This is the last in the series ” Top 5 Dirty Tricks Customers Play on Sales Reps”.
This one is a gem and a classic of the list of tricks that our customers play with us.
This one is not for the faint hearted folks!
DIRTY TRICK #5. The Last-Minute Discount.
- Explanation: The customer demands for a steep discount after the price has already been defined.
- Example: “There will be no deal unless you agree to drop the price 25 percent.”
- Their Hidden Agenda: They’re checking to confirm that you’ve given them the best deal.
- Your Strategy: Make it clear from the start that you are offering the best price possible.
- What YOU Say: “I don’t play the games that some of my competitors play. You will always get the best price from me the first time around. If we need to remove something from the quote to meet your budget, we can certainly do that.”
- What Will Happen: The prospect will back down from the demand, and you will get more respect from them in the future.
- Warning: You ABSOLUTELY must be willing to walk away from the deal.
Simply put, be prepared to say an emphatic NO to such machinations by the customer- be polite when you do walk away so as not to burn bridges, because there is every chance that the customer will realize his folly and try to re start the process through back door perhaps…you would not want to miss the chance to nail the deal then, would you?
I did write on the subject of negotiation by mentioning 9 rules that may be helpful to executives while negotiating complex deals…and I know for a fact that since the financial debacle of 2008, the deals have only gotten complex !!!
Here is the link to my earlier post of the subject for your reference 9 Rules for Negotiating a Complex Deal
After giving this subject much thought, I decided to share these 5 skills that I personally believe have been crucial to my successes while negotiating with my suppliers, while negotiating with my sales teams, my logistics team, my production staff, my contract labor AND my clients and trade channel partners!!
So here goes….
- Completely and honestly assess your relative position. Information is everything, and so is making sure you’ve got a completely honest and straightforward assessment of your position and your opponent’s, going in. In my view it takes guts to look your self objectively in the mirror and say to yourself that given the information that you have you may have to decide a strategy- which may often mean, retraction, or simply “holding your ground”.
- Study precedent, inside and out. Precedent means terms you and your opponent have agreed to in prior negotiations with other companies. It doesn’t matter if the terms were confidential; assume everybody knows everything. There’s virtually no defense against precedent in a negotiation. But remember, it works both ways.
- Plan for all contingencies, up front. Go in with a solid plan: Good cop, bad cop; worst case scenario; bottom line terms; under what circumstances do you walk out; which terms are negotiable and to what extent; when to hold back and when to offer a negotiating chit; the extent of your authority, etc. Anticipate all the same things from your opponent’s side.This definitely requires a 360 degree view and assessment of the negotiation process. Introspect, think , strategise and then act logically, without getting emotionally involved in the process.
- Never negotiate with yourself. Under no circumstances should you offer revised terms until your opponent has countered. Make sure they’ve responded fully on every term before you counter. Of course, feel free to try to use this in reverse, but most are savvy to it and it may hurt your credibility.
- Always seek to raise your opponent’s risk. This is especially critical in prolonged negotiations with ongoing litigation. Your actions, both at the negotiating table and in the court room, must always be designed to raise your opponent’s risk. Also, your opponent must believe you’re willing and able to go the distance. That means a big war chest and minimal exploitable vulnerability.
Your inputs and ideas are welcome….