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11 Meanings of “That’s Expensive”

Call me a radical, but I think pricing of expertise should be taught in every university at least. For example, people should know that when a client reacts to your price with “that’s expensive”, it doesn’t necessarily just mean “NO”.

  1. It could mean “no”, as in
    a. “I’m shocked and appalled by the number”
    b. “I don’t have that kind of money”
    c. “I doubt it’s worth that much to me”
    d. “I don’t want to pay that much”
    e. “Others I compare with you asked for less”
  2. It could also mean “I’m not sure”  
    a. “I question your pricing structure, but I could be wrong”
    b.  “That’s higher than I expected, but possible”
    c. “That’s kind of out of budget, but let’s see
  3. But it could also be a positive
    a. “I’m ready to buy, so I’ll start negotiating”
    b. “OK, but now I expect a lot from you”
    c. “Great, I’m sure the value provided is also high”
And people

Maybe none of them are pleasant to hear, but it’s still important to point out that over half of the meanings are not “no”. I’d go as far as to say that eight of the eleven meanings still have a chance of being turned into a sale with some more persuasion, incentives, or both.

And if you are, like me, not a mind reader, it’s a good idea to follow up their reaction with “And what does ‘expensive’ mean for you in this context?”. If that’s not enough, the final question is “Could you describe a time when something was the right price for you? What was different then?”

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