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Negotiating with Chutzpah!

July 8, 2013
How many times have you gotten an RFP (Request for Proposal) and actually gotten the business?


Be honest is it 1 in 10, 1 in 20, or 1 in 100.


What an exasperating experience.  You spend a lot of time putting together the proposal only to hear in the end that your price was too high, or they decided to stick with their present supplier.


In order to get more from these RFPs sales people have to learn to “Negotiate with Chutzpah”.


Before handing an extensive bid list is there a best time for negotiating?

Negotiating with Chutzpah

“Negotiate what and why”, you ask. “They are just asking for your best price.”


So let me ask you, on a personal basis, when you had to buy your house, your car, or any other major decision did it just come down to price?  I doubt it.  So what in is wrong with asking a few great questions before you spend your valuable time and your co-workers to get all the information together yesterday?


If you are in sales, you have to take some control over the situation.  I know you want to make that number your sales manager gave you. However, be careful when you quote account prices that don’t generate any gross profit.  This may help you meet your number, and gain an account, but it may also cost you your job.  Your primary objective has to be to make money for the company, not just generate money for yourself.


Negotiating and pricing a proposal quote that maximizes profit takes guts (chutzpah).


If you don’t have it, think about getting out of the business.


Here are some bold questions to ask your client that may help generate some thought and help to secure your efforts in getting the deal.  This will help eliminate the unnecessary work and  increase the probability getting the deal.


  1. Other than price what is the process for evaluating vendors for the proposals?
  2. Alternative, other than price what is your criteria in selecting a vendor?
  3. What is the situation with your present supplier?  What are you looking to change?
  4. If we were to offer …..would that be incentive enough to change?
  5. What are the names and positions of everyone in the process?  Would it be possible to have a joint meeting before we finalize a proposal?  In this way, we are sure that we are providing the best service at the best price for your company?
  6. Who is the ultimate decision maker?  Is this by committee?
  7. How many bidders are being considered and which companies are invited to bid?
  8. On a scale of 1-10 how urgent is this?
  9. If you don’t make a decision, have you quantified how much this will cost you?  (Three decisions:  Move forward with present supplier, move forward with new supplier, do nothing).

I am sure there are more.  None of the questions are pressuring the buyer to buy today, they just help you and the prospect to clarify the decision making process, reduce wasted time and help you target in on the right solution.  Good selling.

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