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Confused by Qualification Strategy - When do You Give Price?

Hi,

This is my first post here.

I have been studying some of the material from Hopkins and Sandler and I'm a tad confused now. I understand you need to qualify before you present. But it appears from my Hopkins and Sandler CDs that you introduce the actual price upfront during the qualification process - before the presentation. Is this right?

If you introduce the price before the presentation, you have not built enough value or tapped into their pain. I had always thought you were supposed to introduce price at the end of the presentation. Can someone please clear this up for me?

Thanks. - by CzechForce
Hi,

This is my first post here.

I have been studying some of the material from Hopkins and Sandler and I'm a tad confused now. I understand you need to qualify before you present. But it appears from my Hopkins and Sandler CDs that you introduce the actual price upfront during the qualification process - before the presentation. Is this right?

If you introduce the price before the presentation, you have not built enough value or tapped into their pain. I had always thought you were supposed to introduce price at the end of the presentation. Can someone please clear this up for me?

Thanks.
Both methods are acceptable and both have been used by qualified, effective salespeople and sales organizations. There is no dogmatic "supposed to."

The Dale Carnegie courses, including the Dale Carnegie sales training course, was sold with the costs stated up front.

Keep in mind that "cost" can be a qualifier and ,when stated, can be a step in the "progression of consent" which is a very good way to think about closing. - by Ace Coldiron
Some folks have a dogmartic and identical-every-time way of presenting of selling of closing the deal. Mine is more situational with variations based on where the conversation goes BUT my goal is to find out quickly what the other person wants and whether what I have fits. Maybe half the time I put cost up front usually when I suspect it's a NO GO! I need to move on BUT sometimes I'm surprised. Miech - by MitchM
Ok, but do you qualify the prospect in a call before you meet and deliver your sales presentation ... or ... do you qualify on the day you're giving the sales presenation?

And ... if you're selling a professional service that's high priced, wouldn't it be best to see if they have a budget for it first. If they do, great then give the sales presenation and later introduce price then?

(Thanks for the answers by the way.) - by CzechForce
Ok, but do you qualify the prospect in a call before you meet and deliver your sales presentation ... or ... do you qualify on the day you're giving the sales presenation?

And ... if you're selling a professional service that's high priced, wouldn't it be best to see if they have a budget for it first. If they do, great then give the sales presenation and later introduce price then?

(Thanks for the answers by the way.)
Selling is taught in a linear fashion. That does not mean that it is necessarily practiced in a linear process.

Your confusion stems from trying to map things out, i.e., first this, then that, next this, etc.

Go back to your question on qualifying and discern what you're trying to qualify and why, and it will find its way into your process in a natural way. Do the same thing with "presentation" and figure out what you mean by that.

There is no correct dogmatic answer to your questions. Focus on learning the components and skip focusing on the order. The only progression you want is a progression of consent throughout your selling process. - by Ace Coldiron
I understand Ace's words well. Although it's my nature to wade into the water and go with or against the current in an instinctual fassion paying attention to the wind, the tide, etc. - in relationships - for a while I attempted canned presentations linear in form and it was a disaster.

It was a disaster for many reasons including I wasn't paying attention to the person I was selling - I was paying attention to myself presenting, and I felt out of wack and frustrated myself but didn't know exactly why.

When I came to understand what Ace says I relaxed, still use the presentation model today, but I fit it mold it shape it ride it differently for each person. That give and take with room to move and pay attention to the other person is key, is relationship, is mutually includive in creating trust and respect.

MitchM - by MitchM
I was provided with a written presentation to give over the phone selling a marketing service. It's supposed to be a good presentation but I haven't had much success with it.

I've studied Hopkins and some Sandler material (CD's) so what you're saying is that I should be flexible, be more focused on gathering info about wants and needs and altering the presentation in REAL time to fit those revealed wants and needs. Is that right? - by CzechForce
Hopkins teaches NEADS qualification strategy. Which stands for N (Find out what they have now) E (What do they enjoy/like about what they have) A (What they would alter about it) D (What is their decision making process) S (Are they able to spend the money necessary).

