To Negotiate..or Not
We’re sharing helpful tips from Kevin Baumgart at Set Sales, which we call “Sales Hacks.”
For this series, Kevin shares tips and strategies that he’s seen work in print shops.
In this installment, Kevin talks about negotiating techniques. Stay tuned for more helpful tips!
We’ve all been there. “Can you do anything on the price?” The dreaded price negotiation. Some shops are a hard no and will walk away from the business. Others are open to negotiating. There is no right or wrong answer here.
Here are a few things to keep top of mind when someone makes a price concession:
- We’re taught to negotiate. This is America. People often ask, even if they’re willing to buy at the price quoted.
- Push back at least once. There is a high likelihood that they cave right away.
- Have your rebuttal dialed in – delivery, tone, and confidence are essential here.
The AAA Method
I use a method called AAA (Acknowledge, Answer, Ask) for pushing back on price negotiations.
Here is an example of how to use AAA if someone asks for a discount or tries to negotiate:
- Acknowledge: I appreciate you making the ask here. A lot of our clients pushed us for more aggressive prices as well.
- Answer: They often come back to us and say they are happy and willing to pay a little more once they see the quality of our products and experience the level of service we provide. I’m confident that we can also meet your expectations if you give us the opportunity.
- Ask: Can we go ahead with this order and follow up to get your thoughts once the order is complete?
Again, delivery, tone, and confidence are critical here.
If they say, “Sorry, we need a discount,” isolate first. Ask them if that’s the only thing holding them up from moving forward. Then, you can decide if you want to do the job at a discounted rate.
Another approach is asking about their openness to having us suggest a creative way to complete this project at the budget you are trying to accomplish. (Garment quality, reducing color, artwork, quantity, etc.)
Whichever route you take, negotiation should be give and take. Both sides should give concessions.
Negotiation is an art form. Practice makes perfect. The more dialed in you are, the better the outcome will be.