I was in a session with one of my clients recently. Amy is a business owner with 25 years deep experience and a pioneer in her field. She has a Masters Degree and sits on several Boards. This is one powerful lady!
She showed up at our coaching session angry and defensive. We did our usual check-in and I asked her about the status of the opportunities in her sales pipeline. I could tell she was hot and bothered when she blurted out:
“He said my proposal was too rich for his blood! Can you believe it??? He obviously wants me to lower my prices. He just doesn’t respect me!”
I saw that Amy knew exactly what this organization needed and she was confident that her company was the best choice. And I knew it too, but there was clearly a disconnect. She felt like the prospect wasn’t valuing her recommendation, which made her think that her expertise was being questioned.
Have you ever felt like you’re not really being seen? Like somebody is not getting you?
Okay, so the story continues…
Because I’m an expert at diagnosing business problems and reverse engineering the solution, I asked her to give me a play-by-play of her initial ‘get acquainted’ conversation with the prospective client and a rundown of the proposal details including the context and her recommendation with pricing.
This is what my diagnosis of the symptoms uncovered…
It was clear to me that the client’s end goals, expectations and budget range weren’t discussed in the initial conversation. And because these things weren’t fleshed out beforehand, her proposal didn’t appropriately address some of the key motivators of the client’s decision-making process. Instead, it exposed Amy to a line of questioning that put her on the defensive and a heated conversation that was spiraling downward.
As I was reflecting on this situation with Amy after our session, I thought of YOU.
Have you ever had a conversation go off the rails?
Whether you are communicating with a prospect, your employee or your family, it is crucial that you start off the conversation by getting on the same page. Understanding the lens through which the other person views the world and knowing what’s important to them will put you in a position to create a win-win scenario.
People make choices and decisions based on their values and what matters to them. If you want people to listen to you, hear you and engage with you then it’s your job to uncover what’s important to them and present your recommendation or your opinion through that lens.
Here are a few tips to consider:
- Take the conversation off email. There is too much room for interpretive error. Get on the phone or meet face-to-face.
- Be clear on the other person’s expectations and ideal outcome. Start with the end in mind.
- Check-in with your emotions. If you feel defensive, ask yourself if you are taking things personally. It’s not personal. It’s simply not clear.
And what happened with Amy? Well, I coached her through how to have the conversation with her prospective client and after several iterations she won back the relationship and landed a $20K contract. YES! Plus, she celebrated the added bonus of standing in her value and confidently moving to the next deal with more awareness about her approach. Priceless.
Now it’s your turn…
Remember, if a client scoffs at your pricing, it’s most likely because you haven’t effectively translated your value in a language that your prospect understands and/or effectively demonstrated how your solutions match their expectations and/or effectively addressed what matters most to THEM.
The next time your pricing is questioned, don’t take it personal – get curious.
If you ever feel like this is all just too overwhelming to deal with on your own and you would really like to have a business advisor on your team to walk you step-by-step how to win more clients faster and with more ease, contact me for a 45 minute complimentary consultation. I’d love to chat with you about working together to help you close more business and stand in your value.