<img alt="" src="https://secure.half1hell.com/195196.png" style="display:none;">

4 Ways to Avoid Sticker Shock in Your Sales Process

Posted by Amit Davé on Jun 2, 2015 9:00:00 AM

sticker shock

It’s happened to the best of us: you tell a prospect how much your product or service costs and silence ensues on the other end of the line. This is known as “sticker shock.” If you’ve done your job as a salesperson though, your customer should never experience this. Why? You’ll have set up the value and discussed price early on and, therefore, eliminated any price sensitivity. However, there will be times when, despite your transparency with price, the prospect may not have been paying attention or started to think about pricing.

In order to help you get it right out of the gate, here are four ways to avoid sticker shock in your sales process. 

1. Set Expectations

Sticker shock occurs when there’s a disconnect between expectation and reality. You have to set your prospects’ expectations early on in the sales process so that even the slightest disappointment doesn’t send them running. The lack of managing expectations is responsible for killing many sales transactions. In order to build trust and credibility, you must set the correct expectations and always deliver on your promises (no matter how small).

2. Be Confident About Your Price

If you provide value to your customers, then your price is well justified. If you feel uncomfortable talking about price, dig deep and find out why. Prospects will pick up on these subconscious cues and react accordingly. On the other hand, if you feel confident about your price, you will naturally make your prospects and customers comfortable with it.

3. Don’t Speak in Abstracts

When discussing price, use actual numbers and concrete words. Don’t use words like “cheap,” “inexpensive,” “reasonable,” etc. These abstract terms mean different things to different buyers and there’s no frame of reference. Instead, speak in absolute terms. If your product has different components or pricing depends on a customer’s backend infrastructure, etc., simply tell your prospect that you’re not equipped to have the budget discussion because you don’t have enough information. Instead of setting your prospect up for sticker shock by saying something like “Let’s not worry about pricing now; I’m sure it’ll be a non-issue,” tell him or her, “We really need to understand your backend infrastructure before we can provide pricing.”

4. Make Them Think It’s More

If you can’t really gauge what the price will be, and therefore can’t discuss cost concretely or offer prospects a comparable, prepare them for a price that’s higher than the actual amount. If you’ve successfully demonstrated the value of your product or service and you know the prospect is willing to spend the big bucks, coming in under their anticipated budget will allow you to accelerate the close without discounting.


Don’t make price a bigger deal than it is. Instead, deal with it early on in the sales process and demonstrate tremendous value. Remember, many people would rather pay more for exceptional service and value. As long as you’re providing that and you’ve set proper expectations, you’ll be quicker to close and won’t have to try as hard to make the prospect happy with the purchase decision—they’ll already be 100% sold.

Sample the ROI tool from ROI-Selling.com

Topics: Objection Handling, B2B Selling, Value Pricing, Value Selling