Most solopreneurs I come in contact with love what they do and want more than anything to help people. They aren’t born salespeople and can feel uncomfortable with talking sales or pricing. I didn’t like sales at all when I first started, but now I know that sales doesn’t have to be high pressure or manipulative and I like it a lot more. I now think of sales and marketing as presenting myself and my services in the best possible way to assist people in deciding if I’m a good fit for them.
In the last few weeks though, I’ve read some articles that suggested tactics I’m uncomfortable with. The theme of these articles is that when talking to a new prospect that you duck any question involving price until you are ready to present the issue. At least, that’s how I describe the techniques in my words. They presented various ducking tactics but none of them simply answered the question “How much do you charge?” Most sales trainers would disagree with me, but if someone asks you that very direct question I think you should answer them with a dollar amount when they ask. The only time I would say something different is if I’m not sure which package or pricing plan would be best for a person and if that’s the case I tell them so.
I know if I asked the direct, simple, clear question of “How much do you charge?” and got a song-and-dance instead of an answer I’d feel all sorts of things and none of them point to signing up with the person. It feels condescending to me to assume I know better than my prospect what they need. I almost always have a price ceiling in mind when I’m considering a purchase and if we can establish in the first 5 minutes that the service exceeds that ceiling then there’s no point in wasting any more time. If someone didn’t answer my pricing question, I’d be concerned that it must be a huge figure or they would have stated it. I also think it gets in the way of a deep conversation where you can be of service regardless of whether the person buys or not. If I’m wondering about pricing and the person ducks my question, I’m going to be thinking about price not what we are actually talking about.
Am I unique in this? How would or do you feel when you ask about pricing and get an evasive answer? Have you used this technique with your prospects?