“I’ll give you the business if you can beat my current price…” Ever get this one…sure you have. You’ve gotten it from one of your good customers who seem to always be willing to “give you a shot”. Sometimes you’ll get the business and sometimes not…the problem is “not”.
These requests can waste a lot of time, particularly when you don’t win! Let’s talk about the request and see if you can win more of these opportunities as well as get a little more margin too!
Let’s consider why good customers are willing to give you a shot on additional products? Sometimes it’s just from the good will you have built up…they want to “throw you a bone”. Other times, there are problems with their current supplier and if you were aware of the problem, you could provide products that would work better (add value), as well as build some leverage that would allow you to charge more and get better margin.
So, to improve our percentages and get better results let’s look at some strategies that will help us get more of what we want. First, we’ll need to change the way we think about these opportunities in order to sell more of them and get higher prices. Most of us come to these situations with the belief that unless we can beat the price we won’t get the business. This is called a “non supportive belief” and we need to change it in order to be successful.
If you think about it, why would they come to you to replace a product they use and are happy with? Usually they won’t, and often when they ask you for the “can you beat my price offer”, there’s usually a problem with what they’re currently using that they don’t want to tell you about. In reality, if you knew about the problem you might actually be able to get more money.
So, instead of jumping at the request and immediately getting them the information they’ve asked for, consider responding by asking:
Thanks for the opportunity… Is there a reason you asked about that product?
Or Is there anything about what you have now that you don’t like?
Now, if there’s a problem, you might be able get them a product that works better. Or because you know they’re currently unhappy with what they have now you might be willing to go in at a little higher-margin (price). On the other hand if they are just giving you an opportunity, tell them you might not be able to beat the price but you could be within 1% of where they are now. If they’re not willing to accept a 1% increase, suggest that you can’t beat the price but that you could match it. Going in with an “exceed or meet price mentality” is much better than starting at a “beat price mentality” (in negotiations always start high).
Still, if they insist that you have to beat the price…you are at an advantage by having started with an exceed price or match price strategy/mentality. Now, you can more easily suggest that you would be willing to beat the price if they can give you one or two more items to quote. Remember, when you are negotiating, never give up anything without getting something in return! Getting a little more for what you sell over the long run could put a lot of money in your pocket as well as you companies. By changing your selling “beliefs” or thought process you’ll set new behaviors that will help you be more successful in sales!