Five Phrases You Must Never Utter During a Negotiation

A fine line must be drawn when negotiating. As a sales representative, you must walk a fine line between serving your company's interests and assisting your prospect in finding a solution that works for them. By the time you've reached the sales process' negotiating stage, you and your prospect have the same objectives: putting your business's offering into their hands. It's a team effort, thus to find the best answer, you should cooperate, not argue, with your customer.

But since things don't always work out well in negotiations, you need to steer clear of the following troublesome words if you want to keep your morale high and still reach a solution that benefits all parties.

1. The prices are starting from...

What will happen if you tell your prospect that the pricing range is between $12,500 and $15,000? They'll demand $12,500 in return. Furthermore, the lower price "anchors" your prospect's view of the worth of your goods. If you mention $12,500, they may have previously believed $15,000 was a reasonable price, but the lower amount may now look excessive.

2. This should be a fast phone call

Assuring your prospect that the negotiation will move quickly and easily won't make them feel more comfortable; on the contrary, it will. People feel more at ease during negotiations when they believe they have plenty of time to discuss the conditions and make a choice. They will become more watchful and agitated if they sense that time is running out. You don't want that since your prospect will start making safe decisions once they are in risk-aversion mode. Start by stating, "We've got [X minutes] on the agenda," if you want your buyer to stay open. I believe that's all the time we'll need, but if not, I'm delighted to continue the conversation.

3. We'll talk about all the details later

There's a reason why they say the devil is in the details. Without agreeing to a statement of work, you wouldn't engage a builder to construct your home. Similarly to this, before agreeing to a price, you should know exactly what your prospect anticipates from you.

4. We should divide the difference

Splitting the difference implies your margins will be significantly reduced. It also drastically reduces the perceived value of your goods. Try to find a different approach to settle the dispute. By giving your prospect the impression that they have "won" something and making you appear more reasonable, even a minor compromise can help you end a stand-off. Negotiations can be finicky, difficult affairs, and they run the risk of going south if you aren't methodical and careful in your approach. The words and phrases on this list have the ability to damage your credibility and unfairly disadvantage you in these types of interactions. So be sure to always avoid them when you're bargaining, no matter what.

5. What about a reduced cost?

With one major exception, you won't always be able to offer your goods for full price, and that's alright. Make sure you are receiving anything in exchange if you are offering a price reduction. They'll sign today, right? Do they intend to sign a lengthier contract? Remember that your initial move should never be to provide a discount. Don't let your eagerness to close the sale cause you to lose sight of the value of your product, which is priced as it is for a reason. Is there another, smaller concession you may make to get the potential customer to sign? Before you lower the price, be sure you've tried all the other free offers.