This is the second article in the pricing confidence series. Here we focus on how to show confidence in the meeting itself because it matters what you do in the actual meeting as well as what you do before it. It takes confidence to go in with that initial price you want. So how do show confidence in a meeting (even if you don’t completely feel that way)?
Even if you have prepared thoroughly for your meeting with a buyer, you are still likely to be apprehensive. Especially if you have not had much experience of these types of meetings or if this meeting is particularly important. This is completely normal. However, there are ways to prepare and ways to conduct yourself that will mean you are more likely to succeed.
In this article we have laid out our 5 top tips for the meeting itself. 5 ways to put you in a better place to be more confident in your price and your proposal. You are more likely to succeed if you are better prepared.
Buyer meeting tip 1: Be Confident
I know that the title of this series is pricing confidence so when I say just ‘be confident’ it may sound too obvious! I know you would if you could.
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But in the meeting, itself, even if you don’t think you are confident you have to act confident. It may test your acting skills to a greater or lesser extent. If you have to, imagine the most confident person you know and channel yourself to be more like them so you appear more confident.
After all, if you don’t have confidence or belief in your product who will? Remember that you are there for a reason. The retailer or buyer would not agree to see you if they did not think it was worth their time. You have worked hard on your product, you have done your research and you have prepared well for the meeting. Therefore, you have every reason to believe in yourself and be confident.
One way to show this is to use confident language. I do not mean for you to be arrogant but not timid either.
A real-life example of this is from an ex big 4 grocery buyer:
They told me about suppliers who would start a sentence with the words ‘well my starting price is…’.
She said that at that point they said ‘starting price’ she knew she could get a better price and that they were not confident so would be easy to negotiate with.
Do not hint that you would be willing to lower the price unless you have no other option. Start strong and simply state ‘the price is…’. You do not need to say anymore.
Buyer meeting tip 2: Stop talking
Once you have communicated your price you need to have the pricing confidence to wait and hear what the buyer has to say about it. You may well be greeted by silence but do not worry about this. Just pause. Do not worry about the silences as they are completely normal. Afterall, the buyer needs time to think through what you have just said. And if they are making notes allow them to do so. Whatever you do, do not be tempted to fill this void by talking and saying too much as this will not help you.
Silences can be uncomfortable but do not fill the gap justifying the price or worse offering a discount without being prompted. Just relax and wait for their response. If you do feel the urge to talk, then ask if there are any questions or if they need you to go through anything again.
It is hard to keep quiet as you may have nervous energy or feel you have more to say. This is completely natural and if you have done your research you will naturally have more you could say. The question is should you or do you need to? Well, the answer is probably no. Wait to be asked a question and answer accordingly. Answer calmly as you have prepared. This will show you are confident and in control.
Buyer meeting tip 3: Listen
The buyer will comment on your proposal and will then have questions for you. The key hear is to listen carefully to what you are asked. A bit like in an exam. I am sure we all remember being told to answer the exact question and not the one we want it to be or the one we had revised for. The same is true here. Make sure you keep you answer to what is being asked.
Listening is also important to gleam more about what the buyer needs. Listen carefully to what they say so you can answer their specific need and not the one you thought they had. If you have not highlighted how your product or offering can help solve the need they highlight, then make sure you tell them. In this way you can ease any concerns or hesitations they may have.
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You may have to think on your feet here as it is not unusual to find out new information in these meetings. Pricing confidence is key. If you are confident you can adapt your proposition to suit this latest information. This does not necessarily mean changing the price, but perhaps the package. If you know what you can afford and what you value in advance of the meeting, you will be in a better place to do this.
Buyer meeting tip 4: Focus on value
Using these tips and tricks will certainly help your pricing confidence. It will be easier to communicate what you want confidently and clearly. However, how you manage price pushback or objections will tell the buyer a lot about you and your business. The key is to focus on the value you provide. Always stick to the value you can provide rather than the cost. Drill down into what they need and show how you can fulfil that need.
If they do appear to value cost the most then your preparation will come in useful here as you will be able to exchange a discount for something you value. Examples could include faster payment terms, a volume commitment or location on shelf. Make sure it is a fair exchange of value. You both should be getting something you value.
This shows the customer that you are happy to discount if they can provide value in your direction. It takes pricing confidence to do this. However, this is what buyers expect from experienced sales teams. It is normal for them so do not be shy and respond to any price pushback confidently and focus on value.
Buyer meeting tip 5: Body language
The fifth tip is one that should run throughout the meeting. Whether the meeting is in person or online, body language is key because it can show your confidence.
If your body language says you are confident then you will be perceived that way. So, head up, shoulders back, keep eye contact and smile. There are people far more qualified to talk about body language than me. But reflect on what you see as confidence in others and copy that. There are 5 body language tips to improve selling in this article from Sales i blog.
And finally, if your meeting is over video conference then you may have to exaggerate your body language slightly. Of course, not in a comical amateur dramatics way but enough to make yourself clear and to avoid misinterpretation.
Bonus pricing confidence tip: Walk Away
Before we finish here is one final tip. Don’t be afraid to walk away. If it’s not right, it’s not right.
Think of it like an interview for both parties. If you do not think they are a great fit, it is ok to leave and pursue the next opportunity. It does take confidence to do this but do not do a deal at price so low that will damage you just to get a listing. It is unlikely to be worth it.
Pricing confidence is not something that will appear overnight. There is a reason we have the phrase ‘practice makes perfect’. Actually, we do not need to be perfect. Do not worry that you are not perfect as no-one is. As long as you do enough preparation to increase your confidence, you will be fine.
Work through these tips and tricks and remember your passion in your product.
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