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Shane Decker

Prep for Krunch Time

You’re ready for your final close, and he starts negotiating.

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OVER THE LAST two issues, I’ve shared two types of negotiation tactics that customers use — The Nibbler and The Bogey — and how to deal with them. The final tactic is called The Krunch, and it’s usually used by men. You’ve gone all the way through your presentation and the client says, “You’ve gotta do better than that.” (I call this “The Krunch” because it’s crunch time — you’ve told him the price, you’re ready to use your final close, and he throws out this negotiation statement.)

The Krunch is a test. He’s testing to see if you’re willing to negotiate and how badly you want to sell your product. When he throws out The Krunch and you go down on price, you’ve lost integrity because it’s obvious that you didn’t believe in the quality of the item. Chances are the client will walk because you took too much off too fast.

Instead of dropping the price immediately, find out what he means by “do better.” Better on what? Better in relation to the price? The services you offer? The product itself? And if he says, “You gotta do a lot better,” find out what “a lot” means. “A lot” might mean something different to him.

This is an excellent time to sell company benefits through statements of service, fact and quality.  Service: “We’ve got two jewelers in the back who can size this while you wait.”  Fact: “We’ve been here since 1920, and our diamonds are personally selected.” Quality: “This is an ideal cut; its brilliance is unequaled.”

This could also be a great time to T.O. to the manager or owner for his blessing. The owner comes out and asks the customer, “You’re looking at that? That’s one of my favorites. Your wife is going to love wearing that.” It’s a vote of confidence that means a lot coming from the owner.

If nothing else works, you can say, “Well, I want to accommodate you and I know you’ll love this piece, so what did you have in mind?” The price he gives is where you’re starting from. If it’s just a little bit, you can ask him how he’d like to take care of it. If it’s a lot, you at least have a starting point to go up from.

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One tactic you can use in any negotiation is the Take-away. Let’s say you sell a brand name watch, which comes with a two-year warranty, and you offer an additional three-year warranty in the store. The customer hears the price and says, “You gotta do better than that.” You respond, “I can come down a little on the price, but you have to take away a little somewhere else.” So you suggest taking away the extra years. The client says, “No, I want the full warranty.” When you re-state your price, he’s more likely to accept it because the extra value has been justified in his mind.

Negotiating on price is an absolute last resort. However, there are some clients who just won’t buy unless you negotiate. Refusing to “cave in,” while at the same time helping the customer to feel he’s getting a great value, upholds your personal integrity, as well as that of your store and your product.

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