So, you want to sell more boats by improving your boat broker negotiation skills? If so, here’s my list of 20 negotiation tips!
But first, have you read Part 1 of this series?
If you haven’t yet, then I recommend you start there first (just hit the link above). Then once you’ve read Part 1, read the following 20 negotiation tips.
Alright then, let’s begin!
#1 Never Go Against The Client
Client keeps asking for another discount.
Common mistake: “Sorry, I cannot go lower than this.“ or “Sorry, I cannot give you a discount.”
Solution: Put a monetary value on the discount you give them by saying this instead: “I don’t have any more money to give you.”(They will perceive the discount as real money and it will help you in your negotiation).
#2 Client Is Buying A Boat Over Budget
Common mistake: Trying to justify the full price of the boat.
Solution: Selling on the difference and not the total value. This is one of the most common mistakes salespeople make. Let’s assume your client has a $100k budget for a boat. You have the model of their dreams but you are actually over their budget as it is selling for $120k. Do not sell the boat at $120k, but sell it on the difference: the $20k. You can even divide the difference into 10 upcoming years if you know they will keep their boat for the next 10 years.
So instead of selling a $120k boat today, sell them on $2k a year for the next 10 years or $5 a day.
#3 Always Finish In Writing
It is important to always get your agreement in writing and signed.
Do not end a negotiation verbally.
Things will get messy and you will have to start the negotiation over again.
#4 Never Use The Word FREE
Avoid using the word free as it totally devalues the effort you are making in your negotiation. Something “free” is automatically perceived as no value added for the customer.
Receive a free set of lifejackets.
Receive $360 worth of life jackets at no cost to you.
#5 Use Hundreds Instead Of Thousands
If your product is worth three thousand five hundred, say ‘thirty five hundred’, it will look cheaper. Now on the opposite side if you give a $1500 discount say ‘one thousand five hundred’ and not fifteen hundred.
#6 Never Talk About The “Price” In Front Of A Client
Instead, use the term “value”. Never give the price alone by itself.
Bracket your “value” between 2 benefits. Jean-Marie Brücker, International Sales trainer, calls it the Macaron Technique. Referring to the sandwich-like French macaron pastry. It goes something like this:
“Madame, this timepiece comes from our finest Switzerland workshop and it has a value of twenty seven thousand dollars. If you invest in it, your children are sure to enjoy it for generations to come.”
#7 Don’t Be Vague When Providing Pricing
When asked to give a quote or how much it costs, never give a range like “Between $5000.00 to $6000.00”. Be confident in your pricing and back it up with some strong value-added phrases.
For example, quoting $5645.50. It will get you closer to sealing the deal and will be perceived as more honest by your client. If you say between $3000 to $4000, any dollar added after $3000.00 will be perceived as extra in your pocket in the eyes of your client.
#8 Don’t Oversell
The longer you talk after the other person has said yes (either verbally or in their mind), the more there is a chance that doubt will set in their mind. They will question themselves while you speak, they will run back over the deal in their head, looking for weaknesses. Don’t push too hard or you could lose all that you have worked for.
#9 Take Your Time
Never respond too quickly to an offer. Pausing or even suspending negotiations can convey that you’re not desperate to close the deal and that you have other options. Silence can force a surprising amount of pressure on the other party as well (there is a correlation between the response time and the desperation to sell).
#10 Don’t give anything away without getting something in return
Whenever you voluntarily give something up or away, try to always get something back in return. We all know the classic “I’ll do this if you do that.” If you don’t try and get something in return, the other party will see it as an invitation to ask for more concessions. If you give them something for nothing in return, they feel entitled to that concession and will not be happy until they get even more out of you.
#11 Always be ready to collect a deposit
When a client tells you they can send you money, give them your Fedex number so they can express post a check to your account. You can even send a pick up driver to their house or office to pick it up. You have to make it super convenient and easy for them to pay the deposit.
#12 Acknowledge their offer
Taking time to reformulate their offer or objection will always help you in the negotiation process. It will put you in a position of power and give you more confidence and clarity to achieve your desired outcome.
“So you are asking for this, this and this, correct?”
You can also ask a question. “Would you take $120k for it?”
“Are you offering me $120k for it?”
Negotiations are not about cheating someone. If the other party feels taken advantage of, they may not follow through or do business with you again in the future. Enter every discussion with an optimistic attitude, but never be manipulative. You will close more deals when you aim for a double win, than if you try to screw people over.
#14 Replace ‘Can’ by ‘Lets’
Using the word ‘can’ makes you appear inferior but also in a position of conflict.
Replace “Can you do better than this?” by “Let’s do better than this.”
“Can you lower the price?” by “Let’s lower the price.”
“Let’s find a solution that benefits us both.”
#15 Work on the relationship
The only difference between a contract and a contact is the “R”. And the R stands for relationship. We saw it in my first example. Because the guy really liked us he didn’t negotiate and paid us $1000 more.
#16 Use decimals
Putting decimals at the end of your price will help you gain power during negotiation. We always tend to round prices off to the closest figure. An item priced at $3554.50 might be rounded to $3600 when an item priced at $3650 might be rounded to $3600.
#17 Use the proper words
Professor Dr. Roman Trötschel at the Leuphana University of Lüneburg in Germany, conducted eight studies involving a total of 650 subjects and consistently found that when people constructed sentences where the focus was placed on what the other party stood to gain as opposed to what they stood to lose, they achieved more favorable results.
“Give me the boat for $19,800.”
“I will give you $19,800 for the boat.”
#18 Avoid using ‘Best’
When it comes to discussing price, the word ‘lowest’ is better than the word ‘best’. The ‘best’ price in the mind of the supplier will not likely be the ‘best’ price in your mind, right? Say, “Let’s give me your lower price” instead of “Can you give me your best price?”(best is for them vs lowest is for both)
#19 Do not reveal your cards
If you use any sales or negotiation techniques, never reveal your game.
“A tactic known is a tactic blown.” General Mac Arthur
#20 Do not freak out about objections, just ask the clients to repeat
If the client says, “Oh it is too much, I can’t afford it”, calmly say, “What do you mean by you cannot afford it?” and listen. You will be surprised by the multiple ways you can handle price objection if you take the time to hear your clients and go deeper into their feelings and position.
I separated this article into two posts.
So, if you’d like to get your hands on an additional 29 negotiation tips that’ll sell more boats, then head over here:
Want More Powerful Negotiation Tips Like These?
If so, then read Part 3 of this series:
The Boat Broker Negotiation Checklist (Part 3).
And you can read it here:
To your success!
— Vincent Finetti
Founder & Instructor
Yacht Sales Academy