Much has been written (some of it by me) about what a sales negotiator can do when the other side of the table has set a fixed price and just won’t budge. We’ve come up with all sorts of ways to turn a fixed price into not such a fixed price. This time out, let’s switch sides and spend some time talking about what you can do to defend your price when you are the seller – how do you counter all of those clever tactics that the other side has?
It’s Not All About The Price
When you are trying to sell something to the other side, clearly both of you have different goals. You are trying to get the highest price for your product while at the same time the other side is trying to get the lowest price. Something’s got to give.
The other side will probably be hammering you on price. A common tactic is to point out that they can go to other suppliers and get the same product for a lower price. They want you to give in and lower your price.
If you hear this often enough, you might actually start to believe it – don’t! Instead you need to realize that what you are offering is unique in some way. Maybe it’s how you deliver the product, how you stand behind it, or any one of a number of different factors. These make your offering both unique and valuable. Don’t give in!
Stop The Brainwashing Immediately!
When you are involved in a sales negotiation, you enter a strange little world. In this alternate universe how you see what you are trying to sell to the other side is shaped not by what you think about it, not by what all of your other customers have told you, but rather by what the other side is telling you about it right now.
This means that if they tell you something over and over again, there is a good chance that what they are saying will soon shape your view of your product. If they say that there is nothing special about your product and that the price that you are charging is too high, then you’ll start to believe them after awhile.
You need to make sure that this doesn’t occur. There are lots of ways to do this. One of my favorite ways is to bring a folder along with me to the sales negotiation which contains clippings and notes on why my product is so valuable. During breaks I’ll leaf through this folder quickly just to remind myself why my product is not only the best product available, but also why it is worth the price that I am charging for it.
Make The Other Side Want To Date You
There are lots of ways to treat the other side of the table during a negotiation and I’ve seen all of it done at some time or another. Over and over again what has worked the best is when you show the other side that you appreciate them and want to do business with them.
Sure there are lot of “tough guy” approaches that you can take (“I don’t need this sale”), but I’ve found that you’re going to end up making more concessions when you take this path. Play it straight, show the other side some love and you’ll make a better deal every time.
Defend Your Price By Bringing Up The Total Cost
Often when we are selling a “thing” or a service, the negotiations can come down to focusing on the price of the “thing”. As the selling side of the table, you need to steer the discussion to consider the total cost of the “thing” .
This means that you need to get the other side of the table to sit back and consider the entire ecosystem that your product will be used in. Things like installation, maintenance, replacement, reliability, and servicing need to be included in the consideration. If you are careful to include the right components, then you can easily justify your price.
What All Of This Means For You
When you are on the selling side in a sales negotiation, you need to understand that the other side will be doing everything in their power to try to get you to lower your price. Don’t do it!
There are a number of different ways that you can defend the price that you are offering your product or service at. Expanding the negotiation and making sure that it doesn’t just focus on price will allow you to justify the price that you are asking.
In the end, your ability to defend your price plays two roles. It will, of course, determine how successful you will be as a sales negotiator and it will also raise the value of the product that you are selling in the buyer’s eyes.
Question For You: What do you think is the one thing that you should NEVER do when you are defending a price?
What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time
When a seller is standing firm and appears to have no desire to make any concessions to you on the price of the product or service that they are selling, what’s a buyer to do? I don’t care how charismatic you are, you can spend all day talking and still not make any progress on getting a better price. In this case, the best thing to do is to stop and take a different angle: try the total cost approach…