How to handle the “I can get it cheaper online” customer

By John Blake

When a potential customer picks up an item in store and says, “I can get it cheaper in the internet,”how do you deal with that?

I know this is happening in retail heaps right now, and this sort of scenario is not going away in a hurry so I wanted to give you something you can say in that scenario.

We have to accept that is a sign of the times, but there is another sign of the times that we can leverage to counter it. It all comes down to this one thing: INSTANT GRATIFICATION

Think about it. We live in a world where we can get access to almost anything at the click of a mouse or the tap of our phone. We rarely, if ever, have to wait for anything and we expect it now. So, because of this growing mindset, which is especially prevalent with shoppers, we can leverage it – and leverage it we should.

What follows is some dialogue you can use in your store in the event you encounter someone who fins an item they like but tells you they are going to wait and buy it online. Maybe it won’t work every time, but it will allow you to get some people to buy now, with you, instead of going online.

When a customer says, “I can get it 20 dollars cheaper on line,” there are plenty of reasons you can give that may make them think twice about online option.
Simply say, “If getting it cheaper is the most important thing for you, then you should do that. However, if you want this item now and want to be sure you are getting exactly what you want because you’ve invested the time to come here today, you might want to look at what that’s worth to you.”

“If you order it online sure you’ll get it cheaper but…

  • You won’t be able to wear/use /enjoy it today/this weekend/tonight.
  •  You will have to wait for it to arrive.
  • Often, you may not get exactly what you order and may even need to mail it back.
  •  It might not even fit or look the same as this one does.
  • If you purchase in store and something goes wrong we will handle that for you. With an online sale you’ll have to wait while it goes back to the states etc. But if getting them 20 bucks cheaper is the most important thing to you – you should do it”

If you use this line of questioning you will be tapping into the need for instant gratification and it’s my goal for you that you will win back the people who want it NOW.

*John Blake has been in direct sales for 22 years and has had a long involvement in sales and marketing within the surf industry. His company offers direct sales breakthrough solutions, including training for on-floor retail staff.