Dear Chad,

It seems we're always negotiating on price. Any advice?

-CEO

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Hi CEO,

If you find yourself at the negotiating table, congratulations. It is rare for small or large organizations to negotiate with a vendor they have no desire in selecting.

If you're always at the negotiation table, it might be because your pricing is out of line for the market.

It may also be because your sales messaging is encouraging the negotiation. To make sure that is not the case, here are 7 things you should avoid doing.

1. Delaying Pricing Conversations

You should never discuss pricing until you've had an opportunity to show value. But if you delay the conversation too long, you signal to your buyer you are not confident in your pricing. That will encourage a negotiation.

2. Using Adjectives and Adverbs to Describe Your Price

If you, or your sales team, say anything to the effect of, "The price is usually..." you've just told your buyer they can cut a deal. It also tells them they can hold out for a better promotion later.

3. Using Nouns or Pronouns to Describe Your Price

If you, or your sales team, say anything to the effect of, "My price is..." you've just told your buyer they may get a better deal from someone else.

4. Volunteering Discounts or Incentives

When you volunteer a discount or incentive, that tells your buyer two things.

First, it tells them that there is room in your standard pricing that allows for discounts.

Second, it tells them you aren't confident in your price, which tells them they can negotiate.

5. Talking About a Sales Contest

Everyone knows that sales people are competitive. They also know that they'll do anything to win. Even if it means going to bat for an extra discount to close a deal.

6. Admitting You Work on Commission

Admitting that you work on commission tells the buyer many things. The most important thing is that you're on a quota and must hit a certain number.

That also means that when it comes to the end of a month, or end of a quarter, you'll be willing to discount to bring a deal in.

7. Asking "What Will It Take?"

If you, or one of your sales reps ever asks, "what will it take to earn your business," you've just started a negotiation.

Remember to be proud that you and your sales team are at the negotiation table in the first place. It takes skill to get there.

Just pay attention to the language you use to get there, and you should see your sales negotiations drop.

Happy Selling,

-CP

Published on: Sep 28, 2017