Never Start Low

Initial pricing. Something that often sends salespeople into a spin.

Pitch too high, and you think you’ll scare off the possible buyer and slay any eventual deal dead then and there.

Pitch too low, and you’ll be tied to that number forever. Any nudge upwards a difficult and potentially sale-ending conversation.

So, on which side do you err?

Well the answer is one that the experienced successful sellers know through bitter experience.

Never start low.

Resist the urge to believe that a smaller bill will endear you to the buyer.

It is way easier later down the line – once the full and finer points of the need reveal themselves – to shave your top price, than it is to raise your low one.

I was reminded of this when discussing opening up a slot for booking out an entire restaurant. The proprietor felt they were beaten up buyer-side. Then worried endlessly about trying to re-negotiate.

They accepted they’d gone in too low at the outset.

So the advice is simple. The very first time this happened to me, I’d sold some computer monitors at a knock-down. Turned out I’d been given duff info from a supplier. My then boss showed me how to handle it.

I was thinking that was a load of margin slashed from my precious commission value. He made the pleading phonecall, “could we be grown up about this?” And with an empathy in his voice, we got to re-charge.

He echoed the then nascent Open Book Accounting sell. Whenever a price was drastically altered upwards, suggesting to go Open Book can smooth the path. It’s when you share the costings and agree a fair margin. It’s not for the faint hearted though. In the right hands you both win. In the wrong, then find another customer.

Start off at a reasonable yet deserved number. One not near the bottom. One you can justify with distinction. And problems will lessen.

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