well,” “um,” or any other shrinking violet reaction just will not cut it. The second-worst thing you can do is automatically lower you price. Saying something like, “Yes, it is expensive so I will give you a special discount” makes the customer think you can always give them a “deal” and only reduces your margin. You can always lower your price later if you absolutely must, but do not do so at the first price objection. If the product you are selling has a lesser-priced model with less features, do not immediately drop to that product, either. Finally, do not come back with “No, it is not expensive.” That is a great way to get into an argument with your prospect.

Here’s a tried and true way to turn that price objection around in your favor and get your customer to agree.

Simply stand there. Do not blink, do not shrink, and say these exact words: “Hell yes it’s expensive, it’s the best on the market and worth every penny, and here’s why.” Then review some of the key benefits that the prospect liked by saying something along the lines of, “You really liked the J2534 pass-through VCI and its OE programming capacities. Didn’t you?” “You liked the large 10” ultra-crisp high-resolution display and thought it would really help to speed up your repairs. Didn’t you?” “You also said that with the time you will save and the number of additional vehicle models you can repair, the model P10 Hotsey-Totsey diagnostic tool will really help grow your business. Didn’t you?” “So yes, if you just acknowledge the price it sounds expensive, but as you agreed, it will help speed up and grow your business, making you more money. So in the end, the price doesn’t matter as much as the benefits it will give you.” “Don’t you agree?”

What you have done here is agree with the customer that this is an expensive tool, disarming their price objection. Then you walked them back through their own words where they liked the various benefits of the product. Finally, you asked the easy trial closing question, “Don’t you agree?”

At this time, the old yes or yes close usually seems to flow quite smoothly. “Do you want me to deliver yours on Monday or Wednesday next week?” or “Do you want yours in red or green?” Anything is fine, as long as the prospect’s answer is yes or yes.

Think of it this way: if you’re looking for a used car at Honest Al’s Used Cars and you say “Wow, that’s too expensive,” Al will most likely just move you toward another less-expensive model, or drop his price right away to maybe get the sale. However, if you are looking at a new truck for your mobile store and say “Wow, that’s expensive,” the salesperson is going to agree with you and say “Sure it’s expensive, it’s a Freightliner, and here’s why it is expensive.”

With that being said, the first person you need to convince that the P10 Hotsey-Totsey diagnostic tool’s price is within reason is yourself. If you have done your homework about the competitive products, and the product management team has provided you with all the features, advantages, and benefits, you are on the way to pricing comfort. If you have put together a professional and well-rehearsed presentation, you are ready for almost any question or objection. And finally, if you truly believe that you are providing your customer significant value-added services, you should be ready for almost anything. The fact that you are honest, show up on a regular schedule, carry the product to the customer, set up the product if need be, train them how to use it, take care of any problems, and “tote the note,” is all very valuable to the technician and comes at a cost. The sooner you realize you are selling in a high-overhead (trucks, fuel, insurance, loan payments, loan-skipping) industry and you are selling superior products from superior manufacturers, the sooner you will become much more comfortable with your pricing when asking for the order and getting the sale.

Some side-thoughts on selling

Gratitude sells. Say “thank you” more often than you think you should; tell your customers that you really appreciate their business at least once on every sales call and you will reap the rewards many times over. Your customers are counting on you having good products and treating them right. Make darn sure that they know you count on them to buy from you and that you appreciate their business.

Enthusiasm sells. No matter how down in the dumps you are, whether your kids are sick, or your spouse is mad at you, or your motorcycle won’t start, or if the weather is crappy – do not bring your feelings into a sales call. In the customer’s mind, they will be thinking, “I’ve got my own troubles; keep yours to yourself.” Sure, it’s hard, but enthusiasm sells.


Alan W. Sipe has spent the last 42 years in the basic hand tool industry including positions as President of KNIPEX Tools North America, VP North America for Witte Tools, Sr. VP Sales and Marketing at Klein Tools, Manager Special Markets at Stanley Tools, and sales management at toolbox manufacturer Waterloo Industries. Currently Sipe is the owner of Toolbox Sales and Consulting specializing in sales strategy, structure, development, and training. Sipe can be reached at [email protected] or 847-910-1063.

About the Author

Alan Sipe | President, Toolbox Sales and Consulting

Alan W. Sipe has spent the last 42 years in the basic hand tool industry including positions as President of KNIPEX Tools North America, Sr. VP Sales and Marketing at Klein Tools, Manager Special Markets at Stanley Tools and sales management at toolbox manufacturer Waterloo Industries. Currently Sipe is the owner of Toolbox Sales and Consulting specializing in sales strategy, structure, development and training. Sipe can be reached at [email protected] or 847-910-1063. Connect with Sipe on LinkedIn.

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