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3 Typical Buyer Habits & How to Approach Them

There's no question that every buyer is unique. Every person that walks through your door brings their own set of personal values, motivations, fears, and insecurities. However, despite the various personalities you encounter in the sales process, you'll come to find some everyday habits that start to show in negotiations. By picking up on these tendencies, you can learn better ways to guide prospects through your funnel — past their hesitancies and towards closing the sale.

In particular, three buyer habits typically stand out — the flinch, the squeeze, and the sob story. I'm willing to bet you've dealt with each of these on different occasions, so let's take a look at how you can best handle these situations in the future.

The Flinch

This is the case when a buyer comes in, sits through your sales pitch, and reacts negatively when you give them a price. "You charge how much!?" We've all been there. Sometimes it's a genuine shock, but many times, it's just a way to test your bluff. That's why you may face this even if your prices are listed on your website. If they can make you doubt your value, they may reap the benefits of lower pricing.

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Calmly ask them why they feel your price is so high and remind them about the value they receive from your products or services. This may open up a whole new conversation that can lead you to close the sale. Be persistent; usually, prospects want to see what they can get out of you. If you stay the course, they'll typically follow.

The Squeeze

If you've ever had a client tell you they can get it for less from a competitor, then you've had to deal with The Squeeze. Prospects expect you to panic and drop the price to retain their business — especially when being compared to competitors. Avoid asking clients for a price point at all costs. Don't trap yourself by letting them dictate the conversation.

Instead, try to dig into their squeeze. Who, exactly, are they comparing you to? More often than not, it's an empty threat — they may have done some research, but they likely found that pricing is comparable for the value you provide. Double down on your product or service by defending the cost and showing them the real benefit of booking you.

The Sob Story

Instead of going the logical route, some clients will try to pull at your heartstrings. We are all empathetic and emotional beings at our core, so it can be hard to stay firm when someone is trying to gain sympathy points. 

Understand that everyone has a budget — some will make it work for you, and some won't. Work with them to see if there is a way to adjust their overall budget to accommodate your pricing or see if there are other packages you offer that won't break their bank. However, don't give in to a sob story. If a client really wants your product or service, they will make it happen.

At the end of the day, it's really about recognizing your value and sticking to it. Don't back down from the strategic pricing that you assigned to your work. You know how long it takes you to produce something and you know how much your time is worth. 

You provide value for every dollar you make, so don't discount yourself and your talent just because a client attempts to manipulate you. Sometimes a potential client will be determined to go after a lower price, and that just means that they weren't the right fit for you. After all, you get what you pay for, right?

Meryl Snow

Owner, Feastivities Events, Philadelphia, PA and Senior Consultant, Certified Catering Consultants

With nearly 30 years in the special event and catering industry, Meryl Snow is the co-founder of Feastivities Events and the creator of The Triangle Method.  As a Senior Consultant for Certified Catering Consultants, Meryl travels throughout North America training clients in the areas of sales, marketing, design and branding to help businesses get on their own path to success.She is the author of Booked It! and Cha-CHING!

Meryl Snow

Catersource Advisory Council Member

Founder of