Sales is a tug of war over the amount money that one person can get using the least amount their commodity (depending on the business). Every day, it seems, account executive are in a negotiation and/or conflict while handling their client's needs, wants, and desires. Dealing with conflicts over, how much to give and, for what price, can be taxing and uncomfortable. Far too often an AE will simply cut the price of their product as the first course of action, instead of the last-ditch effort to keep a customer.
I work in the field of conflict management and dispute resolution but, I have been able to use my skills to help companies maximize their profits by making their sales staff smarter negotiators. Recently I read a book called Emotional Intelligence: Sales Success that had a lot of interesting ideas on how to combat your customer in a sales negotiation.
Tips to keep value of your product and your customers as well:
If the customer says to you, "Your competition is 20% lower can you lower your price."
You can respond; "I appreciate you sharing that information. Can I ask you a question? What was it that made you agree to a meeting if you are getting similar services for a discounted rate?"
This makes the customer be the one to share what they are not happy with when it comes to their current situation. Take that information and share why you are worth the slightly higher adjustment.
If the customer says, "We would like to go with you, however, your price is a little high."
You can respond; Thank you, I am glad you see the value in us, I would be more than happy to go back over our proposal to see what you think would be a something we can remove to fit your budget.
This shows the client that you appreciate their business and are willing to work with them without cutting or discounting your prices.
If the customer says, "We have had a tough year is there any way you could do better on your price?"
A sympathetic reply of, "I completely understand, it has been a tough year for many of my clients. I would understand if you need more time to think about whether this is a good time to invest in advertisement."
This shows empathy, and that you are not looking to hurt their business; instead you are interested in helping them out. Remember the old allegory, give a mouse a cookie and it will want a glass of milk. No client will every say, "You know we have had a great year, I am ready to pay 20% more than what you are offering."
Believe in yourself, your product, and your company. You worked hard to figure out a fair price and value to your customers, honor that and over time people will honor you.