Blog Cover Image 1

Listen: I just want to get pricing!

Posted by Carole Mahoney on 2/1/23 7:15 AM


Tiffany Lyman Otten shares her buying experience, pricing, and the simplest thing she ever heard at her first sales job. Something companies, sales, organizations, and even founders trying to sell have yet to comprehend.

So can you think of a specific example, whether good or bad, of a purchase you made and the process?

In this particular case, we had a function, and my developer said this looks to be the right one so far. I haven't used it before, but this is the right one. 

So I said okay. Great. We went to the website and tried to find some pricing information but could not fund it beyond a certain point. That's my first frustration. The second thing is that they had it initially, but not as you got into a larger size. 

The second item is communicating that information to your target market. In my case, I only really needed the tip of the iceberg in terms of function. We could get to the other stuff someday. But that is the mismatch between I need to tell you everything my product does. And addressing my need. So we went through all of this. I just wanted to get pricing. 

You can't get pricing in a demo.

I might have alluded to that before. And so I kept getting these emails from all these different reps to set up a demo, and I finally replied to him, like, I don't give a crap about your demo. I want to know what this costs so I can put it in my budget. 

And then we had the sales call where she gave us information that was a deal stopper for us. But it seemed so strange that I didn't believe it. And we reached out to support instead and found out it wasn't true. And even though the support's answer removed that blocker, the lack of trust, and does the company know what it is, I still didn't know what to buy when this process had been completed because there were so many possible configurations. 

The buying process was so frustrating I told the developer to find another one because I wasn't willing to work with a company that makes doing business with them technical.

Now, if we compare that to Triple Whale, which I'm installing for a client, I'm naming them because it was a good experience. I know they do now that I'm deeper into the process and more amenable to hearing the extra features. I know they do a lot of different things.

There was one thing I wanted they didn't have on their roadmap. But because it does everything in my time was so respected in this journey, It's a given. It does things that no one else can do.

The seller focused exclusively on my questions to start. He asked me what the priority was. And we looked at those things first and then said, there are a few other things that might be future state if you want to hear about them. It was a respectful way to get that information, yet ultimately reducing my risk. 

Does the buying experience determine whether or not you become a customer because of one hundred percent built or destroyed in the process? 

One hundred percent. Yes.

And This is also where, when you had said at the beginning, why do companies make it so difficult to buy from us?

And how do we spend billions of dollars yearly on sales training and development without realizing they're creating the frog? 

They talk themselves out of sales all the time. And if they could remove some of these barriers. No matter what's happening in the economy, you, as a seller, can reduce the risk and not feature dump and throw everything, hoping something will stick. I think people are afraid not to say more.

And then the example I want to give you is there was a founder salesperson.

So with the startup, the founder's making the sales, and sometimes that's great. Sometimes it's not. 

And so we have a demo. Given my background, I knew this person was not a natural salesperson, and I have a habit of trying to pick it apart. 

But I was like, you know, okay. This is not his thing, but he's sincere. And halfway through, I said, listen, this is all interesting, but these are the five things I need to know, whether or not I can put, you know, put this in with one of my clients. And so we talked about it a bit and I asked, okay, can you send me the data on this? Because I need to see how it works. 

And the seller sent me a standard deck. He sent me a bunch of other stuff days later than he said he would (there goes the trust). And it didn't answer my questions. So, I won't bother replying at that point. I finally replied after several emails. I was like; I literally told you what I needed to buy. 

Like, I know it's easy to dump over your prepared materials. 

But I'm not interested anymore because I don't trust that you're paying attention and that our client will have what they need. 

I’m sympathetic to the fact that he wasn't a natural salesperson. My exact words were this is what I need to buy, and there wasn't a match because he wasn't confident enough to sell with just that. He had to tell me everything, but I didn't care. 

So because the seller didn't follow through and do what they said they would when they said they would.

This is Trust 101. Dude, you said you would? You said you would do it and didn't listen or want to spend the time customizing it according to what was needed and wanted. 

Simple fixes. The simplest thing I ever heard on my first sales job long ago is that you have two ears and one mouth for a reason. Shut up and let the buyer talk because the new golden rule is that those with the goal make the rules. 

Because buyers care about what buyers care about. They are the ones that are making the rules.


Carole Mahoney and Databox have the answer. Small business owners who use Hubspot can anonymously #benchmark their #sales data in seconds.

get the details today

Topics: sales, entrepreneur, small business, sales training, sales leadership, Buyer First, Not About Me