I’m sorry, it’s just more bad sales advice

Think about it. Think about your own experience of buying things. Especially big ticket, or high involvement things. Like a car maybe? or a house? A holiday perhaps? Ok, remember that feeling you have immediately after the purchase was concluded? Did you ever get the feeling the seller was not making a healthy profit? Because he or she had cut you such a great deal, that they had really eaten into their own margins. No, you didn’t think that did you!

We automatically think that the seller has made a healthy profit on the deal. It’s reasonable enough really isn’t it? And hopefully you have walked away happy with your purchase. But you’re in no doubt that the seller has done OK out of the deal too, right?

Buyers buy, in this context, either because they have cut such a great deal that that can’t believe their luck. Or they need the product or service you are selling MORE than they need the money you are asking for it in return. The former is only possible if the buyer has a sophisticated understanding of the market especially the pricing for instance. The later is something most sales people FAIL to take into account when they make a sale.

I’ve met more sales people than I care to think about that are so grateful for the signature on the order form, they actually forget the client has perceived a value for the product they are selling and that they are actually willing to pay for it!

Herein lies the problem. This ‘misunderstanding’ of the process leads to a sales person that feels they need to do the best job possible for their clients, before they have even discussed the product or service with the client in the first place. And by best job possible I mean cheapest price possible!

The amazing thing about this is that the client rarely believes that you enter into a negotiation with your ‘best price’. (see above!) Consequently, despite your protestations to the contrary, the client believes they are in a ‘win – lose’ situation – where you are winning and they are losing. Strange thought isn’t it?

So even when you tell them its your best price, because it is, and you absolutely can’t move on it, because you can’t, they simply don’t believe you! No one, after all, would be that stupid would they? to enter a negotiation with their best price. The client is now set on a strategy to reduce the costs of your product or service before any deal will be struck.

So what you may ask, is the point of going in with your best price? Exactly my point!

And given that unless you are operating in retail, or some other easy to research market place, the information that the client is making this assessment on is based only on the information you have given them. Verbally and non verbally. That’s correct. They will think it’s expensive, because you think it’s expensive. Probably has something to do with you going in at your best price in the first place.

The client only negotiates when they believe they can buy it cheaper. They believe they can buy it cheaper because you tell them they can. Either verbally or non verbally, through your body language and other minute signals you give off.

So whats the solution? Simple. Go in at your best price – with two unbreakable rules!

  1. Never give in and automatically drop to your ‘normal’ price! The harder you fight for your ‘new’ higher price, the greater the value the client will perceive they are getting out of the deal.
  2. Never make prices up. Always follow your rate card. Don’t inflate to price levels that don’t exist, no matter the temptation, and don’t randomly select prices for clients either. Follow a rate card and a rigorous pricing schedule
This will also usually result in the client getting the best out of you, and the best out of your business relationship too. You really want to look after your best clients don’t you?
Do this and you really will be in that mythical world of ‘win-win’. Rather than the clients perception that you win and they lose, or the reality, which is usually that you lose and they win!
It’s the worst feeling in the world I think. Walking out of the clients premises, exulting in winning the business, and at the same time worrying about what your sales manager is going to say about the rates you’ve done the deal at.
So don’t do it! Go in at your best price. Best of all, the more deals you do at your best price, the more comfortable you will be selling at your best price
And before you know it, you’ll be one of a very rare breed indeed – The ‘win – win’ negotiator!
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