Dealing With Price Shoppers Over The Phone
Jurek Leon - Tuesday, March 04, 2008
by Jurek Leon
Many people dread, even despise people who phone up and ask for the price of a product or service. They feel that they are being used and believe that their chances of getting anywhere with the customer are low at best.
Then there are the people who don’t care or aren’t aware of the opportunities. They give the price, say “Bye” but the customer doesn’t buy from them.
Before looking at the process and tactics for dealing with this situation lets explore your beliefs, intentions and objective when you get a price shopper over the phone.
Your belief needs to be: Price enquiries are good. Our advertising must be working if they’ve called us. I don’t care how many people they phone, we are the best people to help them due to our price/quality/service/ convenient location/delivery/credit terms/help line.
Yet often the belief I get from people who dread price shoppers over the phone is: It doesn’t matter what I do, the last person to get the call wins. In other words, if you are the first or second outlet they’ve phoned they are going to phone at least one more and that lucky business will get the order.
And do you know what? They are right. Aren’t they clever people? Their belief about callers is reinforced every day by the result that they get!
Your intention must be: To give the price and benefits of dealing with your company.
Now, in the old days the rule, reinforced in many USA based training programs, used to be – You don’t give your best price over the phone. You tell them to come into your showroom/store/office and then you will give them the best deal.
Today’s customers are too savvy and too assertive to put up with that approach. And in this internet era, with the customer spoilt for choice, it just doesn’t work.
Your objective is: To get the person into your business (retail) or to make a booking (home or business service).
This is very different from the objective: To get them off the phone so I can deal with some real customers!
As a caller making a price enquiry over the phone, you can tell when you get the owner can’t you? For example, you phone and enquire about the price of tyres for your car. The response: “That’s $89 per tyre. We can fit and balance them today. Would you like me to book that in for you?”
It’s very clear that their objective is to make a booking. That needs to be the objective of every member of the team.
Once we are clear about our belief, intention and objective we can clarify our process.
The process is – Acknowledge, Ask clarifying questions, Confirm requirements, Gain commitment. Let’s go through this step by step.
Make an acknowledging statement to the question “How much is a...?” For example, “Good question” or “Thanks for your call” and let the caller know your intention, “Certainly, I’ll just get that for you.”
2. Ask clarifying questions
“To make sure I’m giving the price for the right make/model/service can I just ask...?”
For example, the caller is phoning an automotive repair outlet and asks for the price of a service. The clarifying questions might be: “Can I just check the make and model of your vehicle?” “The date and kilometre reading of your last service should be recorded in your log book. Do you have that handy?”
3. Confirm understanding
Prior to giving the price, confirm the situation and the total package you are offering in the price.
For example, the caller may have enquired about the charge per hour for heating or cooling repairs at their home. You’ve acknowledged their enquiry, asked clarifying questions and now need to confirm requirements: “So, you had an electrician out to fix this yesterday and he says it is a plumbing problem. Your XYZ system isn’t under warranty but is less than 3 years old. I’d recommend Will our senior technician for that. He actually completed his apprenticeship with XYZ company and is a whiz at fixing their systems. There is a call out fee of $50. Will’s rate is $95 per hour and there is a 12 month guarantee on any work he does for you.”
4. Gain commitment
Once you go through these steps ask for the order or appointment. This might be by using an assumptive close or an alternative choice.
The assumptive close: “Will could be with you first thing in the morning. How is 8.00am for you?” or “Shall I book that in for you for this afternoon?”
The alternative choice: “Would you like to bring that in this afternoon or would tomorrow morning be better?”
You won’t win every order but you will greatly increase your conversion rate and make a favourable impression with your professional approach.
This process is really powerful. Get your team together and come up with scripts that help them to acknowledge, ask clarifying questions and gain commitment. These tend to be a lot easier to develop once you are clear on your belief, intention and objective.
Jurek Leon is a speaker, trainer and consultant. To subscribe to Jurek's FREE monthly email newsletter go to the Free Articles section of his website www.terrifictrading.com and type in your name and email address. It’s simple and easy. Alternatively, email Jurek at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jurek Leon is a storyteller, trainer and coach who presents courses and addresses seminars on word of mouth marketing, motivation, customer focussed selling and managing the customer experience. Subscribe to Jurek's FREE monthly ‘Terrific Tips’ e-newsletter at www.terrifictrading.com. Alternatively, email email@example.com.