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December 02, 2018

Negotiating Tip 40: Held In Reserve

It’s amazing how many options are available. Good negotiators seem to find a way to hold something back so they have that boost at the end that wins the day.

Case in Point

Mary had to replace her dishwasher which was on its 'last legs' and working only a fraction of the time.  She has been a loyal customer of Al's Appliances for years.  She's always dealt directly with Al and this would be no exception. Upon her visit to Al's shop, she shared that the dishwasher she had purchased there years ago was in need of replacement.  She asked Al to provide her with some options for her consideration.  Al reviewed the show models, explained their features and presented their costs.

Mary was quick to share that she'd been reading about dishwashers in Consumer Report magazine and she'd been on-line looking at her options there.  Mary inquired about a specific model Al had shown her and asked for his best price that would include installation, disposal of her old machine and warranty assurances.

Al referred to the posted price on the display model and shared that the price did include installation and old machine disposal.  He provided Mary with a summary of the warranty information and assured her he'd stand fully behind this machine.  Mary noticed that Al was not offering nor even showing any inclination to a price concession.

Isn't this the time to bring forth anything that might have been 'held in reserve'?  Most people would be struggling to identify any eleventh hour leverage, but not Mary.  She anticipated that she might be at this very point and had prepared a number of possibilities.  Here is her list or a list we could use if we were in her place:

1.     Break off negotiations and walk out.  Not in anger or with any animosity.  Instead, leave with an air of disappointment.  Perhaps use this after employing one of the techniques listed below.

2.     Ask Al what she (we) needs to do to get a better price.  There may be something important to him that he wouldn't ordinarily share or we would have ever thought to include.

3.     Inquire about the size of the discount if the purchase was cash.  While this may have a modest financial impact, it does provide an 'excuse' for Al to make a concession without setting a precedent he'd want to avoid.

4.     "What can you 'throw in' to the deal if I paid your price?"   Extended warranty?  Other items?   Supplies?  Discounts on other purchases?  It's a common play on the 'quantity discount' concept.

5.     Seek a discount for sending him more business or recommending him to others.  We all know someone who probably will need an appliance.  Perhaps our business provides that opportunity -  our clients who purchase new homes?   - our customers who indicate they're upgrading their home?   - landlords, investors? Ask Al for some of his cards or brochures about his business to hint that you have someone in mind who'd likely use Al's services.

6.     Ask Al to support you and provide prospects that might turn into business for you.  Get names, get specific, don't settle for 'I will keep you in mind."

7.     Special financing, upcoming sales, special terms or rebates.  How long will it be until this item is going on sale?  When are new models coming out?

8.     If extra charges (delivery, installation, disposal of old unit) are charged, suggest they be waived if full sticker price is paid.

9.     A $50 credit on a subsequent service or repair call.  The amount is negotiable but make sure the time frame is long enough to ensure it is likely to be used.
 

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