What to do when a customer says “that funnel is too expensive”.

You’ve booked the call and got a meeting with the customer. But when you put the proposal and price in front of them – they tell you it’s too expensive.

This is the #1 fear of all funnel builders. That the price they put in front of the customer, will be seen as too expensive.

As a coach, I’m constantly telling people to increase their prices, charge profitably (YEOTP) and make sure you don’t discount.

But what happens if someone says the price is too expensive? Are you hearing this a lot? Is hearing this question what’s preventing you from charging higher prices?

What if there was a surefire way to a) prevent this objection even coming up and b) being able to handle it, even if it did.

I’m going to teach you how to deal with customers saying “that’s too expensive”.

They don’t understand the value

The #1 reason that people say “wow, that’s expensive. We can’t afford that”. Is because they don’t understand the value.

Unfortunately, some people are NEVER going to get it. That’s just it. They’re too dumb, ignorant, arrogant, or they just don’t get it.

It doesn’t make them a bad person. It just means it’s not that a big a deal to them.

The perceived value that they’re getting, is lower than the investment they’d have to make. Simple as that. They don’t think it’s worth it.

Why does this happen? Well as I mentioned, it might just be that they don’t WANT to get it. Some people never will.

It could also be that they like the idea of negotiating. More on that later.

On the other hand, it’s probably because you haven’t spent long enough building trust and a relationship with them.

If your customer turns around and tells you that it’s too much, it means you haven’t done a good enough job explaining what they’re going to get.

Your funnels should be designed to generate return and revenue. If they can’t see that $10 000 or $50 000 or $250 000 will yield them higher results, it’s because they can’t see how or they don’t trust you enough.

Sounds harsh, but that’s the truth. You just haven’t sold them enough.

Spend more time delving into what their requirements are. Listen more and repeat back what your customer’s problems and wants are. The more you do this, the deeper the relationship gets and more likely they’ll buy from you.

You don’t understand the value

“Price is the last refuge of the marketer that doesn’t know how to add value.”

Seth Godin

If you’re still struggling to “sell” at the price you’ve set, it could be that you don’t understand the value. Ever thought about that?

We get so close to the technology and process that we can forget the benefits and results that come from our projects. We get focused on jargon, technical terms and products.

We forget that customers don’t care about that. They want the results and benefits.

Or, maybe you just haven’t demonstrated the value, results and benefits enough? If you’re so used to selling the service and funnel, are you still focusing on the customer and understanding what they want?

Go back to the drawing board and braindump ALL the results and benefits from your services. Check out our post here on monthly retainer proposals and use the exercises to figure out the value that you offer.

Narrow down the results and value you offer and make sure to ask more questions of your customers. The more you understand and the better you listen, the clearer your value will become.

Change customers

“I don’t get it Mike. This customer loves me. They constantly refer me and we have great conversations. They love the idea of the funnel and the project, they’re desperate for results. But when I proposed the price to them – their face went white.”

I replied “OK, how much were you charging?”

“$20 000 for the project and $1000 a month after that”

“Sounds about right. Tell me about the customer.”

“They’re a not for profit, turnover of about $60 000 a year–”

I cut them off.

This is a conversation I’ve had 100 times with funnel builders. They talk about pricing, customers, who they can help etc. But they get sucked into the trap of thinking an easy win is a good win.

Your chosen customer, industry or vertical might never have the budget. Are you working with people who want it, but can’t afford it?

Unfortunately that’s not going to change anything. It’s going to make your life very difficult.

Startups, not for profits and single person businesses LOVE the results that funnels can get them. But that doesn’t mean they can afford it. The truth is that you HAVE to choose an industry that can afford it.

Don’t fool yourself into thinking that a market that WANTS you, can afford you. Anyone can get a lead for a customer that can’t afford it. It’s not good for your business to focus on those customers though.

If you want to start hearing “that’s about right” after the price part, rather than “that’s too much” then maybe you need to change your customer type.

Qualify them better

One of the biggest roadblocks I see in so many funnel businesses, is their un-willingness to qualify customers. Qualifying customers is vital to your business.

It’s the “crazy filter” as Ryan Deiss calls it. The warning signs and red flags that tell you, your project won’t work here.

You MUST ask how much budget they have. Businesses that are serious and have the right budget, won’t mind telling you.

“Yeah but when I ask about the budget, they ask me ‘how much do you think it’ll cost?'”

Your job isn’t to quote, it’s to deliver results. Try asking another question, “how much resource do you have to reach this goal/solve this problem?”

What are they putting aside to grow or get bigger? What are they doing to help themselves?

Frankly, customers that aren’t willing to answer this, probably aren’t worth working with. People who know what they’re doing and are serious about growth know their budget.

I don’t call up 100’s of hotels asking for a price and then decide my budget. I know my budget for the trip and find a hotel that suits it.

Ask people what their budget is and qualify them. If it’s $10 000 and the project comes to $12 000, they can find the extra $2000.

If it’s a $50 000 project and they have a budget of “I don’t know” or “you tell me” or $5000. Then yes, you’re going to have a problem.

Also, the best thing you can do is stay silent. Stay quiet and get used to the uncomfortable quietness.

Ask them what their budget is. Let them get all the funny jokes and questions out. Let them talk and speak nonsense and stay quiet until they give you a number.

Just stay totally quiet until they give you a numerical figure. It’ll be horrible at first. Painful. Cringe-worthy. But stick with it. They will break and they will tell you their budget.

Finally, if they tell you that “we don’t want to tell you the budget in case you increase your prices to the maximum”. That’s a huge red flag. Ask them why they called you in and again, stay quiet until you get a decent answer.

Budget is a resource, not something that’s scarce. If they can’t trust you to deliver an accurate proposal, then they’ll be a nightmare to work with.

Turn the objection

It’s worth noting that if someone does say “ooh that’s a little more than we were expecting”, you can still turn the objection. They haven’t said no yet.

Answer with “OK, I know how you feel. Lots of customers say the same thing, but what we’ve found is that we can remove some aspects of the project to lower the price”.

All of a sudden they’re not so keen to lower the price. They want the whole cake for the price of a slice.

Another angle (and this is going to sound super harsh) is that you might be easily put off with pricing and the expense objection, because you don’t know how to raise the funds yourself.

If a customer tells me that $100 000 is too much, I’ll only be dissuaded if I don’t know how to raise $100 000 myself.

If someone told you that this widget cost $5 and you said that’s too much, you don’t have it. Can you think of a few ways to raise $5? If course you can. There are hundreds of ways.

So if your customers tell you they don’t have that available, you need to help them FIND that money. You don’t know how to turn the price objection because you don’t know how YOU’D pay for it.

Lower the deliverables

Finally, similar to the above. Lower the deliverables. Lower the features and results that customers get.

If you’re committed to that customer or industry, what can you deliver INSTEAD of a full blown marketing funnel? What is available to your customers that you can still help them with?

Courses? Books? Coaching? Shared platforms? Turnkey funnels?

You’ve got options, think about the investment lowering in finances but increasing in effort on their behalf.

Mike Killen

Mike is the world's #1 sales coach for marketing funnel builders. He helps funnel builders sell marketing funnels to their customers. He is the author of From Single To Scale; How single-person, small and micro-businesses can scale their business to profit. You can find him on Twitter @mike_killen.