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Industry, Education

October 10, 2018

Negotiating Tip 85: Cornered By A Question

If it works on us, it will likely work on others.

I've never conducted a negotiating seminar where I was the best negotiator in the room.  Proof of that came during a recent presentation at Indiana University for the Certified Auctioneers Institute (CAI). 

The experience reminded me that one always has to be on guard because there are good negotiators everywhere. 

On a class break a young fellow asked me for the price on my book.  I shared it was $25.  His flinch indicated he had been paying attention during my program and we shared a laugh. 

He then posed a question that caught me off guard.  He asked,  "What kind of discount can you provide if I bought them in quantity?"  I felt compelled to respond immediately and I shared that if he bought 15 or more I'd sell them for $18 each.  

I'll never forget his next comment.  "So it's obvious that you'll still be making a profit when selling them for $18 each."  I felt somewhat disarmed.

After a short pause I recovered slightly to say,  "But I'd have to have payment for all 15 books at one time from one person."  He said that could work and he promptly went to his fellow classmates asking if anyone wanted in on his quantity discount.  

I have to add that he found the 15, collected funds from each and made the bulk purchase.   That resulted in a win-win.  I sold a lot of books.  They received a good discount.  And yes, I made a profit on each book sale.

I've reflected often on his technique, his question,  "What kind of discount can you provide if I bought them in quantity?" 

Do you realize how often we can use that question? 

Do you also realize that, more often than not, you'll learn about a lower price that someone would be willing to accept?  

Now you're probably not going to meet their quantity requirement, but you will find out about a lower price at which they will still be making a profit

Now that information can be useful as you KEEP Negotiating.

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