Presenting your product pricing during a sale is always a touchy subject. How you price your product in the first place and how/when you present it to your potential client has the ability to make or break your sale.
So, what's the key to presenting price in a way that keeps your ideal clients excited about what you have to offer?
In this episode of Evolved Sales Live, award-winning author and sales trainer and CEO of The 7 Secrets Center for Sales and Marketing Excellence, Allan Langer, explains the importance of presenting price the right way, exactly when to do it, and how to price your product in the first place.
Don't forget to follow us on LinkedIn for more engaging sales insights and discussions! Happy watching!
Allan is an award-winning author, sought-after speaker, sales trainer, and his company, The 7 Secrets Center for Sales and Marketing Excellence, has continued to thrive during the Covid19 crisis. He has been in sales and marketing for over 25 years, and his book, The 7 Secrets to Selling More by Selling Less, was a bronze-medal winner in the prestigious TopSales competition and is an Amazon best-seller.
Check out the transcription of this webinar episode below!
Jonathan Fischer 0:05
All right was our first one out of the gate. We've, we've never done a life before. But we are excited to take our podcast, the vault sales leader and get into the next iteration, taking it into the real world of interactivity. And so we do have a growing audience. I've got confirmation from my producer, that, that we've definitely got a nice audience in the background. They're going to be sending in their questions, all of you on the podcast with us today live. Welcome to the Evolve sales leader. We're super stoked to have you with us. For today's first of what we hope will be many live events moving forward.
So we've got a great topic on the table. Today we're going to talk about price objections. And, you know, sales is hard work, right? One of the most common and toughest handled categories of objections is going to be the ones that come around and centered around that issue of price. It costs too much we don't have the budget right now, or your competitors less or what have you. Well, our guest today is here to help us with that and some other very important issues. And I'm excited to have with us today Alan Langer, Allen leveraging his 25 year career in sales leadership. He is now an international sales trainer, coach, keynote speaker podcaster. And he's the author of The Amazing, top rated book on Amazon the seven secrets to selling more by selling less The Ultimate Guide to reinventing your sales life. In the book, Alan shares his seven secrets, sales philosophy, which is all about implementing an ethical human centered sales process that focuses on helping not selling customers, which in turn will increase sales numbers, and make salespeople feel great about what they do. Alan, fantastic to have you with us today. Welcome.
Allan Langer 1:53
Jonathan, thank you. That's quite an introduction. I appreciate that. Great to be here.
Jonathan Fischer 1:58
Well, I like to begin with how did you get to where you are today, you're doing all this training all around the globe working with all kinds of companies? How did you get into this kind of work?
Allan Langer 2:10
Well, it was really the book that got me there, I have been in sales for well over 20 years. And this book was always sitting in my mind, I'm a writer at heart, it's what I love to do. And when I finally decided to sit down and write the book, it just came out it I wrote the book in about five months, and took about six or seven months to get it designed and published. And when it finally came out, it opened up a lot of doors. You know, I knew I wanted to kind of take my selling career to the next level to maybe teaching and, and public speaking. And I started getting opportunities to to do some speaking. And then what I found, which I wasn't expecting was after the actual talk or speech that I gave, people would come up to me and say, Hey, can you come and train my team. And that's how it all started. So I would start training teams, and here I am doing it, you know, full time and loving every minute of it. So
Jonathan Fischer 3:06
pretty fantastic when other people are begging you to go into a particular field, usually a good sign.
Allan Langer 3:12
That's a good sign. Yes, it's a good sign. I love it. The fun. The funny thing is, as a side note, I I started the business the November before COVID. So the official business. So I had I had about 10 speaking gigs and quite a few in person training gigs scheduled for April, May and June of 2020. And guess what happened in March of 2020. So I kind of had to reinvent myself again, but all good at this point?
Jonathan Fischer 3:39
Well, you're accustomed to overcoming challenges if you're in the sales space, so that hold you in good stead I'm sure.
Allan Langer 3:48
That's for sure.
Jonathan Fischer 3:49
Well, Alan, I wouldn't mind if we could briefly talk about maybe what are the seven secrets? We want to save most of our time today, of course for the topic of our session. But would you cover for us the what are the seven secrets in 90 seconds or less if that's even possible.
