Negotiate on non-price issues.
Customers will always look to negotiate price. It’s only natural, especially in the current economy. Keep your cash flow, and if you need to negotiate, do so on things other than price. That way you can keep your price point where you want it to be. The key here is to find out from the customers what they really want by asking them questions that get them to reveal where their real pain is. The more you can negotiate on things that are close to helping them deal with their level of pain, the more leverage you’ll have in negotiating.
Always keep this in mind as well: Many times when people negotiate, they’re only doing so to help their own self-esteem and their desire to feel like they’re getting a good deal. If this is the case, allow them to feed their self-esteem by helping them “win” by benefiting from things other than price. By keeping your price up, you’ll be in a much better position to win long-term. This is true not only with this customer, but with all your customers, because you will be able to practice consistency in pricing.
As we wrap up 2009, please take just a few moments to complete our 2009 sales survey. We’ll post the findings soon in the blog! I think they will be interesting and helpful for all of us.