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Price Is Rarely the Issue

By Joey Havens

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Walking into the sunglass section of this nice sporting goods store, I’m stopping at the Costa sunglasses. As you know from previous blogs, I’m down to one pair and I really want a pair for driving and as a spare for my next moment of stupidity which seems to follow me around.  

Costa has so many lens types and frames that it can be very confusing. I’m interested in a lens that might work on saltwater as well as freshwater. I usually purchase freshwater lens as I fish most of the time on freshwater.  

Can I help you, sir?  

Sure, I’m interested in seeing if Costa has a lens designed to work on both freshwater and saltwater? I also read they have a new freshwater lens?

Well, sir, we have most of the models here in this display, glass and plastic models. Lots of people use the glasses on either.  

What color lens is designed for freshwater?  

I’m not sure, let me check my reference guide. I will be right back.  

I knew from his first response that this salesperson did not know enough about these sunglasses to help me find the specific lens I’m hoping to find.  

Here are some freshwater lens on this page.  

Thank you, how much are these sunglasses?   

$225 and they come with a case and cleaning kit. 

Wow, that is a little more than I wanted to invest in sunglasses. Thanks for your help.  

Now, was I surprised at the price tag? No. Was the price more than I was willing to pay? No. I paid that for the pair out in my truck. So why did I use price to move along? It’s easy! And it’s less personal. 

We hear it in professional services all the time. In fact, we love to use it as our internal excuse when we miss an opportunity. It was price; they were price shopping. More often, we have failed to truly communicate the worth of our work, deliverables and insights

Do we encounter price shoppers, clients that see very little value in what we do? Unfortunately, yes, and we should never fall into the trap of trying to meet their expectations. The other side of the coin is that these price shoppers are easy to spot with some early inquisitive questions and they only represent a very small percentage of the market.  

For me, the Costas are worth the premium price due to the high quality and high performance — when knowledgeable professionals can help me select the perfect lens for what I do and lead me in this selection process in a short period of time. I don’t like shopping, unlike my better half, CeCe, who is quite good at it. This is my value proposition on sunglasses which is a premium because I am in the sun a lot. 

  • We must dig deeper when we are rejected on price. 
  • Did we understand the client’s problems and pain points?
  • Did we effectively communicate a solution, deliverable or outcome?
  • Did we effectively communicate what’s possible? Our relevance?
  • Did we understand the impact/worth of solving the problem for the client?
  • Did we understand the client’s risks and how we are helping mitigate them? 
  • Did we understand the client’s opportunities, the related value and help vision them?

Understanding our worth and practicing how to message what we do is the bridge to having more successful proposals and engagements.   

Guess I’m headed to Bass Pro where I know the salesperson knows his Costa products.