Why Do We Automatically Fold on Price?
Many years ago, I was at a sales training session in which the presenter divided us up into groups of two (there were roughly 50 of us in the room). He told us that we were going to play a game in which one person in each group would be the buyer and the other would be the rep. Once we decided which each of us would play, he told all of the “sales reps” to leave the room and wait in the hallway.
Speaking to the reps in the hallway, he gave them the following instructions: “You are meeting with the buyer to present your price and close the deal. Your job is simply to deliver a price of $10,000 and walk out with the order.”
Speaking to the buyers in the room, he told them, “The rep that you are paired with will deliver a price. You are to ask one question and one question only: ‘Is that your best price?’ If the rep answers, ‘Yes.’ give him/her the order immediately and the game is over. If the rep answers the question any other way, do whatever it takes to get him/her to lower the price.”
Imagine that: All the salespeople have to do is say one word and each will walk away with an order for $10,000. One word…$10,000.
Into the room came the reps, finding their buyers in a scene that was like something out of the “March of the Penguins.” The game lasted less than 60 seconds. When the carnage was done, 80 percent of the reps had caved on price.
Over the years, I’ve tried this exercise with participants in my own training sessions, from time to time, and that number stands up each and every time.
Why? Why do sales reps automatically fold on price?