It has happened to all of us: We like something, but we do not like the price tag. Times are hard, funds are running low, and we simply cannot afford it. Or can we? Hiring managers working at both small stores, and at retail giants like Target, know that such a situation happens a hundred times, if not more often daily, in every big retail store. Interviewing you for the job, they wonder whether you can handle it, and convince the customer to make the purchase. Or at least that you will give it your best shot… But what do they actually want to hear from you?

Well, they care mostly about your attitude. Tell them that you will praise the product, offer optional way of financing the purchase, offer cheaper alternatives, or do anything else to make sure the client will eventually open their wallet and that the store makes some money. And if they eventually do not buy anything, they should at least leave the place with good feelings, so you can be sure they will come back and make the purchase, when they can eventually afford it.

Let’s have a look at 7 sample answers to this tricky question. I tried to include both conventional and out of the box answers, as well as some funny choices. Hope you will enjoy the list, and most importantly, know what you will say (or write if you answer this question on your online job application), once you are done with it. Enjoy!


7 sample answers to “A guest is interested in a specific product but is unhappy with the price. What will you do?”

  1. I definitely won’t let them go. Will probably try to praise the product and explain that the price is adequate for the value the particular product will bring to their life. Of course, how I will do it depends a lot on the type of the product. If it is more on an expensive end, I will explain the features and how the product differentiates from the competition, and how they can benefit from having it. If it is more on the low end, I will simply say that it is the best deal they can get, and that they won’t find a better price anywhere else. If they still hesitate, I may show them a cheaper alternative, or (if you have such an option available), a different way of financing their purchase, such as in installments.
  2. It depends on the policy of the store. If I am allowed to give them some discount, I will definitely do it. If it is not allowed, perhaps I can offer them installment financing, or some other options, just to make sure they are aware of every possible way of getting the product. And if nothing of that works, I will at least try to provide them with a positive customer experience, so they perhaps come back next time and eventually get something from the store. At the end of the day, you cannot close every deal, but you can always try your best to make sure the customer leaves the place with a smile on their face.
  3. Well, there are thousands of customers in the store every day. I believe that we do not have a luxury to bargain with people about the prices. In a store like this, we have an option for every budget. If they do not like the price, they can just choose a product from a lower product range. Now that doesn’t mean that I will turn them down or ignore them. I will simply show them the less expensive options, with a friendly smile on my face, and then focus on the next customer.
  4. I will probably try to explain why the price is as it is–in a way a customer can understand it. Focusing on the value of the product, features that make it something premium, and so on. I can even say something of the sort that I have the product at home, and am very satisfied with it. You know, the kind of thing the customer wants to hear to change their mind, to let their emotions win over their brain. Having said all of that, I am aware that sometimes nothing works, and the customer will simply leave store, without buying anything. But that’s something we have to count on.
  5. In my opinion, price is always negotiable. And we have to keep in mind the lifetime value of a customer. When we give them some discount, make it a good deal for them, or go above and beyond with our service, the chances that they will become a repetitive customer improve dramatically. Maybe we won’t make much on that particular purchase of the initial product. We may even lose money on that one. But in a long run it will pay off. That’s why in my opinion we should never hesitate to give a customer some discount, unless they ask for something completely unreasonable, or unless they try it time and again, and sort of get accustomed to it. At the end of the day, no business can survive without making profit.
  6. People are unhappy for all sorts of reasons. And products have their prices for a reason too. In my opinion, people who set the prices know what they do. They’ve done the Math, they know the fixed and variable costs of that particular retail store, and also understand the dynamics in the store, with some products being sold for a cheaper price, and other having a premium price tag on them, so at the end both the customer and the store is happy. Hence if it happens, I will simply say that’s it, and offer cheaper alternatives, if there were any.
  7. I will just send them packing. Believe that other customers need, and deserve my attention more. Those people who come to shops just to complain about prices and how unfair life is never really buy anything anyway, or never do anything to change their life situation. Hence I prefer to focus on other customers, and give them my best attention…

So that’s it! I hope at least one of the answers resonates with you, and helps you to decide what exactly you will say on the big day. I also suggest you to check answers to other tricky customer service interview questions:

Matthew Chulaw
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