Allan Langer 4:08
90 seconds or less the seven secrets is the basically using how this the psychology of of sales how the human mind works. So the person in front of you the prospect in front of you the sales resistance that we all have, is lowered to the point where they feel comfortable enough to say yes to you. The reason why people don't make sales is because there's an anxiety behind it. And there's an anxiety because nobody really is trained properly and how to actually have a conversation that makes people feel comfortable. I mean, think about it, who likes to meet with a salesperson, nobody. Even if you need the product, you don't like to meet with the salesperson. So this book is about what can you do in a very conversational, very human centered way to make that person saying hmm, I really liked this guy, this guy or this woman. They are not the salesperson I was expecting Therefore, I'm comfortable enough to do business with them. And you can use these seven secrecy, seven techniques and strategies to get you there. So maybe that was about 95 seconds. So
Jonathan Fischer 5:11
we won't take too many points off the scoreboard for you know, it's a great overview. And I think it is interesting that an awful lot of people that are in sales are actually what we call people, people, right? They enjoy interacting with folks. What a sad irony that so many in the profession are not well regarded. And if you could put your finger on why do you think that? Is it at its core? Why is it that it's just admit the truth, most salespeople are not overly well liked by the buying public?
Allan Langer 5:39
It's simply because so many people have had so many bad sales experiences and bad sales conversations. I actually have a term in my book that it it's become a phobia. You're not born with it, you grow up, and you and you have so many bad experiences that you develop a phobia for salespeople. And I in tongue in cheek, I call it rip to trust a phobia. It's this feeling of I don't want to meet with a salesperson Get away from me, I'd rather either not buy the product and live with this bad product, or buy it online. So you don't have to talk to anybody. I mean, what's the first thing people say when you walk into a store? And they say someone comes up and says, Hey, can I help you? What comes out of your mouth immediately without even thinking looking? Okay, I'm just looking, don't go near me. I'm just looking at sales resistance. And it's simply because so many salespeople have been trained so poorly. And they think it's all about making the sale. It's all about making their quota and making their numbers and getting their commission. And it's not about the customer. And that's what the customer has grown up feeling. And this is why they don't want to talk to you.
Jonathan Fischer 6:42
How do you think that that challenge differs by degree when you're dealing with a b2b play, you have a technical solution, a SAS, for example, and you're trying to get to a decision maker? How does this likeability or lack thereof play in that space?
Allan Langer 6:59
As as long as there is human to human contact is one person speaking to another one person speaking to other human beings, it's exactly the same. You know, you could you could have a technical product, you can, you can have five different decision makers, but many, many times they're making their decision on how they like you, rather than the product, or the product could be the greatest product in the world. But if you spend too much time talking about yourself or talking about the product, and not how it's solving their problems, they're not going to like you enough to feel comfortable enough to make the decision. So I've been asked that question many times, you know, there's my does my techniques or my seven secrets, apply more to b2c? And unlike if you're talking to another human on the other end, it's all applicable. Doesn't matter if it's b2b or b2c? I would hardly agree, I think that gets forgotten in the b2b space folks get hung up on the idea that this is a business to business transaction, we're solving a business problem. So it's as though that somehow takes the humanity out of the equation. When I don't I agree with you doesn't take any of the humanity out of the equation. You can even have a higher price. And if you're the better guy, you can win.
Jonathan Fischer 8:10
And hey, that's probably a good segue to our topic for the day. Right? And price is a big issue. There's no question what what do you think are the biggest mistakes that are being made in handling price by most salespeople?
Allan Langer 8:27
Oh boy, the the biggest mistake and this is this is not sales. The typical salesperson, this is not their, their fault, they've been trained wrong. I've been saying this for years, ever since I've been training pricing, we are trained to try to build the value first. So then the customer will automatically think the price matches up with the value. Think about how, think about that for a second. If you actually if I say let's say I'm selling you sound let's say I'm selling you a sunroom and you in your mind you think a real expensive sunroom is going to cost you about $25,000 that's in your mind, you're not going to tell me that but that's in your mind. Well, I woke up to your house and I know that that sun was going to be $50,000. Okay, but I don't know what you're thinking in your head. So I'm going to spend an hour building all of this value toward a $50,000 sunroom, I'm going to show you the screws, the the the energy efficiency, the roof, the doors, the glass, all this hard, I'm gonna show all this wonderful stuff that's supposedly going to bring value and get that room to 50,000 in your head. You on the other hand, are seeing all this stuff and you're thinking, Oh my God, this room is gonna really cost $25,000. So the value is off. So I could spend five hours talking about value, you still think it's a $25,000 room. And then when you unveil the price, I'm thinking this guy's definitely going to think this is a $50,000 room, and you're gonna go oh my god. 50,000. There's no matching value there. So that's the biggest mistake people make is they talk about the value first, and they don't prepare the customer for the price. So what I train is how do you actually prepare the customer first. So then they're not surprised when the price is unveil.
