Master the Negotiation: Common Buyer Tactics and How to Counter Them

Negotiating with buyers can be a delicate affair. They may employ various tactics to gain an edge, but don’t worry, you can learn to recognize and respond effectively. Here’s a breakdown of eight common buyer negotiation tactics and how to counter them:

1. The Competitor Trap:

The Tactic: The buyer creates urgency by mentioning competitors, implying they might get a better deal elsewhere.

Your Response: Stay calm and assess the situation. If it’s a bluff, hold firm. If they’re serious, highlight your unique value proposition and why your offer is superior. Remember your BATNA (Best Alternative To a Negotiated Agreement) and be willing to walk away if necessary.

2. The Grand Escape Method:

The Tactic: The buyer introduces an irrelevant issue to distract you and gain concessions on something else.

Your Response: Don’t get sidetracked. Address each issue separately and calmly explain the value of your offer. Ask clarifying questions to understand their true concerns and negotiate based on real needs.

3. The Force:

The Tactic: The buyer pushes for a lower price early on, trying to pressure you into concessions.

Your Response: Don’t cave! Ask them to justify their request. Focus on your differentiation and value proposition. Offer value-added features instead of dropping the price. If you must discount, trade concessions wisely.

4. Good Cop, Bad Cop:

The Tactic: The buyer introduces a “bad cop” to intimidate you and extract concessions.

Your Response: Don’t be intimidated. Stick to your objectives and value proposition. Prepare for their challenges and respond confidently with facts and evidence. Consider bringing your own “bad cop” if needed.

5. Split the Difference:

The Tactic: The buyer suggests meeting halfway between your offer and theirs, even if their initial offer was unreasonable.

Your Response: Explain that meeting in the middle isn’t necessarily fair. Highlight the value you offer and push for concessions on their part. Explore alternative solutions that create win-win situations.

6. The Last Minute Favours:

The Tactic: Right before closing, the buyer throws in a “last-minute” request for a concession.

Your Response: Stay strong! Ask clarifying questions and offer a trade instead of giving in. Be clear about the impact of any concessions on the overall deal. If they try adding more requests, confirm there won’t be any further changes before agreeing.

7. Cherry Picking:

The Tactic: The buyer wants parts of your solution but at the same price, ignoring the value of the whole package.

Your Response: Address this immediately. Explain that pricing reflects the entire solution, including volume, terms, and services. Initiate a discussion to adjust pricing based on the revised scope.

8. “We’re Done.”

The Tactic: The buyer threatens to walk away to pressure you into concessions.

Your Response: Don’t cave easily. If it’s a bluff, call them out on it. If they’re serious, explore their concerns and offer alternative solutions that address their needs. Remember your BATNA and be prepared to walk away if the deal isn’t right.

By understanding these tactics and practicing your responses, you can gain confidence and navigate negotiations more effectively, ensuring you get the best deal possible for yourself and your business.

You can buy my book on Negotiating A Winning Deal to know the basics of negotiation!

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