The Big Negotiation Mistake Most Sellers Make | Sales Strategies

I have been coaching salespeople on negotiation strategies for over 20 years. And I’ve found sellers consistently make one mistake: they jump too quickly to lower their price even if they’re getting something in return.

Everybody wants to get into that quid pro quo or give-and-take very quickly. Thus, they lower the price in exchange for ordering earlier, ordering more, or something else that’s valuable to them. However, don’t do that as your first step.

Offer an Alternative

Dropping your price is a mistake because that’s the new baseline your clients will negotiate from the next time. Before lowering your price, take this one simple step: offer an alternative. Try to find something else that you can negotiate in or out of the deal that doesn’t affect the baseline price. 

For example, years ago, I was negotiating with ConocoPhillips. Our offering was around $300,000 at the time and they told me they didn’t have that in their budget, mentioning I would have to lower our price. Instead of lowering our price, we offered them an alternative: simply split up the payments between two of their fiscal years, which really for me was between two different quarters and had no material impact on my business. That meant the world to them. In exchange, they were able to fit the full project into their budgets and I was able to keep my price at the originally agreed upon proposal. A win-win for everybody.

Do not drop your price even if you get something in exchange as your first round. Make sure you always offer an alternative and that alternative is up to you. It could be that you add on free training, take the training offline, or speed up or slow down the process depending on what’s important to them. 

Only you can determine those alternatives, but try them first and I promise you at least 40% of your negotiations will end right there without you having to drop your price at all.


3 responses to “The Big Negotiation Mistake Most Sellers Make | Sales Strategies

  1. […] your highest likelihood of closed opportunities and go after them. Maybe it’s repeat business, referral business, add-on sales, or increased sales from your existing customer base. […]

  2. As a sales professional this sales negotiation technique is absolutely brilliant.
    Thank you.

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