Jonathan Fischer 10:14
And that makes sense. So I want to return to that what what are some of the big mistakes you you see being made and handling price.
Allan Langer 10:22
The other mistake is, so for me, it's it when I do my price, my price courses and the workshop, I have a workshop coming up. When I do that, I talk about two things, how you prepare the customer for the price, and then how you present the customer to the price. And most companies get this wrong as well. They don't know how to present the price. And there's quite a few different strategies to do this based on the vertical that you're in. But for example, most companies price their things except for the retail industry, they'll price their things based on an algorithm or or a margin. Okay, so if it cost me $4.10 For this widget, and I need a 42% margin, I've marked it up and now this thing is $16.17. And that's the price. But psychologically, that does nothing for me. Numbers, the brain loves numbers, the brain is comfortable with numbers, if you actually present the price in the proper way, psychologically, numbers look better to people than other numbers. So that $16.17 means nothing. But 1599 means a heck of a lot more. So there's so many different ways. There's using numbers nine and seven, there's showing numbers and threes. There's bundling there's, there's again, I can we can talk about this for for hours. But it comes down to number one preparing the customer for the price. And then how you present it is that is another huge, it's a huge thing that most reps get wrong.
Jonathan Fischer 11:52
Okay. Well, so you obviously put a lot of thought into this issue, and you have some strategies that can really work very, very well. I was looking at some of your content, and it is pretty hard hitting you already mentioned one of them is that numbers have a certain emotion attached to them to the buyer. Maybe you can expand on that and share more of what are your key strategies to do it the right way?
Allan Langer 12:16
Well, let's say you know, and I do get pushback from this, because especially let's say we're in the service industry, and I'm in there's some coaches listening right now. And most coaches, most consultants will charge a flat fee for their for their services that ended in his Euro. So to do this, I'm going to charge you 3000 or 5000, or $10,000. And that's okay, that's fine. But just know that psychologically 9999 97 looks and feels a heck of a lot better than $10,000. And people say, Oh, that's gimmicky, or it's only $3. It doesn't matter what it is, when the brain says this looks better and feels better. They're going to choose you over the $10,000 service provider. And when you look at the retail industry, and I love watching what what the retail industry does, because they get it right, they know exactly how to price things. And we are all puppets in their scheme because we just like suck it in. Because we can't help it. That's the thing is like the brain can't help what it likes. You never see it you never see a Cadillac sitting there for $50,000. You see it sitting there for 49 999. You never see a million dollar house listed you see a house listed for 9999. And you're not Yeah. So that's not by accident. It's because the brain, if you're looking at two houses listed, one is 1,000,001 is $999,999. You're gonna go see that house, even though it's $1 difference, because psychologically, it feels a lot less expensive, and you get more value from it. It's just the way the brain works. And that's just one that's just one component of it,
Jonathan Fischer 13:53
even if you know, even if it feels different. That's interesting. And seven as well. You mentioned that in your content that
Allan Langer 14:02
seven and nine, yep, seven and nine. And here's the thing. It's not. This is not me just saying this. There's been study after study after one of my favorite studies. This is a great example of how this works. I forget I think this was done by a University in England, but they took three women's blouses, exact same blouses, and they put them on sale with a price tag. One was $34. One was $39. And one was $40. And they put them on sale for a week. And they say which one are we going to sell the more of now you would automatically think well $34 is the cheapest one right? It wasn't even close the $39 blouse sold 87% of the sales were on the $39 blouse, hardly anyone bought the 40 and then the rest bought the $34 blouse and then interesting. So there's obviously a small percentage of people where it doesn't affect them. But when you're telling me 90% of people are affected by the number nine, I'm going to use it as much as I can. And that proved it right there
Jonathan Fischer 14:58
that is interesting and even unpack Thinking that further, it makes you wonder if the higher number also felt better because like, Okay, if it's on a rack and this one's 34, is there something wrong with it? Is there a flaw? Right, maybe there's a subconscious question. And again, getting back to just feeling that plays into it, there's there's so many different layers of pricing, and that that is definitely one of them. Absolutely. Yeah, a lot of times you can price too low and hurt yourself, because you're creating a perception of value. That's not where it used to be. Yes. Well, so So you have other strategies that you list as well? What is the what's the rule of three? Tell us about that, if you would.
