by Tom Ziglar

The Price is Too High

What is the difference between quality and price?  Is price a “one time thing” or a “lifetime thing”?  Dad is famous for his “The Price is Too High” close.  Recently, Dad, Mom and I were in Orlando for Bob Burg’s Extreme Business Makeover event.  I had the privilege of hearing Bob do his best Zig impression of the “Price is Too High,” and learned that it literally changed his life.

Watch this video and tell me what you think of Bob’s impression of Zig.

You can find Dad’s original version of this in the cd program “Secrets of Closing the Sale.”

And, for your reading pleasure, here is the written version of the story taken right out his book, Secrets of Closing the Sale.

Does This Technique Work?

Bill Egan, a Buick-Datsun dealer in Bradley, Illinois, said yes.
After returning from a business meeting, Bill was told by his management team that an elderly couple was in a closing office and had been for some time. This was their third trip into the dealership, so they were definitely interested in buying, but they were still hesitating and the salesman was making no progress. Two other salespeople had also tried for the close with no results. Bill had been listening on his cassette recorder to this particular close on price and cost, so he decided to give it a try himself. The following dialogue took place after the introduction and small talk.

Bill: “It will take $9,600 for the exchange.”
Couple: “The price is too high.” (In this particular case the woman was the one who made the statement.)
Bill (lowering his voice and adding inflection so the statement became a question): “Ma’am, the price is too high?”
Lady: “Yes, the price is too high.”
Bill: “Let me ask you, Ma’am, are you talking about price or cost?” Husband and wife both looked at Bill with blank stares.
Lady: “What do you mean?” (At this point Bill says he knew he had at least made some progress.)
Bill: “Ma’am, do you mind if I tell you a story to emphasize the point?”
Lady: “No. Go right ahead.”
Bill: “Several months ago, I contracted for a large amount of asphalt to be put down on my property. While making the preliminary investigation, just as you are doing now, I wanted to make certain I got the best buy for my money. I believe all of us want that, wouldn’t you agree?” (The lady agreed.)
Bill continued: “I don’t know much about asphalt, blacktop, and construction, but I had learned that the number of inches of gravel you put underneath as a base determines how much the price is going to be. Like a lot of other people, I went with the best price.
“To make a long story short, it wasn’t two months before I started noticing cracks and upheavals in the surface of the asphalt. Walking around the store I discovered it was happening everywhere. In about a year the asphalt was breaking up and I spent an additional six thousand dollars repairing the job I had originally paid for. Here’s my point, Ma’am. Price is a one-time thing. Cost can go on forever and ever, as long as you have the particular product. Question: Wouldn’t it be better to pay a fair price one time and be through with it than to go on paying those little costs you get from a product which is probably not as good as what you’re looking at right now?”

At this point Bill paused. The husband looked at her as she looked at him. Without further ado she said, “I’ll take it.” Bill continues by saying that not only did he close the sale but it was for a product that was several hundred dollars more than she was going to pay for another car somewhere else. The only thing Bill had done was convince her of the difference between price and cost.

Several factors are involved in this sale. Number one, the couple obviously wanted this particular car, or they would not have made the third trip into the dealership. Number two, Bill used voice inflection, a solid business reputation, and a talking pad in the transaction. Number three, he used a simple analogy to make his point and hold the prospect’s interest. Number four, he asked a question which led the prospects to come to their own conclusion. Another story with a happy ending because the right man was using the right techniques, selling the right product under the right circumstances to people who were legitimate prospects.

The next point is very simple. Wouldn’t it have been doubly unfortunate for everyone concerned had this couple, who obviously wanted the car, and Bill Egan, who obviously wanted the sale, been unable to get together because of the absence of sales skills and persuasion?

Here is a link to the book if you would like your own copy.


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4 Responses to “The Price is Too High”

  1. The great part of this story is that Bill was confident in his price. Too often, when we hear price objections we get defensive and try to defend our price. That seldom works.

    Bill didn’t do that. He focused on value, and because he was confident in the value he offered, he was able to communicate that to the customer.

  2. Brian says:

    Tom, Hope all is well. What happened to the weekly updates? How is the purity diet going? Still going strong or finding it a bit of a challenge? Hope Dad id okay? Thanks-BRian

  3. This is one of my favorite Zig stories. What it illustrates is that the sales professional has an obligation to 1) represent a product or service that offers the market an exceptional value, and 2) respectfully communicate how that value proposition equates to customer satisfaction and the achievement of their goals.

  4. Motivation says:

    Zig is a consummate professional. Working with one of the best organizations in the World. And, while his motivations may sometimes be misguided, making money to have a bigger pool than what the one was he couldn’t swim in, he seems to always want to do what is right and in the best interest of those involved. His success, outstanding and laudable.

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