Thursday 7 May 2009

How to Say "No" to the Buyer

During negotiation, especially in the current climate, the ‘give and take’ environment can make it difficult for the seller to say "no" to impossible requests (i.e. requests for over-rider, settlement discounts) if these are against company policy.
A simple refusal may set the negotiation session back and undo any progress already achieved.
On the other hand, any lack of decisiveness may be interpreted as providing scope for possible movement.
Signalling, both verbal and non-verbal (body-language), should be used to reinforce the message. The buyer may even be tempted to try to sidestep the KAM and open negotiations further up the organisation.
In this case, line management obviously needs to echo the KAM’s stance and direct the buyer back to the KAM as manager of the account. Again, any lack of decisiveness merely encourages the buyer to attempt to maintain a dialogue with sales management on a permanent basis.
In dealing with impossible requests, the basic approach is to say outright that no movement is possible, and then explain ‘why’. It is essential to make it clear via signalling that your willingness to explain should not be interpreted as possible flexibility.
Namnews subscribers can find some worked examples here.

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