Allan Langer 15:35
That's actually one of my favorites. Because I think it's so powerful. Again, if you're a service provider, or anyone, if you're a contractor, anybody that produces a price, don't just give a customer one price, give them three choices. Now you see a lot of the SAS industry or the online software industry doing this where they actually go to our pricing page, and there's three prices, usually three prices, but they still get it wrong, because everybody funnels everyone to the middle price. Like okay, and they like highlight the middle price, you see the lower price, that expensive price, and then you got the big box in the middle, we all we've all seen that. So let me let me explain the layers of this. So first of all, the brain loves three, the brain loves things in three. So the more the more things that you can present in three, the more comfortable the person will be. Okay? Now, let's say you're a painting contractor, and you are used to saying, okay, here to paint this house is $25,000. Okay, well, instead of saying, here's $25,000, if I paint the house with this paint, it's 22,000. Or, you know, 21 999. If I use this paint, it's 24 999. And if I use the superduper, paint, it's this price the brain goes from, am I going to hire Jonathan? To what package am I going to choose? With Jonathan, right. And that's a buying, that's a buying feeling of the brain rather than a yes or no decision. Now, here's the here's the thing that when most people get wrong, the middle price is not there to choose, the middle price is there to get them to your best package. You want your customer to feel like they are purchasing your best package. So for example, in my services, let's say, I know that they're going to get the best of me, if I do in person training, then I do five weeks of virtual training, and then I do the management. If I do this whole package, I know that that's where they're going to get the most out of me. So let's say I price that at 19,009 97. Instead of making the middle package, let's say I take a couple of the things out, and now the middle package is 15,000. And then the lower package is 10. They're probably going to like, well, once 10 Once 15 wants 20 If I make that middle package 18.
And now my most expensive is 20. But I they get so much more guess what package they're picking the larger one, they're picking my best package. And psychologically they're thinking wow, for just another $2,000 I got his best package. I feel great. As opposed to all right, I guess I got to pick the middle package because I can't really pay for the other one. I'm mediocre on average, I'm picking his middle package. And that's what all these websites do. You pick their middle package and you you never feel like woohoo, I'm ready to go. You want to get their best package and it not only is good for your customer, but it's good for you because it's the higher profit margin so everybody wins. So that's what I train is not only show people how to present it in three, but you have to position yourself to get people to your best package and there's a way to do that.
Jonathan Fischer 18:50
I think that Ron counters to an awful lot of practice out there right now that whole middle package everyone thinks it's about the golf the Goldilocks you know not too expensive, not too cheap right in the middle somewhere. But you make a really great point there's something about the emotion of it that we're not leveraging In fact, we're going to the negative right what is my you know, what, what's the scarcity factor that's limiting my choice here that's not a good setup for success on either side of the table. I really liked that a lot. So the rule of three is really another number that factors in right and then how do you how can you engage your customers you talk about having them literally help build the pricing when you're you're setting it up?
Allan Langer 19:31
Yeah, so if you if you have a product or service where you can have the customer build the product for you. Literally, it becomes so easy to sell because you're not selling it anymore. The auto industry learned this about 10 years ago when you started to see you can now build your car online. Because everybody and I mean everybody hated to go to a car dealership who likes to go to a car dealership nobody. The term used car salesman is real because it, it when you say it, you get this picture of this greasy car salesperson. Now everybody goes online, they build their car first. And then they walk to the dealership said, Here's my car. But what's so beautiful about that is you're choosing your car and the price is going up and down based on the options. So by the time you're done, that's your car you already bought in. You're just like, I want these wheels. Oh, those are too expensive. I'm gonna go to these lower wheels. Now you have that car, and you own it. Did you know that I the reason why there's so many now, kiosks in in fast food restaurants, like Panera, and McDonald's and all of those places. Rather than going up to the register, you can actually choose yourself, because there's a 22% increase in what you purchase. If you do choose it from a kiosk rather than telling a person 22% When you start touching and building, you spend more money. Wow, that's huge. And you own the product? Yeah, 20% is huge in the retail industry. Yeah, that's why you start seeing all of these things pop up, because people order more stuff, when they're at the when they're at a kiosk. So if you can to answer your question, if you are a contractor, or you are someone that can actually say, here, here are the options. If you choose Option A it's going to be $500. But if you choose option B, it's 450. Let them choose it rather than you just presenting them the price of 497. It's really helpful in in home sales, especially in the construction industry, where the rep would actually design the product for you. And then they would flip the price around. So there's no ownership for the customer. What I would do when I was selling in home, I would hear here's my here's my iPad, I'd hand it to them. Design your entry door, I would say. And they sit there and design the entry door and flip it around. And do you want to pay for it? Yeah, that was the extent of selling it because they built it right there. Love it. So if you can do that, that's going to incredibly increase your sales quite a bit. You also added a tactile element. That's genius.
