Friday, March 4, 2011

Sense When Resistances Build About Paying

If your shopper conclusively decides the price of an item is too high, they’ll resist buying the item. In face-to-face selling, evaluate the decision process early enough to head off the resistance.
     Part of your evaluation will be an assessment of the shopper’s beliefs. A useful template for this is based on a set of four questions developed by Dutch behavioral economist Peter van Westendorp and used by a great many retail pricing specialists. Here’s my version of the four Van Westendorp questions:
  • Does the person believe the item is inexpensive enough that they’ll think hard before deciding not to purchase it?
  • Do they believe it is so expensive that they’ll think hard before deciding whether to purchase it?
  • Do they believe it is so inexpensive that they’d think there might very well be something wrong with the item?
  • Do they believe it is so expensive that they’ll immediately reject the idea of buying the item?
     But researchers at Universität Göttingen in Germany and Rouen Business School in France propose that an assessment restricted to beliefs is inadequate. Their findings indicate it is also important for salespeople to sense the emotional reactions of the shopper who might be conclusively deciding an item price is excessive. The researchers identified these emotions as important indicators resistance is building:
  • Anger becoming contempt toward the retailer
  • Guilt becoming shame at struggling with the temptation to make the purchase
     To prepare yourself and your sales staff to head off the problems, ease the frustration you yourselves are feeling about pricing. Researchers at UCLA and University of Southern California suggest two steps:
  • Describe pricing as subject to change. When your staff know you’re regularly reviewing your pricing—looking for opportunities to pass on savings—they’re less likely to stay frustrated. Give your staff examples of how you’re not keeping all prices high and higher. Then coach your staff to approach customers who are in the area of competitively priced items to say, “Here’s an item that might be of interest to you. Notice what we’ve done to the pricing.”
  • Give staff influence in pricing. Consider staff suggestions on what items to discount for specials and where to increase margins to balance it out. Coach staff to point out product alternatives to shoppers so everyone feels a sense of control. A sense of control helps wipe away frustration.
Click below for more:
Answer Van Westendorp Pricing Questions
Be Ready to Explain Price Increases
Tell Stories for Price Increase Acceptance
Ease Frustrations About Your Pricing
Sell Spendthrifts with Opportunity Costs

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