Ask for it! When they say “No”, ask for it again more creatively.
Spending eight birthdays in the one call close sales industry means pitching to roughly 2,496 different prospects. These are sales table encounters with an offer only available on that same day you first met the client. No follow up calls.
Resistance is always part of the journey to getting that on-the-day Yes. This teaches me the mindset of “Ask. Then, ask it again.” That before such resistance turns to a total rejection, you can always negotiate. Negotiate with articulate persistence.
Recognize the sugar-coated “No”
Most of the prospects would subtly say no to you. By far, “No” generally has many templates. Identify when the prospect starts to say “No”. Don’t shut down. That is in fact, your sign to start negotiating. Start by asking “Why?” and isolate the “No because they cannot afford the standing offer.” among the hundreds more of “Nos” just to stall the on-the-day purchase. You can only adjust the paying options if the prospect admits that what is stopping them from owning today, is only the price tag.
I will think about it. I will be back. I am not closing my doors. I am not deciding today. I will ask our lawyers. – These are all vague statements of saying no. Your job is to assist the prospect to verbalize that if there is a more affordable price for them to own the offer on the day, they will get it.
Customize the “nego-currencies”
There are a lot of currencies to keep the negotiation going. List in mind these “nego-currencies” and remember to lay only up to 2 cards at a time on the sales table. Do not give too much. Incentivize the close by adding only up to three. Punish by replacing one with another lesser currency as perceived by the prospect. Probe the prospect’s urges in terms of purchasing new offerings and their subjective treatment of money. That is why you have to be good at small talks.
Negotiation currencies can be the variables in the paying arrangement like maximum discount, standard down payment to signing-in reservation, number of years to pay, cooling-off period, escalating payments etc. It can also be overtures like referral incentives, giveaways or add-ons. It can also be a feature which you reserved as a negotiation bullet. It is already part of the package but you deliberately spare it to highlight, sensationalize and add weight to the value of the offer. I coin this as a “Closing Surprise”. It can also be cards that only you possesses which then add greater value when they get the offer from you. These are your trustworthiness and sincerity to provide the solution of their felt need, your expertise in both the product and the market, your passionate after sales services, and even the pride of being one of the owners who purchased from you (Coin a label like “Broker of the Affluent Families”). You can actually make millions of nego-currencies. Just be creative.
Ask again. Even after the 8th, 9th or 10th No.
You can close the deal even at the parking lot, even before the prospect decides to go home. I can remember several couples whom I congratulated for their newest ownership just before the husband turned on the engine. Keep asking for the Yes but remember to let them realize the favor you are making for them every before dropping a repackaged bundle. Appraise the value of every options you are giving to them. Do not beg. Persistence beats resistance. Never use the Puppy Close. It is not for Closers.
Think, talk, want, wait, pant, pause – Negotiations may leave you unbuttoned, untied but never undefeated.
Intimidate with compliment
Negotiation is an interplay of desirable and undesirable emotions. Sarcasm, provocation, frankness, and confrontation are used with compliments, imagery, humor, sizzle and charm to modulate the fire of finally setting a win-win agreement. An instance is when the husband tends to be passive, that means No. After three tries of starting a conversation about the purchase, if the prospect still seems dead about buying, awaken them. Pinch their ego. “When was the last time you have given something like this to your beautiful wife?” Pause until he answers. Your goal is simply to re-energize their lethargic emotions. Ignite again a communication. A fight is still a communication. Be keen on the difference between a “silently deliberating for the purchase” versus a “quiet too shy to say No” prospect.
Be vigilant which among the features excite them. Observe this during the product presentation. Refresh those benefits with more compelling involvement stories as you show how reasonable the tag of your offer is. Remember it is natural that when a price is placed side by side with the benefits, a prospect feels a varied level of apprehension and resistance. Restate, emphasize and spell out louder those memories which made the desire to own your offer. Facilitate the emotions attached to the ownership to rise up above the fear of leaving their money on the table.
When it is the prospect who demands that they deserve more or when you feel that the prospect can afford to own the larger variant, walk them through to the bigger account. Ask why they think they deserve the higher price tag when it is something they deserve. Then, reinforce this with financial logic and emotional triggers. Greater price equate to more benefits and reasonability compared to the less priced versions. Let the prospect appreciate that. Sold the prospect more with the emotions of exclusivity that not every prospect you encounter daily can afford what they are about to get. Add that it is not acceptable to lose something “more” they believe they deserve. Upselling can be selling the higher package, selling more than one to the same prospect or sell another one for the tag along.
There are accounts closed by merely providing articulate silence and thoughtful space.
The “least to lose” play
Prospects need the emotion of time and number to facilitate their decision. Urgency. Say “Before I finally stand, let me show you the best arrangement I can make.” Switch your sitting position like you are about to stand. Write the latest package. Reinforce some benefits and reasonability of the latest arrangement. Ask for the close.
I also find Mark Cuban’s style so effective (Go start watching Shark Tank!) “I have this offer. Whether you would say yes or No, I have to hear your answer after the counts of 3” Ask if they agree. Present the repackaged offer, pause for 5 seconds then count 1-2-3. I have closed several accounts through this. It works especially to men who play the ball games. Try it.
Show the terms. Do nothing!
This is about the “silently deliberating for the purchase” prospect I am talking about in number 4. Yes they exist. There are accounts closed by merely providing articulate silence and thoughtful space after writing the paying quotation. Just remain silent until they ask a question or when the couple/ party feels like having a private space to talk about the purchase, you may leave them at the sales table for some 3-5 minutes. Leave a glass of water and a calculator to them. When you go back, assume the close. Ask, “How will you settle the deposit today, Card or Check?”
Say “No” even if it could be a “Yes”
This for me is exactly the art of negotiation. Yes, you too can say “No” at least twice before saying yes. A case in point is when a sold out Chinese asks for more discounts. Sparingly give the maxed out discount. Instead, start with a 10% discount. The frugal prospect asks 15%. Say No. Reinforce benefits of your offer. The prudent prospect still asks the 15%. Still, No. Let them feel they are losing the offer. Throw more involvement spiels on the benefits. Ask a closing favor. You are giving the 15% discount if the prospect gives five referrals. Ask for the close.
When you give away a negotiation currency without hesitation, your negotiation partner generally thinks that if they had asked for more, it would have been given to them. Again, always ask a “Closing Favor”.
Of the 2000 plus negotiation partners, obviously those did not all end up to a deal. Seven to thirteen of the closed accounts are lay down deals but the rest are closed through a scalding negotiation. Why do we negotiate?
When you truly believe that your offer gives a solution to what your prospect needs, fight for their welfare. Fight not beg. A happy owner needs a persistent Closer. Prospects are more emotionally attached to their money. It is then you as the Closer who turns that attachment to the value of comfort instead. You negotiate because the prospect deserves to own your offer.
Think, talk, want, wait, pant, pause – Negotiations may leave you unbuttoned, untied but never undefeated. Just like your favorite sports or for a more intense outtro analogy, just like making love with switching dominance and submission. It is fun negotiating.
It has been fun negotiating.