And when you're holding it, yeah, absolutely. It just and yeah, the holding and touching is another huge thing. I've talked about this in my book. It's like they did there's there's so many awesome studies, and I can't I geek out on this stuff. But you know, the studies of college students ordering sweatshirts, there's 34% Less sweatshirts purchase when they're purchased with a mouse than with an on an iPad where they're touching it with their finger. They're touching it with their finger, they own it more and they spend more money. Wow, these are some really old cycles. I've not heard this stuff. Yeah, that's gold. That's how can we implement this stuff? Everyone's thinking, wow.
Jonathan Fischer 22:39
So you talked about anchoring price? What does that even mean? First of all, how do you define that? And then how do you go about doing that?
Allan Langer 22:48
So anchoring is another psychological term, where you want someone to expect the price. But how do you do that? You know, do you walk in and say, Hey, this, this fruit is going to be $10,000? Before you start, you don't really do it that way. But the the term I use in the book, or the expression I use in the book is how do you how do you sell a $2,500? Watch, you put it next to a $10,000 watch. So that watched by itself 2500 is a lot of money. But nothing is expensive or cheap on its own, it has to be compared to something. So as soon as you put that 10,000 Watch, then $10,000 Watch down. Now that $2,500 Watch looks pretty darn reasonable. Even though a minute before it was pretty damn expensive. So I always tell people to anchor a price where I would mention this is what I like to do. And this was this is really for in home sales, but anybody can do it. So let's say you sold roofs, let's use roofs, for example. You go to the house, you introduce yourself, you have a pleasant conversation. And before you start you say, Mr. Fisher, do you think your reel is going to be more than 20,000 or $20,000 or less than 20,000.
And you're going to because your your your as the professional, you're going to have an idea what it's going to cost. And so you're going to hope you're going to say 100% of the time Well, I hope it's less than 20,000 but in your mind, you know it's 15 so then you do all you're saying and later on now he you are thinking this might be $20,000 Even though you don't really know why because I just anchored 20,000 Kind of in conversation. I didn't bring it up a lot. I will let's see what it's going to be and then when it comes out to 14,009 97 You feeling great about it. So I anchored that price without you even know about in a conversational way. And and and prepared you for the price that I thought the you know if I think it's going to be 15 I'm going to say I'm going to say to you do you think it's going to be and I come up with a number that I anchor in your brain.
Jonathan Fischer 24:52
You know it used to be that you had to have what was called the high low close and it was kind of saved as the toward the end of your presentation or it was you use to overcome prices. An objection I like what you have here is you're you're, you're proactively setting setting that up ahead of time. So that there's a comparison that already allows your price to shine against the far more expensive alternative. That's pretty powerful. I want to get into more about Allen's insights into how to handle price. But I want to give a reminder to our audience, we want to invite your questions. One of the great things about live is you're here, we're here. And you can actually ask the expert and get an answer that is meaningful to you. So go ahead and start putting those posting those answers. And our producers are going to forward those over to me, we'll get those handled for you shortly. So Alan, as we continue through this idea of anchoring, how you know, how would that apply? When you're dealing with say, like a financing scenario? You because You know, the price close payment? Close? There's all these different variations on how to get the deal done? How would that how would you nuance it when it comes to more of a financing? Scenario?
