How to Respond When a Prospect Experiences “Sticker Shock”

You’ve probably had the experience of quoting a project … and having the prospect react in shock at the price you gave them.

Instinctually, you might want to justify the price by describing the time and effort it will take for you to do the work.

But that’s a mistake. Because when you do that, it diminishes the value of your expertise.

After all, the value that you bring to a project isn’t in the time you put into a project. It’s in the expertise and experience you bring to it.

After all, do surgeons justify the cost of surgery by the minutes and hours it will take them to perform it? No.

They justify the cost in terms of their skills and experience.

This is an important distinction because someone will always be willing to sell their time for less.

Time is a cheap commodity these days. So you can’t make your time the center of the conversation.

Instead, you should steer the conversation to two things:

1. The value that you bring

Explain how your expertise and experience will help them reach their objectives faster and better.

Remind them why you’re different and why those differences matter based on what’s important to them. Show them why you’re a good fit.

In other words, focus on things the prospect might not find easily if they decide to look elsewhere.

2. The risk of hiring a cheaper resource

Creating what they need will take some skill. What are the risks of giving it to someone with less relevant experience? What would happen if this less experienced person messed it up?

You, on the other hand, have been doing this a long time. You’ve seen the mistakes that can occur — and you can help them avoid those same mistakes and deliver a product that will hit the mark.

Your Value Isn’t in Your Time

When a prospect balks at your quote, it’s okay to talk about it. But steer the discussion to your skills, expertise, and possible risks.

And if the prospect still resists your pricing, that’s a pretty good indicator they’re not the right client for you.


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