What you will often hear is stuff like “Don’t open up first”, “Use bluffs”, “Don’t make eye contact”, “Don’t say more than you have to”, “Say Hocus Pocus at the end”, and much more of this sort. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but you can chuck all of that down the drain. In my years of experience as a sales person I have seen customers bargaining and getting the best deals possible, and I have also seen customers fall flat on their faces in their attempt to get it.
Getting the best deal is a matter of preparation, knowledge and mainly communication. Below is my simple 6 steps guide to guarantee that you always get the best possible deal out of every purchase you make:
- DO YOUR HOMEWORK – Spend as much time as possible to prepare for your encounter with the sales people. Know what it is you are after, and what would a good deal look like to you. Inform yourself about pricing, features and everything you can get your hands on reference to the product or service that interests you. It will make your life easier, and will also make the sales person’s life easier. If you save them time by asking on point questions and sharing your knowledge with them, they will more likely repay you with a good deal.
- DON’T GET OVEREXCITED – Not all salesperson want the best deal for you, and they will look for your weak spots. If the sales person senses you are overexcited about a service or product, they will go after your excitement much like a shark smells blood in the water and goes right for it. They will address the excitement factor to drive your attention away from other issues such as pricing. Keep your feet on the ground, and your excitement under control.
- MAKE THE LOWEST REALISTIC OFFER – You have of course read and heard of people saying that if you want the best bargain “never open up with an offer first”. To say the least, as a salesperson and a customer, this a ridiculous way to go about it. Do you actually believe, that the universe will somehow change the numbers or profit margins, if you withhold your offer? Imagine if you and the seller have the same mindset, both unwilling to open up with an offer, then what do you get? An awkward standoff that gets no one nowhere! Open up and take the first swing. Open up with the lowest yet realistic (sensible) offer you can come up with and the conversation will roll from there on. However, if you open up with an unrealistic low offer, then more likely the sales person will walk away (chilling effect) as you have just shown that you are not a serious buyer, and all you will end up doing is counter offering yourself in a desperate attempt to get them engaged again. Assuming you have done your homework, you should have a rough idea of what those parameters are between realistic and unrealistic offers. No miracle is going to happen on you, therefore be realistic and sensible.
- MENTION OTHER OFFERS – Don’t hesitate to say that you have also been elsewhere and that this is what you were offered. Let the sales person dwell on it, and if they really want your business they will come up with a counter offer or they will try to match the deal you got. Be wary though, of not getting caught bluffing. In my profession I have often called out customers’ bluffs, simply because as sales professionals we also take the time to research our products, services and more importantly our competition. If you are caught bluffing, not only will you not walk away with a deal, you would have also lost the respect of the person you are dealing with.
- PRICE BEYOND PRICE TAG – Think beyond the actual price tag. There are products that require some form of maintenance and/or customer support after the initial purchase. All of these cost money. If you feel like you are stuck on the price, then try to look at these to make the deal more attractive to you. Most common things you can ask for are some form of warranties, or other maintenance related cost waivers. These are clauses in the deal that go beyond the initial price, but will actually save you money in the long run.
- TRUST YOUR GUT – You walk into a place and it doesn’t feel right. The people don’t feel right. The vibes are not right. Simply walk away. As I have mentioned in previous blog posts, “If it doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t”. Deal only with people that you feel you speak the same language, they understand what you are after, and you can establish a line of communication with them right away. When it comes to the negotiating process, if it feels like it’s a good deal, take it!
For all of the above to work, in order for you to be able to get that best deal every time, there are 2 basic rules of engagement that must be clarified before you embark on your 6 steps in achieving that:
- BE GENUINELY INTERESTED. If you are not really interested in a product or service, then do not take up time from people who are expected to make deals in order to feed their families. Trained sales professionals can see through someone who is simply there to spend time and just wander about. In my years of expertise, no one has ever gotten the best deal by simply asking for information or by taking up unnecessary time.
- BE POLITE. No sales person is willing to assist a rude, obnoxious, impolite, arrogant customer. At the end of the day, to get a good deal the other person must want it as well for you. There is no tricky way to go about this. Be polite, and give room for a conversation.
On a concluding remark, don’t forget that at the end of the day you are dealing with another human being. As I have mentioned throughout, there are no magic wands or sneaky tactics that you can use. The secret is that if the other person feels that there is a mutual understanding that both parties must win, not at the expense of each other but rather a win-win scenario, then more likely they will want to elevate you by offering you the best possible deal.
I hope you have found this topic interesting and useful. What do you think about it? All feedback and comments are welcomed