Allan Langer 26:00
A financing meaning a monthly payment? That would Yeah, so it would, it would simply mean if you think this is going to be financed, like the car industry is a great example, cars don't they don't sell them by overall price, they sell them by monthly payments. So you'll see every ad for every car is like 299 a month, 297 a month, whatever it is, it's never 300 It's always 299 or 297. So you would do the same thing, do you think this is going to be more than 350 a month or less than 350 a month? And that's the joke, because as long as you know what it's going to be you have a pretty good idea because you're an educated sales consultant, then you can start doing the anchoring process. You know, I, for me, always being upfront and candid with people. Listen, I just want to I just want to make sure that you know, I want to see where your brain is at. I know there's a lot of different pricing out there. John, do you think that this car is going to be more than $50,000? or less than $50,000? Me? Well, I know the car is 35. Yeah. Nice. And then you just it's conversational? Well, yeah, I hope it's going to be less than 50,000. Well, let's design and let's see what it's going to be. Hopefully, it'll be less than 50. And then but now you're thinking of 50 the whole time. If we go back to the sunroom example, I would have walked in the house and knew that that son was going to be 50,000. So I would have said to you, John, do you think this summer is going to be more than $65,000 or less than 65,000. And you would have been like holy because now you had 25 in your head, right? You'd be like, holy crap, I hope it's less than 65,000. But now I come in with 48. And you're feeling a lot better, because you're like you knew the 25 or you were way off. But it's not 65 either, it's in the middle, and you're gonna be. Here's the other thing. When you prepare them for price early on, mentally, they have a lot more time to digest. So you everyone says, Oh, my God, my customer always gets sticker shock. Well, two things are happening, they're getting sticker shock, because they're not prepared for the price. But they're certainly not ready to digest it. Because now you want them to sign on the dotted line, within five seconds of unveiling the price, it's never going to happen, right. But if they're thinking for an hour, that this might be the price, they're going to be a lot more apt to make a decision right there. Because they've had time to digest the price as well psychologically, anyway.
Jonathan Fischer 28:16
So if we're applying this tool, or an actual flow or sales, script, or outline, whatever your tool is you're using, could you lay out for us in greater detail? How would you implement this? We have we build a little bit report like maybe maybe roleplay? A little bit? How would you set this up early on, and implement on the concept?
Allan Langer 28:39
Well, again, it really is, it's really going to depend on the product and what you're selling. So there's quite a quite a few different ways to do it. So when I'm training or coaching someone, I'll find out what the product is. But let's say let's say it's a lead gen company, let's say, you know, so many lead gen companies on LinkedIn, I've worked with quite a few of them. And those, the pricing for those companies are all over the map. So your lead gen price, let's say it's I don't know, let's say it's 15,000 for for a package your for your best package. So instead of hoping that you're building all of this value, and you're spending an hour giving this demo, not knowing what they think the price is going to be, but you're thinking you're building value to 15,000. And they're hoping it's six, you're never going to sell that job no matter how much value you bring. So during that conversation, I would ask a lot of good discovery questions. One of them being Who else have you seen? And have you seen? Have you seen the the companies that charge five to 6000? Or have you seen the companies that charge 25 to 30,000? Which ones have you seen? Now I gave him an anchoring range between 5020 5000 and now their brain is thinking oh my god, what is this going to be? And you're hoping it's in the middle? You come in at 50 1000 It's a lot easier to digest and expect that price than if you just went through value building without any, any, you know, relative concept whatsoever. It makes that makes total sense.
Jonathan Fischer 30:13
And actually that's that's a great opening for one of our questions we have Jason, a sales manager is asking us how should I react to my competitors prices?
Allan Langer 30:25
How should you react to you? Well, you shouldn't really be talking about your competitors unless your, your prospect brings it up. And I never really talked about competitors is that much at all? Because you're you're you want to talk about how you're solving their problems. And again, I need to know what the product is from. I think he said his name was Jason. Most people don't like when you talk about competitors, unless they're bringing it up, specifically here. And if they're bringing it up, specifically saying, well, ABC Company is $10,000 less than you, then I was like, Okay, well, since you brought it up, can we see their quote, because I want to have I want to compare apples to apples. Yeah. And that's when you'll find out why they're $10,000 Less. Many people who bring that up what I want you to lower the price, or they're there, they don't understand why the pricing is different. But most of the time, they're just trying to beat you up a little bit. And they're saying this, this company is less than you and you know, they're giving you the exact same thing. Well, pretty much they're probably not giving you the exact same thing. But if they bring it up, I would say okay, well, let's let me let me see apples to apples comparison. But normally, I wouldn't bring up competitors at all, because I just want them to, I want them. Once I'm having this conversation and using the techniques I have in my book, they're going to know that I'm there to solve their problem and not there to sell them. And they're gonna feel a lot better about me any than any competitor anyway.
Jonathan Fischer 31:51
So I like that. And I think it's worth even going a little deeper on. If we had time. I'd love to. We can't today. But think about that. In terms of when they really are engaged with you on a human level. They're liking you, they feel like you're there to serve you that's that's a pretty big distraction from just a little number, right due to thinking that there's more of more of a human encounter than just a cold, hard numbers based decision, which will only play in your favor.
