Sticker shock is a funny thing, isn’t it?
There you are, engaged with your prospect. Some great meetings. Discovery calls. Deep dives. You get shortlisted. They ask for a proposal. You send it over and then … something changes?
Suddenly they go cold or go quiet. The mood shifts. The momentum disappears.
Nobody likes unpleasant surprises, especially not when they open a proposal and an unexpectedly large number smacks them between the eyes.
Sticker shock means that:
- You’ve failed to understand their budget expectations
- You’ve over-estimated the return on investment or value of your solution
- You’ve put your prospect in an awkward and uncomfortable position
- At best it means you have a long road of back-and-forth negotiations ahead, to get the sale
- At worst you’ve sunk your deal completely.
How to avoid sticker shock?
- Qualify hard on budget early
- Discuss ballpark figures before submitting a proposal & stay within that range
- Validate with your exec sponsor before sending your proposal
- Spend more time on discovery and business case before your proposal
- Build in multiple options, not just 1 number.
Sales is hard at the best of times, but avoiding ‘Sticker Shock’ is one of the simplest ways to be successful.