How to Win Big Deals without Giving Away the Store
Jeff Ogden of Find New Customers, the nicest company in BtoB marketing today, has lots of sales experience, particularly in the software industry. I worked for Agile Software, Optum Software and Business Objects too.
Did you know that this blog was named the Top B2B Blog of 2012 by Buyerzone?
This is also why companies who reject me for jobs – like Chief Sales and Marketing Officer – are just plain stupid. When you have remarkable sales experiences and many marketing awards, that is the perfect job for you.
One of the things Jeff always saw was salespeople giving away big discounts of 60-75% – just to win a deal. They were desperate and glad to give away the store – just to put a checkmark in the win column . But because they gave away the store, margins suffered badly,
But not Jeff Ogden. In fact, I once closed a $3.2 million dollar deal with a miniscule 6% discount and I left there with a big down payment check.
Here are three reasons Jeff always wins the biggest deals with no major discount:
- Do your homework first
I flew out and toured their warehouses and documented the value my software would deliver to them. (I was working for a small warehouse management software firm called Optum Software.) If I had skipped that, their interest would have faded.
- Never be afraid of failure
This hurts lots of salespeople because they are afraid of the word “No.” But not Jeff Ogden. I looked the customer in the eye and said exactly what was on my mind.
- Give away no free lunches
One of my favorite negotiating ideas. Free concessions cause a buyer to ask for more, but if you get a pound of flesh for each thing you give, they stop asking. For instance, in this big win, they asked for a big discount. I replied “To get a discount, you need to give me a big down payment check. They stopped asking for a discount. The discount was tiny and I got the big check.
Not long ago, someone said to me “So you were the guy who closed that massive deal! That allowed Optum Software to stay in business for years!”
What do you think? Have you been in tough negotiations? What happened? I love comments and those who share on social media too.
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