Allan Langer 32:19
So a couple more questions. But here's the thing. Go ahead. I'm sorry, a little lag there. No, I'm just I'll say this. And then you have more questions. But here's here's the thing to remember. Your job in your in your sales conversation, is to ask listen and understand first and not to sell. Here's the one of the major problems of most sales reps is they hear the problem and they immediately jump in and they start selling within five minutes of the call, they start talking about their product and all these wonderful bells and whistles that the product has. And they start selling immediately, without asking questions. The reps that I train, I tell them you think of your sales conversation in two pieces. The first half is asked listening and understanding. Then the second half is selling. You never sell until you fully understand what their problems are. Once they feel heard, I'm gonna throw another study at you. A person is 77% more likely to listen to you. If they have felt heard by you. If they don't feel heard, they're not going to listen to any solution you have. Because you're a typical salesperson.
Jonathan Fischer 33:23
That might be good marriage advice
Allan Langer 33:29
is very good marriage
Jonathan Fischer 33:31
77% more likely to listen if they feel listened to that's a great stat. Another quick question, go ahead and bring in so we have Jamie a sales rep. She's wondering, you know, what level influence does price even really have in the buying process? And what I'm kind of hearing in between the lines there is is the salesperson maybe too hung up on that as an issue sometimes?
Allan Langer 33:55
Yeah, some sometimes most salespeople are afraid of their price, or they don't believe in their price. Or it creates anxiety when they're when they're about to unveil the price because they are always wondering, are they going to think this is too expensive? What are they going to expect? Rather than just addressing that psychologically upfront buy price anchoring and doing these things I spoke about the anxiety is there so they're kind of timid on their price. It things always will come down to price, they're always going to want to know okay, everything sounds great. What's the bottom line here, but you'll never really get if the price hits where they're expecting. You very rarely get I'll think about I need to talk to my financial advisor I got to bring in six other people. I want to talk to 12 different vendors. Because you matched where the value is you lined up the value rather than hoping you lined up the value. So price is important. But when you address it head on and the person the prospect actually starts To expect it, you're just gonna, that sales resistance comes down completely. And they're like, You know what this sounds great. And that conversation, the close is basically an extension of the conversation. Here's what I like to say.
Jonathan Fischer 35:12
That makes a lot of sense.
Allan Langer 35:14
I hope that answers your question.
Jonathan Fischer 35:15
No, that's great. So we've got, Kate, a marketing manager is asking us this is sort of a market research question. In our in our audience, Alan is I think you're aware we have a lot of startups, a lot of tech startups have got, you know, SAS solutions and other technical solutions and services. Often, it's difficult to know even where you should price yourself. Do you have any thoughts to share with this on sort of the market research end of the table? How do you even enter into a marketplace when you're new with pricing?
Allan Langer 35:47
That is something that I don't have any lot of expertise in what I do when when people have asked me that because I've worked with with quite a few startups and people starting their own businesses is, you know, make sure you price, price it to where you're valued. One of the things I see is people underpricing themselves, especially service providers, they don't think they're worth it. You know, oh my god, I can I charge over $100 An hour who's going to pay for that? And if you go into it, like, oh my god, I can't charge $100 an hour for my for my coaching? Why not? You know, when you think about it, you mentioned it before, when your price too low, you you don't the PERT the customer is going to going to feel like they're going to get any value. Like, let's say you're looking for I don't know, a massage therapist, and one massage therapist $99 and one is 179. Who do you automatically think is going to be better? Yeah, I mean, automatic 179. Just from the pricing? Yeah. To me, that's showing that person is confident in their pricing. And they're gonna, they're they're saying that they're worth $179. And I'm probably gonna go to them rather than the person who Oh, they're only 99 bucks, How good could they possibly be? So my only advice is, I can't, I can't talk to how you should set up your margins and things like that. But what I can talk to is, be confident in your pricing, don't shy away from your pricing, price yourself to the value that you bring. Don't be afraid to charge what you feel like you're worth. And never, ever, ever lower your price right away. Don't like if someone says, Alright, I'll do it for you. But if you take 10% off, I always say sorry, that is my price. But what I can do for you is I'll give you another 20 minutes, at the back end of one of my coaching sessions, you always add to the value rather than taking away. So that's another piece of advice I would get. That's great. I like that, instead of lowering your overall price, find a way to offer more value for the for the price already on the table is what you're saying.
Jonathan Fischer 37:44
Correct. Love it. And they'll they'll respect you more.
Allan Langer 37:48
Without you if you don't drop your price. They will they really will.
