Let me “sweeten” this deal for you!

As promised in this week’s newsletter, here’s one more easy negotiation tip that can help you get out of a difficult spot, and because today is Fable Friday, it comes with a story to it.

Many years ago when I bought my first house, the seller and I were pretty close on price but had not yet reached agreement.  The agent called me and said, “You know that tool shed in back of the house? The seller is willing to sweeten the deal by giving you all those tools if you agree to this price.”

So along with a revised, lowered price we were getting a big selection of rakes, shovels, weeders, a lawn mower, all the stuff we needed to maintain this beautiful yard.  As for the seller, he was moving to a condo in Florida. He didn’t need the tools, so the offer meant little to him.  We quickly had a deal.

There are all kinds of opportunities to “sweeten” a deal through some non-cash solution, if you just think it through.  Major league sports teams negotiate with hundreds of vendors and concessionaires, and often throw in game tickets that are worth far less than the negotiated price differences.  Why does sweetening work?  Because the buyer often has a different view of the value of the sweetener, just as I did with the tools.

Say you’re selling a car and are close on price.  You say, “I’ll tell you what, if you take the car at the price I’m asking, I’ll get the oil and filter changed, and throw in a full tank of gas.”  That’s a small dollar cost to you, but it might be just the thing to cause the buyer to shake hands.

In preparing for your negotiation, what kind of deal sweeteners could your company offer, that cost you little or nothing, but that might mean the difference between pushback and agreement?  It’s good to think this through in advance, as you might need it if you’re close to yes.

Here are some others:

“I’ll give you a year’s free maintenance.”

“Since I have a pickup truck and you don’t, I’ll even deliver it to your home.”

“We’ll give you a VIP pass to our next customer cocktail party.”

Make sure to position the sweetener in the most positive way.  It’s a communication skill as well as a value proposition.  Say, “Here’s what I’m willing to do for you if we can just get this deal done today.”

Sweeteners take the focus off of money, and you may just get lucky and offer one that resonates with your counterpart.  The trick is to…

Think Like Your Customer

(BTW, if you didn’t get my newsletter this week, it has two useful negotiation tips in it. Write to me if you’d like to see it.)

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About Gregory LaMothe
I teach people how to sell things. I own the company ActionSystems. Visit my website at www.actionsystemstraining.com.

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