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Setting your price

Lucas Deal August 15, 2013

The concept of universal pricing doesn’t exist in commercial truck sales. From engine and vehicle spec requests to make and model price variance, it’s not uncommon for one dealer to sell two of the same model year trucks on the same day at considerably different prices.

Fortunately for dealers, that price variance isn’t new to the marketplace. Customers are well aware of how their wants and needs affect the price quotes they receive for prospective purchases.

But that variability doesn’t excuse price inequities. When customers tell you want they want to spec a truck, they expect you to promptly reply with a correct price.

How you respond is an important aspect of a sale, says George Papp, professional sales consultant and former director of sales development at Arrow Truck Sales, presenting at his “Selling for Success” seminar for the Used Truck Association.

If you want to sell trucks, you first have to sell customers on your price.

To do that, Papp warns salespeople to be aware of the negative scenarios that can come out of a poorly presented price.

Purchasing a medium- or heavy-duty truck is a significant investment and a salesperson’s responsibility and influence during the process cannot be taken lightly.

Hypersensitive customers can be turned off by poor body language and indifference, and veteran customers are capable of spotting mistakes when a salesperson isn’t focused.

That means a poorly worded response, delayed reaction or incorrect quote during the pricing stage significantly hinders a salesperson’s ability to complete a transaction, Papp says.

He says some pitfalls to avoid when presenting a price are modifiers before a reveal, “Our regular price is …” or unrealistic guarantees such as “Tell me where we need to be …,” which can weaken a customer’s confidence in your price.

Papp instead advises salespeople to be receptive and sparse with words when listening to a customer’s spec requests leading up to a potential sale. The more time a salesperson spends listening and noting a customer’s needs, the quicker they can turn that information into an accurate price quote, Papp says.

He also recommends being brief with responses following customer inquiries. For example, a customer request for warranty information should be met with a quick outline of the program, and its strongest features. But instead of taking that opportunity to highlight the program in unnecessarily specific detail, Papp advises salespeople to instead modify the question as a rebuttal.

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