Jonathan Fischer 37:53
That's good stuff. Well, we've, we've had a great session already. And there's one more area of insight that I know that you've you've spoken on in this area of pricing, and that is storytelling. And I'm very curious to hear you share about that, like what what do you mean, first of all? And what would that look like, especially in our audience is mostly b2b, and often at a distance. So how would that play? Tell us about that side?
Allan Langer 38:18
Well, the storytelling can be used in in in quite a few different areas, whether it's b2b or b2c and, and I have a whole chapter in my book about how to use analogies and metaphors, like if you're in a b2b space, and it's also quite technical. You need to use analogies and metaphors. So people understand what you're talking about. If we think about the best teachers we've ever had in the world, and we think back, why do we remember them? We don't remember them because they taught you how to do algebra or calculus. We remember that because they told stories on how to learn that stuff. You know, I remember to this day, and I don't know what grade it was fourth, fifth grade. And in science, they were talking, you know, the teachers talked about gravity. And I remember the concept of gravity. But I remember her taking a ball and dropping it. And she just told the story, this is gravity and drop the ball. And I remember that to this day, 50 years later. And so when you can use an analogy and put your product within the context of a story, you're just going to sell more because people will understand you more.
Here's an example I'll give when I do quite a few my talks and people people like this story. So let's say you're selling fences, okay, you're you go to you go to a home and you're selling a fence. And you John, you're looking for a fence and I come in and I'm this on the first sales rep and I say Yeah, John, we've got four different types of fences ones, wood ones, vinyl ones, metal ones stockade. They come in six foot heights and eight foot heights is 17 different colors, and they go between $10.30 $3 A lineal foot. There's my sales pitch. Next guy comes in and says, John, what do you need the fence for? And you say Well I got a two year old daughter and I don't want to run an out of the backyard and I you know, my neighbor has a, you know a dog next door and I'm, you know, just afraid of that dog. Well, you know what, John I just down the street. A couple blocks from here we sold a fence, an eight foot stockade fence to another couple, very similar use similar house. Now I'm using social proof, by the way, and they had a puppy that they wanted to make sure they kept in the yard. And that neighbor actually had a Rottweiler a 200 pound Rottweiler, we put this fence up. And every day that Rottweiler tried to get through that fence to to bite their puppy, and it never got through. And finally the puppy grew up and the Rottweiler gave up. So who you buying the fence from? Yeah, no, I've already forgotten by buying it from the guy who told the story. Yeah. Yeah, exactly. Because you're mesmerized by the story. And you want the fence that holds back the Rottweiler. And you want that fence to protect your two year old daughter. So anytime you can bring in the story, any type of storytelling, and relate it to your product, you know, sell kitchens, or you sell SAS software, and you talk about another customer and use social proof like, Oh, I know, I know that. No, another car dealership who use the software just like you in the same part of the country. And they saw a 32% increase in sales because of the software. That's a story that's going to make me feel like I want to be part of that I want to have 32% more in sales as well. So anytime you can use stories, and then actually put the context of the of your product within that story, you're going to you're going to do much, much better.
Jonathan Fischer 41:32
Well, I think that brings our story to a close on a really great note today, Alan, this has been a great time it's it's flown by. And just for our benefit of the benefit of our audience, we did put a link to Allen's book in the comments section. Alan, what are some other great ways that the folks listening to our show today can reach you personally.
Allan Langer 41:52
Really, my email would be the best which is Allen al l a n at Allen G Er So Al langer.com. So al l a n g er.com. So Allen and ellwanger.com. I do have a pricing workshop coming up. On August on April 8 at 2pm. It's going to be about a 75 to 90 minute live virtual workshop. And I'm going to take a deep dive into a lot of the stuff we spoke about today. But there's also more to talk about. And if you want information from that, either email me or look me up on LinkedIn and you'll see the link to the event right there. And if you guys want to go I will have a discount. That will have I guess I can call it what give me a good promo code Jonelle for this audience, but what I call this, I can actually come up with a promo code for your audience. Get 20% overpass team
Jonathan Fischer 42:49
Overpass, so I went to the promo code Overpass, go to my either email me or get on my LinkedIn bio on my LinkedIn profile. And if you type in Overpass, you'll get 20% off of my work. All right, love it, and we'll put that also in the comments. Well, that wraps up our show for today. Alan once more. Thanks for being here. Great to have you.
Allan Langer 43:10
It's been awesome, John. Thanks for having me. I really enjoyed it.