Want to negotiate price with me? Let me tell you how
  • sales
  • Blog post

Want to negotiate price with me? Let me tell you how

I’m not an expert salesperson. I run a business. But because of my job, I am an expert in buying. Over the years I’ve bought products and services from dozens of vendors. I’ve negotiated hundreds of deals with salespeople.

Now, some of them were rank beginners. Others were seasoned veterans. Interestingly enough, experience is NOT always a predictor of success in price negotiations.

I’ve seen young salespeople who held firm on price and won my business because they were earnest and hardworking. They created Win/wins. And I’ve seen experienced sellers who were lazy and unprepared, and who in the end made big, and totally unnecessary, price concessions. Sometimes they got the sale in spite of themselves, but it was a Win/Lose.

Let me share two secrets that I would never reveal if you were negotiating with me right now:

  • Secret #1: I almost never mean it when I say your price is too high. The only exception would be if I’m purchasing a pure commodity, where price is the only factor. If I’m buying a product that’s not a commodity, I know the low-cost solution is seldom the best one for me. But I want you to prove it to me.
  • Secret #2: Even when I know you’re giving me a fair deal, I feel obligated to negotiate. Not because I want something for nothing. And not so I can beat you down on price and save the company money. I negotiate because I want to see if you’ve really done your homework. If you have, you understand my needs. You know why your solution delivers the best value for me. And you don’t make big price concessions.

Just remember, you didn’t hear any of this from me.

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