I’ve written a lot about defending your price. But I haven’t yet shared what you can do to not have to defend your pricing in the first place. What can you do to preempt ever having to have a conversation about lowering your price?
Here’s the best recipe I know:
- Open opportunities and get there early. You are not going to have an easy time building value throughout the sales process if you don’t get to the buyer early in their process. The earlier you establish yourself as someone with ideas, the greater the chance you can create value in their buying process. The opposite is also true: the later you get in, the lower your chances of creating and capturing value. Get in early.
- Create massive value. You can’t play small ball and command a higher price. You have to create the biggest, most compelling, most differentiated value proposition you can. This means you can’t play it safe by presenting something you believe is small, palatable, and won’t ruffle anyone’s feathers. Go big.
- Get price on the table from Jump St. If you know price is going to be an issue, get it out on the table as early in the process as possible. Don’t fear your pricing. Embrace it. Tell your dream client you are going to cost more and spend your time and energy showing them how much more they are going to get for their money. Talk about the right investment.
- Build consensus. You want as many supporters for you and your solution as you can muster. The more time you spend building your case, the more support you gain. You want the decision to choose you to be fait accompli. You want to eliminate resistance and doubt. Build support.
- Reiterate the value. In every conversation, reiterate the value your solution is going to create. Remind the stakeholders exactly how you are going to help them produce the outcomes they need. Always talk about the value.
- Tie investments to outcomes. When you speak about your outcomes, tie the investment they are making to those outcomes. Explain exactly how the greater investment is necessary to producing the greater outcomes. Also, explain how a smaller investment puts those results at risk. Investments equal outcomes.
- Help justify your price. If you want to protect your pricing, provide your contacts with the ability to justify the pricing inside their own organization. Give them the tools, the rationale, and the language to speak intelligently as to why your price is the right price to deliver the outcomes they need.
If I were going to add an eighth point here it would be this: focus on relationships. Without relationships, everything on this list is more difficult to accomplish. Relationships, despite anything you have read to the contrary, never go out of fashion. It’s the most fundamental and foundational of all things.