Are You Being Stepped On In The IT Sales Negotiation Process?


Your at your clients offices and you begin to feel the screws being used to negotiate you down in price.  This happened to me one time when I had a computer consultant that clearly wanted to utilize our IT services marketing program but really didn’t want to pay anywhere near the price we needed to fulfill the agreement!  I was asked to come down to their offices and was presented with a contact that had been signed by their president; but it had a price that was far below what we had discussed over the phone.  I pushed the agreement back and said that it wouldn’t be possible for me to sign that contract in it’s present form.  This computer business owner left the conference room and a few minutes came back with another marketing agreement that raised the price a littler higher but not by much.  When I was asked to sign this proposal, I again refused because it contained terms our company couldn’t operate under. Finally, this IT consultant pulled another agreement out of his coat pocket and handed it to me.  When I looked it over I could see that it contained all the terms and prices that I had asked for and that I would be able to provide the IT sales leads this agreement committed me to.  Therefore, I promptly signed this agreement!

They Don’t Have a Gun To Your Head!

In the above example I was under a lot of pressure to go ahead and sign the agreement which wasn’t in my companies best interests.  However, they never truly put a gun to my head and they didn’t have Guido there to push my buttons until I would sign the agreement that would have benefited them the most.  So the question is how was I able to get the terms we needed to take care of their account without having to comprise?

I am sure there are many computer business owners who have come under pressure to make new sales from their IT lead generation that they have contemplated changing the terms of their agreement or dramatically lowering their prices. One of the lessons I can pass on here is very simple… you can’t guarantee service at prices and terms that would prevent you from delivering what you have promised.  Of course some small changes to your terms and prices might be acceptable and still be able to allow you to deliver on you agreement your were marketing.

The key to consider is that prospects who haven’t decided that they really want to buy your managed services offering and haven’t looked at your references etc… will probably walk away if you don’t make major concession.  However, if a prospect has looked at your references and likes the value you are offering, then the chance that you won’t have to make dramatic  changes is very promising.  Also, if they have called you or agreed to have you come to their office, then their actions should speak to you louder than their words.

When your technology prospect starts trying to step on you and push you beyond small negotiations, then you just have to realize and say that you could always lower your prices.  However, you can say that at some point and it’s right now, “a drop in prices will prevent me from being able to deliver what you wanted from our company in the first place.”  You can also ask if they liked what your references had to say about the level of service they received from you.

The point you’re trying to make is that terms you had in place for those customers is what enabled you to deliver and make them happy customers.  If you changed the terms and prices now, then you wouldn’t be able to implement the exact some service level that those references got and therefore they probably wouldn’t get a similar out come.

If you want to make sure and squeeze the best ROI from your technology sales leads then make sure you are ready to deliver this rebuttal when your pressed to make major changes to your terms and prices.


John Black is the Marketing Director at MSP Telemarketing and has over 10 years experience marketing for IT providers and var marketing to help them get more IT leads that turn into IT sales.