Overcoming price objection in the sales cycle – how your staffing agency can show its value

Staffing World 2014“Can you match your competitor’s price?”

No matter how experienced your salespeople are, hearing this question from your prospects  is never easy. Although price objection in the sales cycle is not a new challenge for staffing agencies, many U.S. businesses have become extra price sensitive since the economic recession, and thus, more vocal about their cost concerns. How can staffing agencies continue to sell their value to customers in today’s price-competitive market?

Here are some strategies to help you overcome customer price objection.


Specialize, specialize, specialize


Staffing services have largely become a commodity, which means sales teams at staffing agencies must work harder to define their company’s unique value. How can you set your services apart? First of all, you need to be unique.
The bigger your pool of competitors, the easier it is for prospects to weigh your services on price – apples to apples. By focusing on a specific and defined niche – be it technical staffing, health care staffing or financial recruiting – you make it that much easier for your sales team to explain your unique value and why prospects should pay more for what you provide. The more specialized you become – for example, only providing health care staffing services for small practices – the easier it is for your business to break away from the pack.


Be the better problem-solver


If two companies are selling the same product, you may buy from company A because it offers the lowest price, even if company B has better customer service. But what if company B assembled the product for you, whereas company A does not offer that option? Would this change your answer?

When you are in the services business, you need to think like company B. There are always going to be lower cost options. But if company B is offering greater convenience, it is giving the customer an intangible benefit that could outweigh price objection, especially in cases where convenience, productivity or other issues are a problem for the customer.

How do you know which problems to solve for your prospects? Look at your existing customers to see what problems they care most about – from time savings to administrative costs to employee relations. Could you offer whitepapers, training programs or other tools and resources to help them solve those problems better? What intangible benefits can you offer to outweigh cost? By becoming a better problem-solver, you are making a strategic decision to become a long-term partner for your clients instead of treating them like just another transaction.