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Bidding with the gatekeeper


S: Well, I have a question. I am often working with gatekeepers. I had this situation: I worked with her, she accepted all my information, we discussed everything, agreed on everything, everything was wonderful, all concerns [were handled], everything. She is already on my side. And suddenly she does this to me... not an offer, but she tells me one last thing, “Please, correct the prices here, like, give me a discount. What kind of discount you can give? I’m going to the boss. I want to show him what the prices  are after the discount.” How can I resolve this situation? Moreover, it comes in different versions, this is an option when I cannot at this very moment, if I know that her director would look at the prices and the gatekeeper would not be strong enough to explain why this is necessary for their hotel, her director would look at prices and say, “This is too expensive, isn’t it?” and would put it aside. They always end up with this sentence, "Please, adjust the prices here, and give me some kind of discount!"


T: Wait, what does she want? Does she want you to write higher prices?


S: No, vice versa! Lower.


T: In short, she wants you to yield on the prices, right?


S: Right. But I’m talking to the gatekeeper, and not to the person who...


T: Yes, I understand.


S: I can discuss with her, “what will happen if you buy the goods for this money,” I can plow this field, so to speak, in terms of trouble. But in the end, she will bring it to her director, and she wants to have a certain role in all of this, but she does not defend my interests. And if the director says, “It’s a little expensive,” she might tell him, “Well, here we can still have a discount.” And she says: write on this piece of paper the discounted prices which I can bring forward after showing the list prices. And here, I find myself in a rather difficult situation.


T: This is a typical scam. That is, you write now “new” prices, for her conversation with the boss. But then, look, it’s written with your hand, there’s no escape.


S: Sometimes I think so. But sometimes I feel that this is not a scam, it’s just such a preparation for a conversation with the boss. I don’t know.


T: It is likely that even in her thoughts she does not want to con you. She doesn’t even have this in her thoughts, I guess. Let’s assume the presumption of decency.


S: What should I do in this situation? Should I write her new prices?


T: In no case! Do you want to take this amount out of your pocket and pay it to their company?


S: No, no, I don't want to. That is not the problem; the problem is how to handle it. How would she answer the boss when she talks to him?


T: First, how do you handle this with her. She is not going to handle it for you. So, you need to find out what the problem the company might face, what threat to the company might arise. Second, accordingly, you should find a solution, and this solution should become a part of the contract, and that’s it. If then the boss says that something is a bit expensive, she could say, “Look, here it is taken care of.” Do you understand?


S: Yes...


T: Each time you have a choice from four possibilities. To convince, that is to say, “Come on, I will not change these prices, because they are strictly justified, I already gain only 1 cent from $1,000, I have no chance to change these prices. And look what a golden product this is, what a perfect supply.” You could tell this in the hope that you convince the gatekeeper, and the gatekeeper might convince her boss. This is the first option. But she will not tell this to the boss in order to avoid looking like a complete fool.


The second option is “10 cents per mile per ton,” right? That is, just to deceive a person, to manipulate her. “Funny money.” This is the second way. But if you deceive her, in a conversation with the boss this deception might be revealed, and you should forget about this client. Forever.


There is the third way, to give in, take money out of your pocket and put it in the pocket of this company. Not in the personal pocket! She takes care of her company, right? She takes care of her company, she does not gain a dime from this bribe, but you will put thousands of shekels, rubles, dollars in the pocket of this company. From your pocket. This is not an investment, this is a bribe. For the fact that they are going to buy your goods. This is the third option.

For what reason, in fact, are you going to bribe them? It is for no reason. You just help her showing this leaflet to her boss and saying, “I have already got concessions from them.” That is, you paid out of your wallet for her success in front of the boss. Great reason for bribing! That’s why I say that none of these options are good for you.

And the fourth option is to find a solution that allows their company to prevent the threat even if they buy on your terms. That’s it!


I could teach you cheating. Just read the available literature on the subject of “Handling the objections.” All methods of deception are well described there. Of course, this is not called cheating, not at all! This is called “handling the objection.” But if you look closely, these are methods of manipulating the buyer. Naturally, you can learn this. But remember that people do not like to be manipulated. They might endure it once, but then...


Well, or you can concede. But “to give in,” “to go easy on them,” “to bargain” are just beautiful wordings that describe the same ugly action, “to bribe”. And not just bribe but rather subscribe to continuous bribing.


Let's say you want to sell for $1000 per month. Then, the gatekeeper tells you, “Well, you know, it might look too expensive to my boss, you should reduce it by a hundred,” and you yield to her, take off a hundred. So, every month you receive from them one hundred less, you put it in the pocket of that company. That’s all logic. It is like two and two make four.

What does “traditional-style bargaining” mean? | 13 Dialogues on Win-Win SalesClosing

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