How much do you charge is the first question asked by a potential client? You get a phone call from a buyer and the first thing they say to you other than hello, is: How much do you charge?
Professions, where fees can be easily given, are faced with the “how much do charge questions quite a bit.
These professions such as real estate agents, home stagers, mortgage brokers, financial advisors, etc. are the ones that will hear it the most. How do you deal with this? Do you tell them your price over the phone? What do you do?
It’s about the value, and if you can’t present based on the value you offer, then you are wasting your time or you are a starving salesperson.
How Much Do You Charge?
Never tell someone over the phone what you charge unless this is how you sell your product or service; or have already met with the buyer and this is part of the process.
Depending on what you sell determines the procedure in which you present price. Do you present in person, do you send them a proposal, what’s your procedure?
What Does it Say About The Person That Ask “How Much Do You Charge” Immediately?
Are they only concerned about what they pay and not about anything else like quality or service? Do they only get the cheapest price and nothing else?
Maybe they come from a culture in which getting the cheapest price is important because if they don’t get the cheapest price possible, they think that they are being taken advantage of. It’s like a game and if they get the cheapest price they win in their mind.
It’s also possible that they don’t know what to say when they call you so they throw out the question, “how much do you charge. But even then, the fact that they said it means that it was on the mind.
Maybe that they have someone else that they want to use and they just want to keep the other person honest ensuring that the other price is fair. If by asking a question like “how much do you charge” is an indication of their character and their beliefs, the questions, is: What does it say about them? Are they cheap, do they not appreciate value, are they using you for another price or do they just not know what to say?
Sometimes people say things that are contrary to how they really think. It’s also possible that they don’t know different.
Before we get into the how do you deal with this, take a quick look at who you are?
Know Thy Self: Are You In The Sales Business or in The I’ll Give you a Price Business?
What business are you in? Are you in the “I’ll give you a price business”. If you are in the sales business or real estate business, etc., then you’re not in the “I’ll give you a price business”.
The idea is to sign up clients to become your customers and the only way to do this is to ask questions to determine their needs, provide value and if you are a good fit. If so, sign them up.
Another thing to ask yourself: Does it matter what you charge if you don’t produce a great product or if your client isn’t happy?
Look at your current clientele and ask yourself if the first thing they asked you was how much you charge?
I’ll bet they talked about what they wanted to do and the price discussion came later on.
Also, do they fit the profile of your ideal client? If they only value the cost then the question you have to ask yourself: Is this the type of client I want? But how do you go about figuring this stuff out?
How To Deal With This Question
Remember that a person who immediately ask this question “how much do you charge” may not be your ideal client, as a matter of fact, you may not even want to deal with them, so you have nothing to lose.
What you are going to want to do is deflect the question of “how much do you charge”, by asking questions to see where their head is at.
You want to dig down to find the real reason behind what they are thinking. When you find the real reason, then you can deal with it. If all they care about is money you can challenge and maybe do a belief change.
Be brave, you are the person in charge so challenge their question. Ask them if cost is the most important thing they care about?
Let’s say a person calls you up and says what do you charge. Take control of the conversation and say something like this:
“In order to get an idea of how I can help you, can you tell me what’s important to you about _____________ (the thing they are trying to accomplish).”
Write down exactly what they tell you and then ask, “what else is important to you about ___________?”
Ask again. “What else can you tell me is important to you about __________?”
If they don’t want to tell you then nothing gained nothing lost and say goodbye.
The more you get them to talk the more you will learn. If they won’t open up about the “how much do you charge” the question to ask yourself why?
You can ask if there is another company that they want to use and they only want to make sure they are getting a fair price. I’ve done this many times only to find out that yes, this is their intention.
Maybe they just want to make sure that your prices are fair? If the price is a real concern, talk about the value they will be getting.
This way their beliefs about price will change from the cheapest price to the value that they will be getting from you. When they see how they will be further ahead by using you, it will be a real game changer.
If you can’t change a person’s belief about the cheap price, then why go see them unless you like this type of client? So it is crucial to open them up to find out their criteria and values for buying.
Their Criteria and Values
After asking the questions noted above, you will have 3 or 4 things which are important to them. This is their criteria, values and the reasons why they want to buy your product or service.
It can be about solving a problem, increasing revenue, saving time, fulfilling a gap or just what will make them happy, etc. They just told you the reasons they want to buy, what’s better than that?
Repeat these things back to them using their words. By repeating back their words is telling them that you actually listened and heard what they said, that you are on the same wavelength. You just made them feel good and are building rapport.
Now that you have some form of rapport you can then suggest that you meet up to see exactly what they need.
Building rapport is directly related to trust and confidence. By building more rapport will then allow you to ask more questions and then ask for an appointment.
If you do this properly, you have taken control of the situation and may get a client.
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