Client Objection: Looking For A "Good Deal"

Put the prospect in your shoes.

Following our series of posts on how to reply to client objections, here's a question from a consultant that sells health and safety training/certification:

Love these posts, Danilo. Here's a situation I encounter and did not know how to properly address.

Context: The prospect is a mid-size company that sells production equipment for the food and beverage industry. They were interested in hiring safety workshops for their employees, and we went through every sales conversation step without any issue. When I presented the proposal options, the director pointed to the one that they liked the most. But at the last minute, he decided to try to close a "good deal" and said:

"I'm happy to pay that. But is there a way for you to do more than just 3 workshops for that price?"

What was the best way to address this without discounting the work?

First, I want to thank the reader for providing some context. If you ever email me questions like this, please remember that I can't provide good advice without context!

In this case, they did not ask for discounts. The director has explicitly confirmed they're ready to invest X into your workshops. What they're trying to do is to increase the scope without paying more - in practice, they're asking for free work.

There's no logic in giving your work away for free. So what you need to do here is to provide an example that shows this is an absurd idea, but in a way your prospect can easily relate to. Based on the description of the company, you could say:

"Let me ask you something: If a client says to you "I love this equipment, we want to buy it. But I want two machines for that one price." (pause) What do you say to them?"

This is a very blunt way to speak to a prospect, but so was their request to you. Adding the question in the end - and not simply replying with "this is absurd" - throws the ball back to them and makes the director put himself in your shoes.

If they're fishing for last-minute concessions, this is usually enough to show you're not giving them. In the unlikely case they reply confirming the interest in hiring more workshops, forget about your proposed solutions and come back to discovery and the value conversation:

  • What would more workshops do for you?
  • Does it make sense to invest a little more in order to get those outcomes?
  • How do we help you get the budget you need?

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