Credit: Barry Blitt

Your salesperson returns from an appointment saying, “It couldn't be sold. The people were price-buyers.” Or, “They have a price that's 20% lower than ours.” Such claims about failure to sell are all too common and they lack reality. The truth is, value was not established. The salesperson may believe that the product is worth the price asked, but the rep failed to establish the product's value in the eyes of the prospect.

MEETING THEIR NEEDS To establish the value of any product or service requires that you do a thorough assessment of the prospect's needs and then present your product in a way that clearly shows how the product fulfills those needs better than other similar products.

The “price-buyer” label or the idea that a competitor offered a better price is convenient for salespeople who haven't lived up to their obligation.

Too often salespeople present their product in first-person language: “We like this because ...” A more effective approach is to present the features of a product in comparison to similar products (without actually naming the competition), thereby justifying the quality and price of your product specifically in relation to the customer's needs.

QUICK-DROP FALLBACK But if the salesperson has failed to establish value, he or she may revert to a quick “drop” to make the price more palatable. (It doesn't.) If your current marketing plan or sales system involves an incentive or discount, these offers have value only when the price quoted is justified and confirmed. Otherwise the discounted price is the one that the prospect is evaluating for the product offered.

Frequently, when homeowners are reluctant to “buy now,” the salesperson goes for another “discount,” which just repeats the earlier process.

A product presented to fulfill the prospect's needs reduces price objections, which are the most misunderstood prospect language — the language that often leads salespeople to take actions that are not in their own best interests. —Dave Yoho ( is president of the oldest, largest consulting group serving the home improvement industry. His latest recorded series is “The Science of Successful In-Home Selling.” 703.591.2490,