Step Four: Presenting Options to the Customer

He knew the precise psychological moment to say nothing.

––Oscar Wilde

Stanley Marcus, of Neiman-Marcus, used to tell the story of selling high-priced items to customers, from fur coats to watches. He said you wanted the customer to be wearing the article when they asked the price. Once you stated the price, he advised: “Shut up.” He never saw a good salesman listen himself out of sale, but saw many talk themselves out of one.

If your value council has done its job of understanding the customer’s value drivers, along with offering options that cover those drivers and more, your firm’s incidence of price objections should drop dramatically. After all, if the customer is price sensitive, they can always select the cheapest offering. If they are clamoring for the additional value of a higher priced option, they are self-identifying themselves as a customer who is not solely concerned with price.

Firms should never qualify their prices with statements such as, “Our usual price is …” or “Our normal price is …” and so forth, because these qualifiers are nothing more than an invitation for the customer to negotiate. Pricing is not negotiating. This is why it is important to have full confidence in your value council’s ability to establish prices commensurate with value, and leave the pricing integrity of the firm in its capable hands.

Strategically, you want to become skilled at “testing” your price during the conversation (Step ...

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