A prospect says, “You are my first price. I need to get another price.”

Salespeople often cringe upon hearing these words. Many give up. Some resort to high-pressure tactics in an effort to get a signed contract.

The good news is that with today's Information Age prospect, it isn't difficult to close someone who's insisting on another price. That is, provided that salespeople avoid old-school practices designed to manipulate the prospect into buying. Such practices are increasingly ineffective.

The proof? A major increase in cancellations, fewer referrals, fewer leads converted to sales, and sales costs up to 10% higher than in the past.

Build Trust Instead of dropping your price, provide the prospect with the information they need. That way they'll have trust and confidence in you, their contractor. They'll also have what they need to make a buying decision.

The focus on closing at the expense of everything else works against closing and referrals. The best salespeople focus on the front end of the sale, not the back end. Today's prospect is a better informed and more intelligent buyer than the G.I. generation that was the target of traditional selling practices. Today's prospect often knows more about a product, or thinks he does, than the salesperson. Surveys show that prospects buy on “trust and confidence,” not on price. That can only make “price-drop” selling less effective and trigger cancellations.

Be Convincing To gain a prospect's trust and confidence, you must convince them that: You are a credible salesperson focused on their needs, not yours.

Your recommendations will meet or exceed their expectations.

Your company has the proper credentials, insurance, craftspeople, and wherewithal to ensure that the project will be completed to their complete satisfaction.

Your price is fair and reasonable. It doesn't have to be the lowest price.

Do that and you'll close on many more projects. —Richard Kaller, president of Certified Contractors Network, has 39 years of in-home sales experience. CCN sponsors the Sales Boot Camp and the Sales Management Boot Camp. The organization also provides a white paper, “How to Close Without Pressure When the Prospect Says, ‘I Need to Get Another Price.'” Call 610.642.9505 to request the white paper or visit www.contractors.net.