- Blog post
Winning the sale when you can’t match the deal
Let me offer a sales scenario, based on a real-life situation:
Your prospective buyer really likes your product. He says he wants to do business with you. But there’s just one little thing …
See, there was this other salesperson. Her product was good too. In fact, it’s almost as good as yours. And … well … she’s willing to throw in a free service contract. Your buyer’s apologetic. He’s not trying to nickel-and-dime you. But he’s really torn. He doesn’t know what to do. It’s keeping him up at night.
Now, you know your company won’t let you match the deal. So do you:
A.) Tell the buyer you’ll try to get an exception – and hope you get points for effort even though you won’t succeed?
B.) Tell the buyer no, you can’t provide free service – and hope you get points for honesty?
C.) Cross your fingers, agree to match the deal – and hope it will all work out somehow?
C, of course, is a disaster. You might get away with A. But I contend that the only right answer is B. Because the most important factor in long-term sales success is trust.
Buyers have huge trust issues. “I’m about to risk money, time, my reputation and possibly my career on this decision,” the buyer thinks. “I want to know I can count on the person who’s selling to me.”
Saying no tells the buyer you’re trustworthy. It might cost you a sale here and there. But once you establish trust, you open the door to far more opportunities.
Of course, in this example I’d hope you wouldn’t stop at no. You certainly want to find out what you can do for the customer. Saying no sets you up perfectly to have that conversation. As long as you can keep an open, honest dialogue going, you have a pretty good chance not only of winning a sale, but also winning a customer.