Price discussions – don’t do this!

8th February 2022

Imagine this…

You go to a new restaurant. You don’t know what food they sell. How good/bad it is. What type of people eat there.

You enter. The owner approaches you. And you have this chat:


Owner: (stunned silence)

You: I’m looking for the best deal. How much is your food?

Owner: It depends what you want to eat

You: Stop being evasive! Other restaurants told me how much their food cost

Owner: But they sell different food

You: You obviously feel uncomfortable discussing price

Owner: No, I don’t. But I think you’d better leave now…

You’d never do this, would you?

  • Price isn’t the only thing that matters
  • If the owner gave a price, it might be for food you don’t like
  • You might choose the cheapest restaurant – but wish you hadn’t (as Red Adair once said "if you think it’s expensive hiring a professional… wait till you hire an amateur")

Also, pity the poor owner – how can anyone answer the question “HOW MUCH IS YOUR FOOD?”

This would never happen in a restaurant.

So why do we do this in business?

Why do some customers start with “HOW MUCH IS IT?”

And why do some suppliers answer them?!

Yes, price is important.

But it’s rarely the most important thing. So, conversations shouldn’t start there.

Instead, they should:

  1. Start by asking what the customer wants to achieve
  2. Then explore how the supplier can best help them achieve it
  3. And only then can we discuss relevant, fair pricing

Which means…

Action Point

When you’re the customer, don’t ask about price first! Instead, be clear what you want, and then ask how much it would cost.

And when you’re the supplier, don’t let customers ask about price first!

If they do start with “HOW MUCH IS IT?”, reply “I don’t know. It depends what you want. And I don’t want you to pay for things you don’t need. So let me ask a couple of quick questions, and then I can confirm the price”

And for more thoughts on pricing, watch this– for free (no price!)

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