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The Hidden 80% of Price Negotiations

Price negotiation is one of the most popular topics in the PricingBrew Journal. And I can certainly understand why…

Of course, the financial implications are huge. Gaining…or giving up…even just a point or two of margin through negotiation can add up to millions on the bottom line. And beyond that, the price negotiation process itself is also a fascinating blend of human behavior, psychology, perception, strategy, and tactics…where every transaction is the start of a new “game.”

There is, however, a common misconception that effective negotiation is really all about the “counters”—i.e. employing effective counter-measures to mitigate and blunt buyers’ objections and demands.

But here’s the thing: You can’t counter what you can’t see.

The most effective negotiation strategies, tactics, and tricks can be really hard to spot. In fact, that’s the reason they work so well. Sellers don’t recognize them as negotiation tactics and tricks. Instead, sellers will take them at face value and respond as though they’re legit. So when sellers do counter, they’re very often countering the façade instead of the real underlying strategy.

The point is that while many assume that negotiation is 80% countering and 20% recognition, we believe that it’s the other way around and recognition is actually 80% of the battle.

You see, once you recognize a magic trick for what it is…a trick…and better yet, you understand how and why the trick works…it loses its power to amaze, confuse, and confound. Similarly, once you learn to recognize buyers’ most effective negotiation strategies, tactics, and tricks, they lose their power and countering them becomes relatively straightforward.

That’s why we compiled the Negotiation Tactics Cheat Sheet. It explains a number of the tactics and tricks that purchasing pros are trained to use to extract margin from our sellers—what the tactics look like, how they typically play out in the field, what they’re intended to do, and why they so often work.

Of course, you’ll want to familiarize yourself with these tactics. If you’re a student of human behavior at all, it’s a fascinating read. But you’ll also want to share the Cheat Sheet with your sales team. While they may not admit it, they’re probably falling for these tricks on a regular basis….because they can’t even see them.

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