Do You Fold Like A Taco?
Have you ever eaten a soft taco? The shell isn't hard - it is soft - and folds over really easily. They are delicious! In business, however, I see too many people fold like a taco when they are negotiating with a customer.
It's not pretty.
The customer may not even be asking for a discount/added value but at the slightest sign of hesitation a. k.a silence - the salesperson drops the price or keeps throwing in extras "to sweeten the deal."
This isn't called selling - it is called Folding Like A Taco.
This Sales Diva does not believe in CLOSING the deal with a customer. I see it as OPENING the door instead. I also know that in a relationship (which is what you should have with your customer by the way) there is some give and take involved. But you can't be the one doing all the giving!
So follow these 4 steps:
1. Come in with your best offer right out of the gate. Years ago when I sold television advertising with Canada's largest networks - I had a client that always asked for every concession FIRST and then they tried to bounce the offer back and forth between competitors.
However I have always had one rule. Integrity.
I will never forget the conversation with my customer. When he said the other TV station had dropped their price, I asked the owner a question. "Roger - what would have happened if I hadn't brought this proposal to you? You would have paid the full price that they were asking. In essence - by dropping their price so quickly - they have shown you they were overcharging you in the first place. I brought you the best offer right out of the gate. Our product is like yours - extremely high quality - and I know that you always stick to your word with your customers - just as I do. My offer stands."
He looked at me and there was a long silence. He said "Kim - I never thought of it that way. I will go ahead with your proposal."
2. Don't start your conversation with price. Give your customer the investment only after they understand the major benefits of your product or service. If you start with price - I guarantee you are heading down the rocky road of objections.
3. Allow the customer time to think. Just because there is silence doesn't mean you need to start "folding your price." Let them think it over.
4. Look at the word COMPROMISE in a new way. You know what the dictionary has to say on the word COMPROMISE? "Asettlement of differences in which each side makes concessions." Look at the word this way: CO-M-PROMISE. Basically it is a promise made by 2 or more people to meet in the middle. It isn't called ONEPROMISE!
If your customer is genuinely concerned with the investment - then you have some choices. You can either fold like a taco and drop the price considerably. (Not a Diva recommendation!) Or you can provide added value/decrease in pricing based upon a commitment from them in a volume buy, or repeat business over a duration of time. You can also decrease your price but also delete some of your services as well. Say "I can definitely work within your budget, however, we will have to reduce "this" from the package.
Remember - Desperation Isn't Pretty!
Once you have established a relationship with a customer that is based upon you folding like a taco - you will find it very difficult to increase your rates in the future.