Price Shoppers - What To Do when They Call For A Price

A lady recently left our store with a like-new high end vacuum cleaner for $1,199. I'm the third Vacuum cleaner store she called that day. All of us are in the same town. All of us have at least one of the same model on our floor. Both of my local competitors have" substantially" lower prices than I do. So the mystery is, why did she buy from me? Was it my masterful technique? Was it my wonderful persona? No.

The first guy she called closes at Noon on Saturdays. He does the same thing on Thursdays, & is closed on Wednesday. He Golfs. Had he been there when she called he would have had a $700 sale. It would have been the single largest sale he's ever had. He would have made enough to...well, take off another day to play golf. The second dealer she called did what many vacuum cleaner dealers do. She asked the price over the phone & he refused to give it to her. Instead, he used the time-honored " technique" of telling her that " he can't give her a price over the phone but will beat any price she comes in with" . I can hear a few of you now saying to yourselves " Yeah Baby, That's what I do. I'm not going to give a price over the phone. They want a price, they have to" come in- so I can" sell" them" . To get to the end...She called me last. I gave her a price for 3 different models. She came in & gave me the money. Think about this. My competitor could have told her his price (I'm sure it was less than mine, by hundreds) & had the sale. I wonder how many times this has happened before?When a customer calls for a price, what is the best thing you can tell them? After decades of testing, research, & trial & error- I have come to this conclusion. That the best thing to tell them is.......um... the price.Ask yourself this question;

If I called a store & they wouldn't give me a price over the phone- Would I be" happy? Would I say to myself, " This guy knows his" stuff!" I can't wait to drive to his store so I can be privy to his secret price. His price is soooo good, he can't even" tell" anyone. Wow, let me get my coat!" ? The only place that will happen is in your dreams. Has a customer ever come into your store & said " Boy, am I glad you wouldn't give me that price over the phone. Driving here is" sooo" much more convenient" ? Have you ever called a retail store anywhere, at any time, in any industry, & have them refuse to give you a price on a specific product? If they refused, did you" still" go there? Does refusing to give a price over the phone build your business? Create confidence in the customers mind? Cause a customer to refer others to you? No. What does refusing to give a price over the phone do? It makes us feel like we're in control. It makes for a good story to tell our buddies. " Man, that jerk will" have" to come in if they want" me" to give them a price!" What do the Large dealers do? The ones who are growing, do? They tell the price," then" ask a few questions, offer any advice they can over the phone & invite the customer into the store. Does that work every time? Nope. But refusing to give a price over the phone almost" never" works. I know-I know. You have a story about a time it worked. Why do you remember it? Because it works so" rarely. " But" wait! we give the customer a" great reason" they can't get a price over the phone." No, you don't. The customer isn't interested in your story. They want the price. And strangely enough, they will call the next store, to" get" a price rather than drive to see you. The " refusing to give a price over the phone" crowd does it for one reason- That's the way they were taught. This is not discovered through experience. You'll" never" read this in a sales book. It is passed on, generation after generation, as a " technique" . It is a technique. It has a name. It's called a" beginner technique.

Claude Whitacre is the author of the book The Unfair Advantage Small Business Advertising Manual. Claude speaks on small business advertising and retail marketing.


Click Here To Return To More Articles By Claude Whitacre

Click Here To Return To ClaudeWhitacre.com