Raising The Deal Breaker

A pal of mine was renovating his house. I happened to pop ’round when he was trying to find a mini-skip. A quick websearch found several local suppliers. Three quotes later, one duly earned a call back to order.


He spent a long time going through the lengthy booking procedure and, credit card at the ready, was eventually asked “what are you putting in the skip?”

Then he heard the hammer blow that he couldn’t put what he wanted in just one skip. He’d need another as plasterboard couldn’t go in with the rest of the rubbish. It was the end of his conversation. He thought he’d try and take it down the local tip rather than spend the couple of hundred quid now required.

Regardless of the merits of this disposal idea, I was intrigued as to the seller’s running order.

I was always taught that if there’s a potential deal-breaker, then raise it early. When got out there as soon as possible they tend not to be as damaging as when, like in this case, they emerge at the death. The sooner such a red flag is broached, you lessen any negative impact on your business.

If the vendor’s first question would rather have been on what was being discarded, then how different would the chat have run? I suspect alternate plans would have been made and a deal still done in some form.

Just after I learned of this I heard of a similar catastrophe. It involved booking a car service (at an Audi centre). In that case, the garage even completed inputting all the card details over the phone, before they said that the date would be almost six weeks away. Deal gone. Customer never to return.

Subscribe to Salespodder

Don’t miss out on the latest issues. Sign up now to get access to the library of members-only issues.