How many times have you heard, “You’ve got to drop your price by 10% or we will have no choice but to go with your competition.”

When you hear statements like that, you’re probably in a stronger position than you’d think, says sales coach Michael Schatzki. Reason: The prospect has just told you she wants your solution.

What you say next determines whether or not you close the sale and how profitable it will be. Remembering three key points can give you a real edge:

  1. Don’t believe everything you see and hear. It could be a bluff. You may be the only person who has what she needs, but everything she does and says will lead you to believe that unless she gets that extra 10%, she’s going with the competition. Be skeptical. Be suspicious. Test, probe, and see what happens.
  2. The side with the most information wins. Think of selling and negotiating as two sides of the same coin. Sometimes one side is face up, sometimes the other, but both are always there. This is particularly true in your earliest contacts with the buyer. The face the buyer sees is that of a salesperson demonstrating features and benefits. The hidden face is that of a negotiator probing for information that may be invaluable later.
  3. Be patient. If you’re impatient in a negotiation, you’ll lose your shirt. If I’m negotiating with you and I know you’re impatient, I will hold out just a little longer, no matter how desperate I am to make a deal with you. As long as I know you’re in a hurry, I’ll wait. And if I can wait, I’ll probably win. Take the time you need, don’t rush to give in, don’t show your anxiety, stay cool and don’t panic.

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