“Is This the Best Price I Can Get?”

As I was developing a seminar on how to counter objections, I needed an exercise to help salespeople understand the need to be prepared. I started with two thoughts:

• How well do I object to a vendor as a prospect?
• How well can I counter an objection from a prospect?

I decided to do an exercise. Here’s what I did. For the next few days, every time I purchased something from anyone, I planned to ask that person, “Is this the best price I can get?”

Yes, I did say anyone. I started at a coffee shop I like to go to. My objective was to see how the employees would respond to a price objection.

While standing in line at the coffee shop, knowing I was going to object to the price, I began having an inner struggle with myself and almost gave up the idea. I mean, who would ask this question at a coffee shop? When I got to the counter, here’s what happened:

“What can I get you?” the barista asked.

“I would like a tall [that’s a small in layman’s terms] coffee,” I said. “But before you ring it up, I have one question.”

“Sure,” she said, “what’s the question?”

“Is this the best price I can get?”

“What? The coffee is only a dollar fifty-two,” she said with a startled, confused look—not to mention the expressions of other customers, who were apparently shocked by my audacity and rudeness.

“I just want to know, is this the best price I can get?” I asked again.

Her pause seemed like an eternity as she stared at me and then looked at the other customers, who were just as interested in her response.

She said, “Um, let me get the manager.”
The store manager came out from the back, walking slowly with the barista while she explained the situation to him. Turning to me, he asked, “Can I help you?”

“Yes. I was just asking the barista, before she rang up my coffee, if this is the best price I can get.”

With a bewildered look that you get from someone who is having a brain freeze, he said, “Well … uh … here, just have it for free.”

“Well, thank you,” I happily replied. And I walked out with a free cup of coffee.

Afterward, I was wondering why the barista and the manager couldn’t handle this simple but common objection. So I decided to try this again at the same coffee shop the next day.

Day two: different barista, same manager.

“Can I help you?” the barista asked.

“Yes,” I said. “I would like a tall coffee with a little room for cream. But before you ring it up, I have one question.”

“What do you need?” she asked.

“I’m wondering if this is the best price I can get.”

As you can imagine, everyone in line behind me went quiet. All attention was now on me. Honestly, I’m not sure what was going through the barista’s head as she was trying to process my request. After a long pause, she asked, “Are you serious? You want a better price?”

“I’m just asking,” I said. “Is something wrong?”

The barista didn’t even reply. She turned, left the cash register, and went through a door to the back room. After a few moments, the manager came out and said, “Are you asking us again if this is the best price you can get?”

“Yes, I sure am,” I politely said. “I was just wondering if this is the best price I can get.”

The manager laughed and said, “Here, man, it’s free.”

What I found interesting is that the barista and the manager simply didn’t know how to counter a simple price objection. I had made some discoveries:

• The staff were not prepared to counter the objection, so they had to get the manager.
• The manager wasn’t prepared to counter the objection, so he defaulted to giving his product away.
• The audience wasn’t expecting this nutcase to hold up the line by asking for a discount.

The point here is this:

• When you are the prospect, do you negotiate well for your own purchases? And do you object to vendors’ offers in order to sharpen your own countering skills?
• When you are a salesperson, do you know how to counter objections effectively and quickly?

In either situation, this book will help you effectively counter sales objections and grow your personal income.

For more tips tactics and strategies on how to effectively handle objections go to Amazon.com or Barnes&Noble.com and order your copy of 32 Sales Objections Easily Countered today by Stepp Stevens Sydnor