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6 Strategies Buyers Use to Negotiate Price

6 Strategies Buyers Use to Negotiate Price

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Written by Mike Schultz
President, RAIN Group

Some buyers are conditioned to try certain tactics to lower your price. Maybe they've read about negotiation in books or were trained to use pressuring strategies.

When buyers take this kind of positional and win-lose approach, their goal is generally to gain the most for themselves at the expense of the seller. For example, savvy buyers know that many sellers will be especially vulnerable to manipulation just when a contract is about to be signed. 

If you’ve invested hours into building rapport and value for your buyer, it can be frustrating when they suddenly turn around right at the finish line and ask for more.

It's tempting at this point for the seller to give the buyer what they want and lower the price instead of digging deeper to uncover if their concerns are valid or a bluff. But an experienced seller can take steps to protect their own interests while maintaining their relationship with a buyer. 

And even a minor compromise may have far-reaching consequences. A minor discount can lead to reduced margins and create an expectation of further concessions for the buyer. Contrary to common sales philosophy, a win-win approach is not always correct.

Striking back against buyer demands is not the answer either. It’s not easy to respond productively to price pushback. However, if you can recognize negotiation tactics beforehand, you’re more likely to bring a buyer on board and get them to collaborate with you further.

Read Now: [Article + Infographic] 16 Tactics Buyers Use in Sales Negotiations

Here are some common negotiation tactics buyers might use to gain a positional advantage, and ideas for how to respond.

How to Prepare for a Price Negotiation

Beyond recognizing the tactics, prepare yourself to handle price objections by following the 6 Essential Rules of Sales Negotiation.

1. Build value
2. Lead the negotiation
3. Effect emotions
4. Trade. Don’t cave
5. Plan to Win
6. Always be willing to walk

Recognize tactics and be ready

Now that you can identify these buyer tactics, prepare for your next negotiation by giving some thought to how you will respond if any arise. It's your job to dig deeper into the real issues, separating the buyer's valid concerns from their bluffs and manipulations.

Always keep in mind that, while you shouldn’t make concessions, you can make trades. Good sellers are willing to change scope or explore other possibilities rather than just altering price. Even if you find you have to lower your price, never give anything away for free. This is why “Trade, Don’t Cave” is one of the top negotiation strategies used by sellers.

The strength of your negotiating lies in the value you provide—by being able to listen, articulate value, and collaborate on a solution, you can dispel buyer objections and lead strong negotiations.

Last Updated May 17, 2024

Topics: Sales Negotiation