Handling Price Shoppers Who Play Games
Some buyers raise legitimate questions about price while others object because it seems the thing to do. These gamespeople are the most difficult to deal with. Some love to play and win. For them, the game can be as important as the win.
IDENTIFYING THE GAMESPEOPLE
Learning to identify gamespeople. Most of them fall into one of these four categories.
Harry the Hammer. He believes everything is negotiable and wants you to work for every penny. He begins with the premise that you’re charging more than you need to. Every time he turns around, he asks for one more concession. He’s shocked and wounded with your price. He’s very good at emotional stuff.
Flea-Market Fran. She’s the dedicated bargain hunter. She buys cheap, even if it isn’t needed. Appealing to her bargaining instinct works well.
Eddie the Exaggerator. He can always buy something else a lot cheaper than your price. At least, he says he can. He uses smoke screens, if not outright lies. Smoke screens are tougher to detect than outright lies, because Eddie never tells you the real reason he won’t buy.
Power Pete. He wants to own more than anyone else. The money is secondary. It’s a way to keep score. He usually says one of the following: “take it or leave it,” or “It’s my way or the highway.”
CONTROL TIME AND EMOTION
Learning to negotiate with gamespeople. Your best immediate strategy is to do nothing when you detect a gamesperson. Slow down the process.
You want time to make a non-emotional decision. Clarify, restate, and dig deeper. Ask gamespeople:
- Could you be more specific for me?
- How did you arrive at that budget?
- Are you comparing apples to apples?
- How are we higher?
WINNING AT THEIR GAME
Your challenge is to help gamespeople win without cutting your price. These guidelines will help:
- Enjoy the gamesperson’s performance. It could be an award-winning exhibition of skill.
- If you let frustration get to you, you’ve lost the game.
- Any game you perceive as a game no longer has control over you. Once you identify a gamesperson, you can be in the driver’s seat.