trade_offNegotiating is a critical sales skill and one that takes constant practice to develop and refine.

Here’s an under-utilized sales negotiating technique that can help you resist discount demands and requests for other concessions.

It is called the trade-off principle and here is how it works.

Instead of immediately responding to a request or demand made by a prospect you say, “If I can do that for you will you do this for me?”

Then make your request. Your goal with this request is to get something of value in return for agreeing to the other person’s request. Here are some examples:

  • Will your customer increase their order by 10-15 percent?
  • Will the other person introduce you to a key decision maker in another department?
  • Will your prospect order additional products or services?
  • Will the company agree to pay in advance or in less time than usual?
  • Will your customer be willing to provide a video testimonial?
  • Will your prospect give you a referral to a non-competing company?

During a sales conversation I had with a prospect, he told me that he did not have the entire budget for the program were discussing. I asked, “If I can work with your budget, will you be willing to introduce me to the key decision makers in the other departments?”  (his company had six or seven divisions.) After a few moments of thought, my prospect said, “Yes, I can do that.”

Those introductions lead to additional sales training workshops which more than offset the discount that my prospect requested.

However, before you rush out and use this tactic, here’s a word of caution.

Saying something like, “If I can do that price, will you buy today?” is NOT how this strategy should be applied. You don’t trade the request for commitment to make the deal. That is 1980’s selling! And you don’t want to be known for that type of sales approach, do you?

The key is to get some type of concession or additional value from the other person in exchange for agreeing to her request. This increases the value or your product, service or solution while subconsciously teaching the other person that you don’t make quick concessions or cave immediately to discount demands.

Drive more profit to your bottom-line and contact us about our negotiating skills training programs. We’ll help you negotiate deals that result in higher sales and more profits. Call 519-863-3975 or email us.