In a commodity market, nailing price immediately is a primary issue, all things being equal. In most other transactions, we may need more than a price to nail our offering, especially when professional services are involved or there is a high level of customization. We quickly grow impatient with cagey goods and service providers who will not give us a hard price. A process must be in place when bids are made and pricing presented. Finessing this is part of the dynamic, as getting to a hard price may not be within the seller’s interest if they have not scoped out requirements for success or explained all the value they bring, or if the buyer has no investment in the relationship. Being judged on price alone can block the seller out of the gate. It may also prevent the buyer from making an informed decision as to what constitutes success.
A buyer may try to force the seller into naming a price by saying, “We must nail price now,” or, “What is your price? No more run around!” Once you are forced into blurting out a price, the buyer may respond, “Joe down the road offered me 10% less for the same thing.”
This is countered by presenting a qualified range which is based on the unknown variables. Once all the variables are accounted for, a firm price can be presented. Consider, “For the first element of your request, the price ranges from w-x for basic service; y-z for the more complex solution.”