Price shoppers: we’ve all been there. You answer the phone at your business and the caller asks for a price immediately. They might not even say hello first. The way you or your front desk management responds to this question can mean the difference between landing a client or customer, and having them hang up and completely forget about your business.

The easiest way to lose a price shopper as a client or customer is to tell them the price immediately, and offer no follow up. It’s highly likely that once they hear your price, they’ll hang up and call a different business, to check on a different price.

So, how should you respond? Here’s a guide.

Start a conversation. Introduce yourself, and ask about their needs. “Thanks for calling. I’d be happy to give you a price, but can I ask what you’re looking for?” Tell the person on the phone that you can give them a price, but you need to ask questions first. Let them know this is for their benefit, to take up less of their time. Get into the conversation. Ask follow up questions. This is an opportunity for you to offer some expertise, but also empathize! Put yourself in the caller’s shoes. Are they contacting you about a problem? Demonstrate sympathy. If someone feels heard, they’ll appreciate it. They’ll feel positively, and if someone feels positively about a conversation you’re having with them, they’ll listen to you.

Ask about other prices. To learn more information about this caller, ask them what they’ve been quoted. Where else have they looked? What deals have other businesses offered? Learning the about your competitors’ prices isn’t the real reason you’d ask this question — you probably know that information already. Asking about other prices can demonstrate confidence in your business. You know that your service is better than your competition, so when a caller tells you the price they’ve been quoted, you can show them why they should go with you. You’re also setting yourself up for the next step in this guide.

Demonstrate value. You’ve learned a little bit about the caller and what they’re looking for. You know the prices they’ve been quoted in the past. Now you can sell your service, but in a way that provides value. Don’t just tell them the price. Don’t even lead with the price. Lead with the benefit. What do they get? What do you include in your service that your competitors don’t? What separates you from the competition? What is your advantage? Say this as succinctly and clearly as possible. If your price is higher than what they’ve been quoted, acknowledge the difference, and explain why. Level with the person, and they’ll be inclined to listen. If your price is lower, explain why as well. Always, always lead with the value to the caller!

There’s a chance that the person calling isn’t interested in hearing what you have to say. They might insist repeatedly that all they want is a price. In that case, tell them that you understand and want to make sure you establish value to them before quoting a price. You could also give them a range.

And finally, after you’ve given the price, ask the caller if they’d like to make an appointment! Don’t let someone off the phone without trying to discuss next steps first. You’ll have a better chance of landing that customer.

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