Can You Ballpark a Price?
It is hard to imagine a more dangerous question coming from the client. They tell you that they won’t hold you to it but any number that comes out of your mouth goes into their memory banks.
And stays there.
The question is dangerous because it sets expectations. Answer too high and you might scare the client off. Answer too low and you will find it difficult to go up from there. Answering honestly is probably impossible even if you wanted to.
Prior to answering the question, engage the customer in a conversation regarding their expectations of an outcome. If the project in question is a mailing, for example, ask what "success" would look like. A 5 percent return? 10 percent? And how much business will they get as a result of this level of success?
Let’s say the job is likely to cost about $10,000 but you know that sticker shock will ensue if you throw that number out there. You asked the client the "success" question and they quantify a 5 percent return yielding 25 new customers, each of which spends an average of $5,000. Doing the math, the client has just told you that they expect to get $125,000 from this mailing. Suddenly, a print and mail price of $10,000 doesn’t seem so bad, does it?
A side benefit to this line of questioning is it pre-screens the price objection. Maybe it’s not just such a dangerous question after all!
Bill Farquharson is a Vice President at NAPL. His training programs can drive the sales of print reps and selling owners. Check out his Sales Resources page and contact him at (781) 934-7036 or email@example.com.