Have you ever gotten yourself stuck in a mud puddle and later thought – “how did I even get here?” There were certain clues – standing water, going slightly down hill (if not on a steep decline), you were on a dirt road and it had been raining, etc.…
The real reason people get stuck in a mud puddle is one of two things: A) You were not paying attention to your surroundings. B) You were arrogant and charged on down the road thinking you could make it. At least reason B is a measured one.
“I Need a Better Price” is a signal that the decision maker wants to negotiate. Using my mud puddle example, I prefer the method of avoiding the mud puddles. I do that in the discovery meeting and the presentation.
Avoid the topic with better questions.
Think about yourself purchasing a vehicle. A good salesperson will ask you questions: what is your budget, what color do you like, 2 door or 4, how much down payment, will you have a trade-in, are you shopping or buying today?
Knowing the answers to these questions steers you away from the mud puddles. When you do this, the close is really a “non-event event.”
Keeping in mind that “I need a better price” is a negotiating signal, below are 3 more proven ways to step on the gas and plow through the mud puddle. I put these in order of what will bring you the quickest success to close the deal.
Just Don’t Negotiate.
NEVER, I repeat, NEVER give the prospect the idea that you can negotiate a lower price. Once they understand this, they will stop trying to get a lower price. In other words, YOU need to get rid of your ego and stop thinking that retaining the power to negotiate is good for you or the company you work for. It is not! Tell the prospect, “I do not have the authority to change the price. I will need approval from my sales manager.”
Stop selling out of fear of loss.
“I need a better price” is the same as saying “I want to be in control.” If this is true, and it is, then you need to learn how to steer from the back seat with this person. As an example: “hey Mike, there is usually a mud puddle at the bottom of this hill so be careful or figure out a way to go around it.” You just let Mike be in control of how to get around the mud puddle. How then do you do this in the sales process? Ask the question: Why do you need a better price? I know, it is crazy how easy that seems. What you will find out with this question is what Mike really, really wants. Normally, when I find out what Mike really, really wants I know how to close him, and I can usually charge him even more.
Get the commitment before you call your sales manager.
“Mike, I will call my sales manager and explain that you will do this if we can meet this request, agree?”
“I need a better price” means you have made a mistake and gone the wrong way just like the mud puddle example. Learn to steer clear of the topic by asking more and better questions, NEVER give the prospect the idea that they can negotiate with you, and stop selling out of a fear of loss. As a very last resort, get the commitment from the prospect that they will do the deal if your sales manager meets their request.
If you did not notice, three of my four suggestions are things you can control and can fix with practice and asking more questions. When you find yourself in a mud puddle, it is always because you chose not to avoid the mud puddle.