Pitching the Sale - 

Pitch High then Sell Low

Ptiching the Sale - Learn to Pitch Hight then Sell Low

Why you should not give out your best price during your pitch.
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Pitching the Sale – Pitch High on the Price and then Sell Low!
©2007 David A. Peterson

It’s amazing to me that average salespeople still get this wrong. During the pitch they will quote their final price and then stumble when the prospect rejects that number.

Two issues come to mind with this pitch:

#1 What makes average salespeople blurt out any price during the pitch? At best you should just be projecting an inference to a price – not the possible final price. 

#2 Why in the world would you spit out your best price and not even attempt to close?

The sales cycle is open, probe, pitch, and close. Not open, close, and then pitch. Yet I catch average salespeople doing just that. They open nicely, and then they sort of close.

As a sales manager this is how they approach me after the ill fated pitch.

Average Rep: Mr Johnson says that $125 MRR (Monthly Recurring Revenue) is too high. I think I can get him to commit with a better price.
Sales Manager: What price is he paying now?
Average Rep: I’m not sure but he says our price is too high.
Sales Manager: The $125 is the lowest we have gone in a long time. Do you have a competitor’s quote or a recent bill that shows he is getting pricing below this amount?
Average Rep: No but he really sounds committed if I can beat this price.
Sales Manager: Where do I need to price this at?
Average Rep: I don’t know just beat it.
Sales Manager: I only want to do this once. I don’t want to get into a negotiation. Why don’t you call him back and hash out where the pricing needs to be before we quote.
Average Rep: I knew you were going to say that!

Average salespeople get themselves into this corner. They know that their sales manager is not going to jump on a price. They know their sales manager wants them to do their due diligence to the sales cycle.

I think they just allow themselves to be sold by the prospect. Why not - every prospect knows that if you just keep telling reps that you are poor eventually you will find a salesperson that will buy into the story.

The really bad rep gets sold by the prospect and actually buys into the “poor me” story immediately. They will tell their sales manager that the prospect just didn’t have the money. 

The average sales rep like the one in our discussion above ties to work with the prospect. They have also bought into the “poor me” story but they at least hear the interest the prospect has in the product. The average sales rep will pitch their lowest price to try and quickly come to a decision. If the prospect doesn’t bite then obviously the prospect doesn’t have the money.

The professional sales rep will hear the interest in the product and completely ignore the “poor me” story. The professional sales rep will probe for the money issue early. The professional sales rep will then pitch very high to try and find a ceiling on the price of the product. 

The professional sales rep realizes that the prospect is a decision maker that is probably driving a new Corvette and talking on the latest cell phone while telling you how poor he has become.

What the professional sales rep gets right on every call is that he/she tries to get past the price objection quickly by pitching the product at the top of the range. This allows them to gauge the level of commitment the prospect really has towards purchasing the product.

In effect, if you will learn to pitch high you will have placed a solid tool into your tool chest. This tool will allow you to quickly check if the prospect is truly committed or really just a suspect wasting everyone’s time.

Try this on your next call…

Professional Rep: Mr Johnson you just spent the last 30 minutes listening to me. I appreciate your time and realize that it is valuable. We both agree that the benefits of this product are valuable as well. Some of my customers say it’s worth $5,000 a month.
Prospect: Well I agree that I have looked at this product before. I can see the benefits but $5,000 is so out of whack…
Professional Rep: Mr Johnson what price where you thinking about?

Being a solid professional salesperson isn’t hard. There are some basic rules such as open, probe, pitch, and then close. Other rules like probe for price objections early must happen on every call. 

The one rule that can really separate an average salesperson from the professional salesperson is that you should never use your best price in a pitch. Always save that for the close. If you don’t you will end up in a negotiation that will cause the price to go so low that your sales manager might just say… “No.” 

By the way: My middle name should be David “No” Peterson instead of David A Peterson.


David A. Peterson

David A. Peterson

Author of: 

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