Authority of the Market: The Better Deal

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Identification

A corollary to one of the authoritative examples above is the idea that you have a better deal in the wings; this is the third-party data point of the market itself. The better deal indicates a “market” data point. This suffers as a strong tactic by forcing the negotiation into a binary decision, good price or bad price. But the price itself provides incomplete criteria on which to base a decision. Does the price reflect the total package, the time of delivery, the quality, or the offered service? You do not know whether there is a better deal unless you get details.

Example

This situation must be navigated carefully. Do not ask for price, but inquire after features and differentiators on qualitative attributes. Probe for truth and materiality of objection: Negotiator 1: “The gal down the road gave me a better deal.”

Solution

Eventually, the person using market data will invest and come your way, especially if you can focus on the reason they object to your offer or why the other deal is better. Once the main objection is eliminated (e.g., we actually have 24/7 support), you can move on. If the objection is price and price only, differentiate your offerings, sweeten the offer, or ask them who they prefer to deal with. This is potentially risky, but always keep your minimum requirements in mind. No deal is better than a bad deal.

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