“You want what? Are you crazy?!!”
We’ve all thought it or said it out loud at one point or another. Maybe mute was on, maybe you said it to the merchant directly.
Occasionally (all the time), ridiculous requests are made by merchants on funding terms and features.
“I want 25 basis points below prime.”
“I want a 50 year term.”
“I want to get the funding, but start the payments after 15 months.”
OK, these are grossly exaggerated, but you get the point.
Small Business Owners are constantly competing in the sport of Negotiation in their ecosystem.
Making a deal.
Going back and forth with their vendors to get more of what they want, and less of what they don’t want is what they do. It’s what they must do for their business’ posterity.
Why would they act any differently with you?
At first contact, you are a vendor no different than their others.
Sometimes, its easy to get thrown off your game with some requests. But don’t fall into the trap of feeling inadequate – your product can and will serve them if you help consult them through it.
Maybe you are dealing with someone who really needs to be educated about small business financing, and expectations have to be reset. But more than likely you are dealing with someone who knows exactly what they are doing.
They may play dumb and come off as unassuming, but they are more than likely working you by adhering to one of negotiation’s fundamental principles:
Ask for more than you expect to get.
“How high low (or high) can I get him/her to go?”
That’s the game.
Treat it just like that, the game you are playing now. Use good sportsmanship. Breathe, smile, and play ball. Don’t write this deal off, don’t get frustrated, and definitely do no communicate with anger towards this merchant.
Lean in, get creative, and play to win (win-win solution).
Asking for more than they can get allows them to elicit some important points of leverage in the negotiations:
Maybe they’ll get a rise out of you and see how seasoned their rep really is.
Maybe they’ll read your response to see how solid the terms really are.
Maybe they’ll get just what they ask for.
These funky ridiculous requests are really a tactic to an end. Listen in a level deeper for them.
Now, how can you use this to your advantage?
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