Email has become the preferred method for all kinds of communication. In sales, our clients and prospective clients want us to deliver some communication and some information by email. But for most of us, including our clients, email is a graveyard for things other people need from us. Most of what goes into our inbox is useless, and even some of what is useful gets ignored anyway.
Why, then, would you ever email pricing?
You are taking yourself out of the sale: By emailing pricing, you have taken yourself out of the sale. You have eliminated your ability to influence or control the sale process by providing your prospective client with pricing. Now that they have your price, they believe that the process is complete and they can make a decision.
It eliminates the possibility of a discussion: Providing pricing by email eliminates the opportunity to have a discussion about the pricing. It eliminates the chance to clear up any misconceptions, and it eliminates the potential to capture and deal with your prospective client’s immediate feedback or questions.
It screams that you are a commodity: Emailing pricing screams that you are a commodity. It indicates that there is no real value creation—least of all by the salesperson—and that pricing should be used a deciding factor. Here’s why . . .
It’s disconnected from the value that you are creating: When you email pricing, you are disconnecting the pricing from the value that you create and that your company creates as a result of it’s pricing. Without reviewing the dissatisfaction that your solutions resolves, and without reminding your prospective client what it is they are paying you to do, the pricing is going be compared to other pricing—not the value created.
It eliminates any potential sense of urgency: Emailing pricing eliminates any sense of urgency. It can sit in your dream client’s inbox for days, or weeks, or months. In fact, they never have to look at if they don’t want to. If you were helping your dream client with their dissatisfaction, emailing the pricing and waiting will kill your momentum.
It destroys your ability capture an advance: The key to keeping the sales process moving forward is to move from advance to advance, always confirming the next commitment that moves you closer to a deal. You may have put some call to action at the end of your email, but if you have ever tried this, you know that obtaining that commitment on an email with pricing is unlikely. You have brought your own sales process to a screeching halt.
It eliminates communication: After you have emailed pricing, you will find it exponentially more difficult to get your client on the telephone. Your calls and voice mails will go unanswered. Your emails will not be returned. It’s like your prospect with the urgent need has entered the witness protection program.
With today’s technology, even inside salespeople making a transactional, low value sale can still do better than emailing pricing. With tools like GoToMeeting or Glance, you can easily schedule a meeting to review pricing and eliminate the problems you create by emailing the pricing.
When, if ever, is it appropriate to email pricing?
What commitments would make emailing pricing more acceptable? How do you mitigate the risks of emailing your prices?
Why does providing pricing by email reduce your effectiveness in managing the sales process?
How do you create value for your dream client after you have taken yourself out of the sale?
Is it easier to get your prospect’s time and attention after you have provided pricing by email?