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  • Writer's pictureDominic Testo

Your Attitude Influences Your Behavior


Have you ever thought to yourself, “This solution is way too expensive; the customer will never go for it”? That’s what I was thinking before a presentation to my largest customer.

At the time, I was selling in the construction industry. I was presenting an innovative fastener solution to one of my largest customers. I was preparing for the meeting with our SAM (Strategic Account Manager). As we discussed the plan, I asked the SAM, “Do you really think they’ll go for our solution? Our fastener is 15 times more expensive than their current solution.”

The SAM explained that I was too focused on what the customer was paying versus what they were gaining. The fastener price was higher, but our solution offered significant labor savings. Even then, I was still too focused on the price. The SAM told me, “Don’t worry about it. I’ll present the price.” So we walked in and kicked off the meeting.

We were crushing the presentation. Everything was going great. Then one of the decision makers asked, “What’s the price?” I looked at the SAM, and he said, “For this project, you’ll spend about half-a-million dollars.”

I nearly choked when he said the price so nonchalantly. Not only that, but he also quoted the entire project cost versus the price per fastener. I thought, “Why did he tell them half-a-million dollars? That’s such a big number. He should have quoted the price per fastener.”

After a few moments of silence. The decision makers all nodded and said, “It looks good.” The SAM won the deal.

Afterward, I asked the SAM, “Why did you quote them $500k?”

He told me, “Paul, this is a $5 billion project. We just presented to the world’s largest construction company. There aren’t enough zeros in our number to scare them off. Don’t let your negative attitude toward price affect your ability to present it.”

Lesson learned: I personally felt the price was too high. That negative attitude influenced my ability to confidently present price. Frame your presentation to emphasize what the buyer gains, not what they sacrifice.

Paul Reilly is a speaker, sales trainer, author of Selling Through Tough Times (McGraw-Hill, 2021), coauthor of Value-Added Selling, fourth edition (McGraw-Hill, 2018), and host of The Q and A Sales Podcast. For additional information on Paul’s keynote presentations and seminars, call 636-778-0175 or email Visit and complete the 30-Day Tough-Timer Challenge.


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