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How to make the decision maker look good

By Louie Bernstein,  Sales Getters

When you are dealing with large customers, you might not meet the person who’s required to sign your order. The larger the company, the less likely it is you will meet them. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get as close as you can to that person, while at the same time using that distance to your advantage.

An example: You have been negotiating with a product manager who has gone back and forth a couple of times with you on placing an order for your product. You finally come to an agreement and he even tells you “everyone” is in agreement. Off goes the product manager to the signer. Unfortunately, the signer, who happens to be the CFO in this case, decides he wants better terms. Now what? You gave your best offer and that was “a firm offer.” From your position:

  • Hey, I thought everyone was in agreement. Surprise!
  • You really did offer a good deal. Not fair. (Wah, wah, wah. This is reality.)
  • You do not want to make the CFO look bad.
  • You don’t want to lose the deal.

Here’s what you need to remember – they are still the customer, they are doing the buying and they are giving you their money. If the deal is still good for you and your company, figure out how to accept the deal and give one final concession — while taking something back. Either way, you win. In our example, perhaps you can accept their terms but take away another concession that you gave earlier. They will either take your offer or come back with something less severe than their previous offer. To do otherwise would look greedy on their part and not many people like to be seen that way. Plus, your signer, the CFO, can say he got what he wanted and save face with his subordinates.

If you are too mad or disappointed to do this, don’t do anything for 24 hours. You will be amazed how much better the deal looks the next day.

This article originally appeared on the Sales Getters blog and is used here with permission.


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