Sales Insights: Avoid Negotiating with Buyers Unless You’re “Column A”
A common ploy buyers use toward the end of buying cycles is having someone (often a non-Key Player) request a “best and final” pricing. Smart buyers with multiple vendors in the mix will negotiate with Column C to use their price against Column B, all in an attempt to get the best possible price from Column A, their vendor of choice. Some buyers may just fabricate pricing.
Some salespeople see this as an opportunity to win the business with aggressive pricing. In my experience, vendors selling non-commodity offerings can seldom discount their way into becoming Column A.
Sales Negotiation Tips
In selling, the words “always” and “never” seldom apply but I’d like to make a case that sellers should always negotiate as though they were Column A.
When asked for a “best a final” I suggest asking the buyer if you are the vendor of choice and if price is the only obstacle.
If you are told the buyer is not yet to that point, consider responding as follows: It sounds as though you haven’t finalized your decision yet, so let’s leave pricing as an open item. If I become your vendor of choice we can see if we can come to terms.
If the person asking for a better price is a non-Key Player, try to avoid negotiating with a messenger. When asking if you are the vendor of choice, suggest that if you became the vendor of choice you’d have to get your manager and the Key Player involved in finalizing the transaction.
If you aren’t the vendor of choice you will at least kept your dignity and pricing intact. Any number you provided would have been used as leverage with Column A. If you are the vendor of choice they will come back to you and you start at the original price quoted rather than a discounted best and final they will try to further whittle down.
Download How to Win at a Higher Price Report
Your chances of losing a sales deal are greater when you have the higher priced offering. But that isn’t always the case. Our research uncovered that in 25% of sales wins, buyers choose the more expensive solution. Why? Buyers say these higher priced winners provide the best value with minimum risk. Get the report to learn how you can win the sale without changing your price.
- Win Loss Best Practice Series: Four Ways to Eliminate Bias in Your Win Loss Analysis Surveys
- After the Customer Interview, Turn Feedback into Action
- The Compartmentalization of Competitive Intelligence in a Company
- Customers vs. Prospects: Aligning Customer Experience and Win Loss Analysis
- 3 Ways Successful Companies Use Win Loss Analysis