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We Have Room for Negotiation

(290 words – 2 min)

Shoot me now!  A few days ago I was watching Shark Tank.  You know, porn for entrepreneurs.  One of the people pitching said, “We have room for negotiation.”  I rarely get upset when people say or do stupid things on that show, but this time I had to throw something.  

The Shark Tank story is about the valuation of a company.  But if your salespeople say this, it’s about the price of your offer.  Saying “we have room to negotiate” lowers your price before you start.  You are negotiating with yourself.  It’s not believing that your price is reasonable.

Hopefully, your salespeople never use these words.  But most salespeople hint at this. They may say things like, “when we reach a deal,” or “our list price is.”  These little throwaway lines make the salesperson feel better, but they broadcast to buyers they can have a lower price.  

Many decisions and processes must go extremely well just to get to where the buyer might be willing to buy from you.  The last piece is the negotiation.  Don’t give away all that value you’ve created and communicated so easily. Don’t negotiate with yourself.  

My recommendation.  Act like your price is firm.  Always talk about why your offer provides much more value than you charge.  Don’t even hint a discount could be available.  One idea could be to take away all discount authority from the sales team for a period of time.  Make them sell at full price.  You may lose a deal or two, but you will teach your salespeople how to sell value.  

I’m curious.  What other phrases do you hear salespeople say that imply a discount is available? 

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