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How to Avoid Losing Profits Due to Dealing with Non Decision Makers

How should you respond to the scenario presented below?

“My manager said a 10% discount is not enough since we are interested in purchasing a 3 user license. Considering the number of other options available to us, he says a more acceptable discount would be 20%. Can you match this discount?”

First thing I notice is the “My manager” statement…
This tells me that the sales person isn’t following a proper sales process. If they were, they would have realized way before ever sending out a proposal that the person they are in communication with is not high enough on the totem pole to be handling a negotiation.
The sales rep needs to own this mistake and correct it from happening again in the future.
Secondly, if you look at the phrasing of the question, there is no guarantee that you would get the deal even if you “matched” the discount. And even if you did get the deal, what good is it if you gave up a significant portion of your profit margin?
So step one is to learn to follow a proven sales process that will eliminate these scenarios from happening in the first place.
“Great!” you say… “but how does that help me with this scenario?!”
Ok… here’s how you get yourself out of this jam (that you caused… did I mention that already?!?)
So here’s what you can say / do if you find yourself stuck in this situation:

“Mr. Non-decision maker, let me ask you this… assume for a moment that we were able to match the 20% discount… what happens next?”

You can learn a lot just from asking one question.

What I’m looking for is:

  • What their intentions are with the 20% discount (are they using me for a better price from a competitor or are they ready to buy now?)
  • Uncover the prospects purchasing process and
  • Identifying all the players involved in the purchasing decision.

Once I have that information, I’m in much better position to move the sale over to a more advantageous playing field to where I can close the deal without sacrificing profit margins.

– Michael Pedone
Michael Pedone teaches outbound sales teams exactly what to say to get sales conversations started with hard to reach decision makers. He is the CEO/FOUNDER of SalesBuzz.com – An online sales training company.


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