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May 02, 2020

Justify But Don’t Apologise

Every salesperson has been in this situation.

They make their offer and they immediately run into a brick wall. The person at the other end of the table just flat out refuses the offer and starts to attack it.

You start to feel like you’ve offended the person with your offer.

And what’s the first thing that we do when we offend somebody?

We apologise.

That’s such a dangerous instinct to have in a negotiation. The moment that you start apologising for your offer is the moment that you show weakness to your client. By apologising, you’re essentially agreeing with them that the offer isn’t very good.

This makes you come across as needy and desperate.

You no longer have confidence in the offer. Instead, you’re clearly chasing the approval of the client.

This gives them the edge in the negotiation.

They now know that you’re going to backtrack and apologise whenever they challenge your offer. So, they’re emboldened to make even more challenges.

That’s not a situation you want to find yourself in.

But as I established in my previous emails, you also don’t want to meet these attacks with attacks of your own.

So, how do you counter a challenge from the client?

You justify without ever apologising.

Again, this is where the multiple points of leverage that I spoke about a few emails back come in.

When the client challenges your offer, which will usually be a challenge on the price, you can say:

“I appreciate your concerns, and, the reason why we charge <x> is because of <a, b, and c>.”

In this case, a, b, and c are the points of leverage that you established at the beginning of the negotiation. Thus, you justify the offer by showing how it offers value in the areas that the client really cares about.

Using this technique means you don’t end up getting stuck on haggling over the price.

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