How to Better Handle Pricing Pressure During Sales Negotiations

sales negotiations price versus value

Almost every sales leader wants their sales team to better handle pricing pressure during sales negotiations.

Our sales negotiation research backs up their desire.  Based upon research over 3 years in 19 countries, across a wide range of industries, we identified the “most difficult” and “most common” verbal sales negotiation tactics.  The results surprised us.  While negotiations often feel unpredictable and challenging, 97% of the verbal tactics used globally followed a very, very predictable pattern that could be reduced to just two main propositions related to how to better handle pricing pressure during sales negotiations.

  1. Alternative – The buyer’s alternative to you (most often your nearest competitor)
  2. Price – Or offering something else for free or discounted

All of us in complex sales understand that when clients pressure us on price, we need to clearly articulate value in a way that matters to our buyer during the sales negotiations process.  But it is easy to get flustered in the moment and offer concessions or discounts that will haunt us in the end…with less revenue and/or with a precedent that will dictate every future negotiation with this client.

However, sales negotiation training professionals have three tips on how to better handle pricing pressure during sales negotiations and better manage the conversation when a client pushes back on price:

  1. Don’t capitulate. When a buyer says they can get a similar deal for less, acknowledge that may be true but stand by your price for what you offered. Differentiate from your cheaper competition based upon the unique and compelling value you bring and leave it at that.  It is a slippery slope if you offer concessions without getting equal value in return.
  1. Don’t get drawn into an item-by-item rationalization of the overall cost. You can never win at this game. Your fees are your fees based upon the value you provide.  If they want to rationalize your offer at the item level, consider offering three options instead with varied price points and commensurate value propositions.
  1. Play the take-away card. Ask which part of the proposed solution they would like to eliminate to meet their desired budget. If you have thoroughly understood their situation and crafted the solution with their best interests at heart, there will likely be no feature they would be willing to subtract.

To learn more about effective sales negotiations, download the full research report The 2 Most Common Sales Negotiation Tactics to Prepare For

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