Whether someone is buying a new car or making a multi-million dollar business deal, who wants to pay a single penny more than they absolutely need to?
Using The Black Swan Method™ to guide your price negotiation strategy, it is possible to get the best deal every time.
It’s all about kicking things off with an Accusation Audit™.
An Accusation Audit™ is a great tool for taking the authority away from the other side. In essence, you want to say all the negative things your counterpart is likely thinking about before they beat you to the punch and verbalize them.
You’re probably going to think I’m greedy. You might think that I don’t care about the value of what you have to offer. By the time we’re done, you’re probably going to want to kick me out of the room, and you might not even want to talk to me again.
When done effectively, the Accusation Audit steers the other side’s thinking. If you’re verbalizing things that the other side is already thinking about, they’re going to believe that you have a better understanding of the deal.
Before you’ve even made your ultimate ask, you’ve put them in a position where they’re afraid of what is going to come next.
At this point, you might ask a no-oriented question like this: Would it be impossible to get a better price?
Because you’ve already scared the heck out of them with your Accusation Audit, they’re going to be relieved to find out you’re only asking for a lower price tag, and that there is still a deal to be made.
What does this look like in action?
A few months ago, my wife and I were shopping around for a company that could do some work on the foundation of our house here in Texas. After speaking with three companies, the lowest price I got was $26,000.
I didn’t want to pay that kind of money. So, I let the conversation stall with each of the three companies. After a while, all of them began calling me over and over. It was clear they wanted the business.
One company tried to use yes momentum on me, and it didn’t work. And it shouldn’t. We are so tired of all the yes-oriented questions we hear in our day to day.
Eventually, I engaged one of the other companies, kicking the conversation off with a summary of our experience to that point: We had a solid first meeting. You came out and got a good reading of what needs to be done, and I got a better understanding of what the project would involve.
Then I launched into my Accusation Audit: You’re probably going to think I’m crazy, and you probably won’t want to do business with me after what I say. It’s going to seem like I’m the worst guy in the world and that I’m going to take advantage of you. In fact, you might even think I’m so unfair that you’ll slam down the phone and wish you never met me.
The salesman on the other end of the line immediately responded to the Accusation Audit. He told me that he wanted to make sure I was comfortable with the process, and he wanted to work together to make a deal happen. Then he asked if I could tell him what would work for me.
Sir, I’ve been crunching the numbers. In order for this deal to work for us, I can pay $19,762 in cash right now. Due to its exactness, this is a number that conveys that I put a lot of thought in my proposal.
The salesperson was relieved. He was expecting the worst, and didn’t get it. Immediately, he was hooked. Can we send over the contract today?
Because they were so eager to get this deal after investing so much time into it, they put a crew to work the following week. Prior to that agreement, they’d suggested that they wouldn’t be able to start the project for at least a month.
Thanks to the Accusation Audit, the salesman wanted to work with me. Everyone in sales is so used to hearing negative things that they are delighted when they finally encounter someone who is willing to work with them.
At the end of the day, people like to do business with people who make them feel good. So, once you’ve finished your price negotiation, let the other side know it was a pleasure to work with them.
Now that you have a better idea of how to approach price negotiation, it’s time to learn more about effectively navigating the sales process. Check out this infographic, How to Negotiate Through the Sales Process, to continue your learning.