How to talk about your rates with movers and shakers

PlantMiner   |   July 30, 2015

Quoting for a project can take serious time and manpower. Whether you're pricing or negotiating, both parties have invested time and effort into the deal, and cost can sometimes stall the signing of a contract. So how should you talk about your rates during a potential hire engagement? 

As Hubspot have recently shared three buyer archetypes, here are some tips that address the cost of your product or service.

The Influencer 

The influencer is often the person who provides advice to the decision maker. They can also be a champion, so understanding their personal investment in your solution is vital. 

If the influencer starts to complain about price, ask a question to uncover why that is. As the influencer has the power to sway the decision maker’s mind, you’ll want to understand where their concerns are coming from.

Ask comprehensive questions to get to the real issue behind the price query. Here are some we hear about:

  • “Is it really the price you’re concerned with, or are you simply looking for the best deal?” If they respond with the latter, you can reframe the issue in terms of value. For the value, your product is the best deal -- even if the price tag is a bit higher. 
  • "When was the last time you hired something solely based on the lowest price?” If they’re truly looking out for the interests of their business, probably not recently (or ever). Point to other machinery or services they are using such as machinery hours, condition, warranties and an operators experience. If it sounds like all the other tools they use are the Porsche of their industry, you know that the influencer sees value in getting the best product regardless of price. 

The Champion

The champion is on your side. They want your services, and are working on your behalf to get the influencer and decision maker to see things their way. However, understanding the company hierarchy is crucial because a champion without any pull is of little to no value to you.

If you’ve coached the champion correctly, you will have fostered a high level of trust. With this in mind, you can use the champion to get the inside scoop on the pricing battle:

  • "If my service was the same price as all the others which would your boss choose?” If the champion says yours, ask for the signature today. If not, try to understand why -- have they used a different supplier in the past? Have they gotten incorrect information from a competitor? Get the decision maker on the next call and reposition yourself while taking their temperature.
  • “What are the other competitors offering in terms of price?” Depending on where your company falls on the spectrum, you can talk with your manager about offering additional services. Some companies look to offer a discount whereas if you know the champion well, you should be able to offer them more value at the same price.

The Decision Maker

You can’t give the decision maker the price runaround during the final negotiation. we advocate spelling out your price and sticking to it. 

Remember that the mute button can be your friend. State the price and hit the mute button so you can totally understand their initial reaction.

However, let’s say the decision maker is still mulling it over. It pays to adopt collaborative outlook in business and for plant hire companies, an opportunity to quote on one job should be considered as part of a bigger picture.  Think about the real needs of your prospective client and adapt, it could be as simple as a deal for the weekend.  Read about the success of a PlantMiner supplier who did just that. 

Oftentimes, this is enough to sway the decision maker and get a signed contract in hand. 

If the decision maker is still unconvinced even after you pull the final lever, consult with your sales manager.

How do you recommend talking about price? Share your thoughts below ... 

PlantMiner (now Felix Vendor Marketplace) is Australia's leading plant, equipment and subcontractor hire marketplace, connecting you with all your construction project hire needs in one place.

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