Whether you’ve been in sales for 3 months or 30 years, selling new price increases from your company is something we all go through. And 2022 is seeing price increases like never before!
What do you do when your company announces a significant price increase?
This happened to me this week, and I know it’s happening to a lot of you, because you tell me it is! If it hasn’t happened in your company yet, don’t worry. It’s coming.
My first thought was – this is crazy. How am I ever going to sell this price increase? But letting myself get carried away with the thought that I will lose customers was not serving me.
The best news? It’s actually not that complicated to work through this. Let me share with you what I did to overcome the fear of selling new price increases.
First, don’t freak out and think the world (or your success) is coming to an end.
Sometimes you may know about the price increase in advance, and you have some time to prepare your clients, … … and sometimes you don’t.
For some reason, I really struggled with it this week, and I’ve been in sales a long time. I also struggled with what I sell and the prices I charged when I first started. That time it took me 6 months to figure it out and get behind the product. I don’t have 6 months …
Luckily, I remembered that experience, and I began to think about how I solved that problem. It was completely my mindset. Charging people a lot of money for something I wasn’t even sure if I believed in or not.
One thing already learned that I have going for me is I DO believe in what I am offering. Whole-heartedly. In my head I also know a price increase is only as big of a deal as you make it. Leave your personal feelings and emotions out of it. I KNEW this. Step 1 done.
Has your rent gone up lately? How about how much you spend on gas each week? Have you been spending more money on food? EVERYONE is facing the same situations you are, so it should not really come as a surprise that your company is raising their pricing as well. I just had to decide that my services are just as valuable as food or gas.
Step 2 – Even though I don’t own the company, I did need to justify the price increase in my head so that I could confidently sell the price increase in my prospects and clients.
This is where asking my sales manager for help came in.
While I don’t ask for help a whole lot, this is one of those times that I knew I needed some coaching, and quickly. So I went to him and said, “I am really struggling with how to sell these new price increases to prospects and clients and I would like some coaching, please!” (Because even coaches need coaches and feedback, right?)
A few episodes back, in episode 157, Confidence and Credibility in Sales, I told you how I am not shy when it comes to asking questions. Usually there are others with the same question.
So the sales team had a brain share… How we felt about the price increase, because even though we couldn’t change it, we needed to release it so we could move on. Next we went over the price increase – yes, it’s significant. But were they adding in any additional value for the customer? Yes, they are. And no surprise here. It is totally in alignment with the future direction the company wants to move in. And because it is a company I believe in, I have to remember that the profitability of the company is what allows me to continue to work for them, and is an inherent part of my own financial success. Like it or not, it’s true.
How exactly are we presenting as a team, because it is important to have the entire sales team understand all the features and benefits, and how to present them. Then we shared different ways we were already presenting our products to our services. And I don’t care how long you’ve been in sales, it’s always great to get a new idea that is working for someone else. Step 2 completed.
Step 3 -Selling new price increases in sales conversations and demos.
I need to be able to look a prospect in the eye and give them my recommendations based on what they tell me. And I need to do it with confidence. When you are discussing a new price increase in a B2B or B2C situation, it is never a comfortable conversation. Knowing WHY your customer is buying from you, identifying the importance of their why so you can logically reinforce these points, and showing them how your current pricing is the only way your company can maintain the level of quality and service the customer expects.
Because I was able to quickly identify my own insecurity about selling new price increases, and clearly present the situation, without being too dramatic, I was able to get back into my happy place in a day or two, and continue on to finish out the month successfully.
Having the experience of not only going through this before, but remembering the struggle when I first started, allowed me to recognize how it felt when I was struggling in the beginning, compare it to the success I have had, and know that I want to continue on having that success in the future! I love helping my customers AND I love being successful. This week also reminded me about my why. You can go back and listen to episode 95 if you’ve forgotten your why and need a reminder.
So it looks like today has turned into 3-step strategy for how to confidently sell new prices increases…
Step 1: Decide that you do believe that what you are offering your clients will truly have a positive impact or outcome in their lives.
Step 2: Ask for help.
Instead of just complaining about it, do something about it. I love that we had a team meeting where we could learn exactly what the price increase meant AND share how we planned on moving past it. You don’t have to be a one-woman show.
Step 3 Practice before you present.
Ask a team member to role play with you, so that when you are actually with a prospect, you already know what to say and how to overcome any objections. Be prepared to empathize with the prospect or client, but stand your ground and remain firm with what you are saying. Because if the prospect or client can sense any hesitancy on your part, they will most likely start to ask about discounts that you may not be able to offer!
Simple, right? Address the problem instead of letting it fester, break down what you need to do to work through your feelings and move on, and don’t be afraid to ask for help.