Sales Coach: It is better to give AND receive.

deanIn your non-sales life, you should give generously without the expectation of getting anything in return.

When you’re selling — particularly when you’re negotiating the final details of an agreement — you should never give without getting anything in return.

Discounting provides a great context.  Giving a prospect a discount without condition(s) is a weak approach.  The prospect is going keep asking until you stop giving and you haven’t really gotten any commitment in return for your discount.

Instead, by giving a prospect a discount with very specific conditions — like if they sign an agreement today or agree to provide a case study — you ensure that you’re getting commitment in return for your commitment.

For example:

“I’ll need to check with my manager, but I think that I can waive the set-up fee and offer a 10% discount.  But I’ll need you to sign an annual agreement by the end of the week.  Do you think that is do-able?  If so, I’ll see if I can get an OK for the discount.”

In this case, you didn’t even actually give the discount…but instead offered that you can get one approved if the prospect can meet your conditions.  If they don’t sign an annual agreement by the end of the week, then they don’t get the discount.

You can do this sort of give-and-get in other subtle ways:

  • “Sure, I’ll put together a proposal.  Can you do a call on Friday to review it with me?”
  • “Sure, I’ll send over a reference customer.  Can we agree to a call next week to review your feedback?”
  • “Sure, I’ll set up a demo with your team.  Can you make a direct introduction to your CEO so that I can prep her before the call?”

So if you’re selling, always think about helping your prospect…but also make sure that you’re thinking quid pro quo.