I'm thinking in light of NEADS, I need to revamp my sales presenation to start off with the NEADS qualification process and use the information derived from that to customize the way I present my service. That would mean no 2 presentations are alike and will have to be instantly customized to fit that client at that moment (All within a 15 minute phone call). Am I moving in the right direction? - by CzechForce
Ok, but do you qualify the prospect in a call before you meet and deliver your sales presentation ... or ... do you qualify on the day you're giving the sales presenation?

And ... if you're selling a professional service that's high priced, wouldn't it be best to see if they have a budget for it first. If they do, great then give the sales presenation and later introduce price then?

(Thanks for the answers by the way.)
Qualifying can be done in both subtle and non-subtle ways. What you use depends upon your client, your product, and your situation.

Not subtle would be: "This is going to come to 6000 - 7000 dollars. Do you still want to meet?" This might be the ideal method of qualifying for certain situations.

Other ways might be to ask: "If we were to meet next week, what would your goal be for that meeting?" or "Who, besides yourself, will need to approve this purchase if you move forward with it?" or "I know your time is valuable and mine is, too, so let me find out how much you have budgeted for this widget?"

With any of those questions, you can stop the selling process if you don't get the right answer or a clear answer. That's also a method of qualifying the prospect.

Sometimes you can qualify effectively on the phone, sometimes you have to wait until a face-to-face meeting.

Again, I think it depends a great deal on your market, your product, your company, and what your goals are for each touchpoint in the relationship.

Skip - by Skip Anderson
I understand Ace's words well. Although it's my nature to wade into the water and go with or against the current in an instinctual fassion paying attention to the wind, the tide, etc. - in relationships - for a while I attempted canned presentations linear in form and it was a disaster.

It was a disaster for many reasons including I wasn't paying attention to the person I was selling - I was paying attention to myself presenting, and I felt out of wack and frustrated myself but didn't know exactly why.

When I came to understand what Ace says I relaxed, still use the presentation model today, but I fit it mold it shape it ride it differently for each person. That give and take with room to move and pay attention to the other person is key, is relationship, is mutually includive in creating trust and respect.

MitchM
Yes--that adds further insight.

I used the analogy of learning a language. We learn a language in chunks, and if we try to assimilate the whole thing we get frustrated and our efforts fail.

Is all about engaging and communicationg and if we focus on the chunks of engaging a prospect, the whole thing will come together nicely. For instance if there is a critical question to be asked in your process, then master the art of asking that question in a seasoned, excellent manner.

If you want to work with the NEADS model, then be good at the N, the E, the A, the D, and the S. That means taking each component and focusing it on the prospect. It IS about the prospect. Otherwise you're merely shadow boxing. - by Ace Coldiron
What you're saying in part, Ace, is to master the components, learn them, understand them, make your way around and into them and eventually it's integrated and whole, structured but open for improv like jazz or an artist working in paint or stone - that's the art of sales.

MitchM - by MitchM
What you're saying in part, Ace, is to master the components, learn them, understand them, make your way around and into them and eventually it's integrated and whole, structured but open for improv like jazz or an artist working in paint or stone - that's the art of sales.

MitchM
Yes--that's it. I used the metaphor of shadow boxing---going through the motions of non-engagement with an inanimate wall. Unfortunately, much of the bulleted items of sales lore are exactly that. We are dealing with flesh and blood unique human beings and we need to engage them as such. - by Ace Coldiron
Shadow boxing is a good metaphor, Ace. I've shadow boxed with myself - that can have some benefit - but I've also shadow boxed with flesh and blood unique human beings missing the important things because I really wasn't engaged - I was sitting in front of them shadow boxing with myself again.

Thanks.

Mitch - by MitchM
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