I got the chance to meet Eric Rhoads last week in Austin. Found out he’s a blogger. (as if running two magazines [Radio Ink] and [Pleinair] doesn’t keep him busy enough)
He starts this post with the following paragraph:
Recently, I was in the market for a product. Once the salesperson got me on the phone, this is what I heard: “Mr. Rhoads, this is the best product on the market, light years ahead of our competition. I can get it for you at a really good price right now. In fact, I can take 20 percent off the top.”
The post goes on in minute detail to describe the problems with this salesperson’s approach.
At the end of the story, Eric gives some advice from radio sales guru Dave Gifford, to the effect that you should “Never, Ever Offer Price Before Value Is Established,” and then instructs you to have this phrase tattooed inside your eyelids.
My best advice to my kids about tattoos is to avoid getting anything that might not stay in style. (Although I like Brian Setzer’s advice from his father: "never get a tattoo where a judge can see it…")
With this in mind, I’d not recommend going under the needle without deciding if this is old school selling or New School Selling. You see, with old school selling, you would never give the price until you were done with your presentation. However, the personality type that asks the price up front really needs you to give her an answer. Even if it’s a range. Otherwise, they won’t be concentrating on your presentation anyway. They’ll just be thinking about how expensive your solution is going to be.
Gifford is right by saying never "offer" price, but if it’s asked you should have an answer ready and it better not be a stall.
Interestingly, up until about 7 days ago, I would have agreed whole-heartedly with Gifford. That was before I took Steve Clark’s New School Selling course.