Avoid This Deadly Negotiation Mistake
Devin Reed: What's going on, everybody. Welcome back to another episode of Gong Labs Live. If you're been here before, you already know who I am, but if it's your first time, thanks for hanging out with us. My name is Devin Reed. I'm the head of content strategy here at Gong. So every single Friday, we like to get together at 9: 00 AM Pacific to give you data and real talk on sales. The goal, help you sell better, help you make more money, help you get promoted, help you lead your team more effectively, whatever it is that you're interested in, you can get it here. And if for some reason you're not interested in any of those things, well, you also get some entertainment. I can provide the jokes. If they're funny it's up to you. So we always like to get things kicked off here. I know it's in the morning for a lot of folks. So let's break the ice a bit. We'd like to start with a little bit of a debate here. And this happens every time we order pizza in my house and Fridays are big pizza day, end of the week. So I want to know, does pineapple belong on pizza? Put yes, put no, put any other toppings you like if you're feeling froggy this morning. I'll tell you what, there're people who understand that pineapple does not belong on pizza. And then everybody else who's just clearly wrong. And so let's get into today's show. We are going to break down... Oh, you know what? Misque, misfire, we got one more thing I need to announce. It is the last opportunity, because this is the season one finale. This is episode 10. We're wrapping up season one after this. And so we have the Gong Lab's dad hat. I'm going to get framed here so I can see it. It's your last opportunity to get it. It says Gong Labs Live on the side. This is exclusive swag. I've worn it a few times. It's a little beat up at this point in this season because I wear it to the pool. I like to go hang out and wear the dad hat because I'm a new dad. If you want the dad hat, has nothing to do with pineapple on pizza. All you have to do is tag a friend in sales in the comments. That's all you got to do. Someone from my team will reach out and get your details and make sure we send that hat to you. Okay. I'm looking in the comments and it looks like we're right down the middle. Some people are saying definitely not. No. It is polarizing, I agree, I agree. Katrina is saying a 1000% yes. Look, pineapple's great. It's actually one of my favorite fruits, but it doesn't belong on pizza folks. Don't put cold things on hot food. That's another topic for another day. All right, make sure you're tagging your friend in sales. And this is usually where I introduce our speaker. We have great speakers on the show. We were expecting to have Amy Violas join us today. But unfortunately she got into a fender bender yesterday and she's getting her car fixed. Now she's completely fine. The human being that's what matters most she's good to go. But the car she had to get some time booked this morning to get her car fixed. I think she said she was traveling. She got to use it to get back. So she won't be here today, unfortunately. So hopefully you didn't just grab the hat and leave. We can hang out and we're still going to cover the topic for today. And so today we're talking about negotiating and specifically negotiating over email. And the reason why I think this is really important is one, there's a lot of negotiation tactics out there. There's a lot of what to do and what not to do. And I think specifically money is a taboo topic. And so because of that, it can become a challenge for sellers to negotiate or talk about pricing. I was talking to the good folks over at Sandler and they said money is a really emotionally charged topic for a lot of people. And we bring that from our social lives into sales. So if you find yourself," yeah, I get a little nervous. I get a little uncomfortable." That's not abnormal. And so, the quick tip is to try to remove that emotion. This is just business. This is budgeted dollars. This isn't someone's personal savings or your personal savings though I know commission does affect that. So one we kind of start with that too, but what we did was, I think it was in December, I wanted to know a couple different things. One I'd heard never negotiate, or excuse me, never share price over email. That was something I was taught early on in sales, as I got a little bit more matured. And as I started selling more deals, I found that there were times where sharing it didn't seem like that big of a deal. Right? So I was kind of feeling one way being told another. When that happens that's when we like to look at the data. The other thing was looking specifically at negotiating over email. And so that's what we're going to cover today and that's what we looked at. So we'll go in and pull the data up for today. We analyze 10, 000 sales deals, a little bit more actually. And here's what we found. So first, remember we looked at how does emailing price affect your win rates? And so the first thing to notice here is going from zero to one to five. Now one to five means the amount of emails in a deal. How many were specifically on pricing? So we're to 5% of the emails up to 10, up to 20, 30, et cetera. The first thing that we noticed was when rates go up once pricing is shared. And it's okay if it's over email, we've done previous reports that show it's really good to talk about pricing. Shock, right? We all know you need pricing to buy, but there's a big uptick in win rates once share pricing. And this shows that it's okay to do it over email. A lot of times you might have a discovery call, a demo call, wherever it is in your sales process. I'm not going to give you general guidance on when to share it over email, because if you're selling smaller transactional deals versus large enterprise deals, that's going to vary a little bit, but it overall, and this was looking at Enterprise NSMB. It's okay to share email over price. Share price over email. Yeah, that hit my ear for funky for a second too. So now that we got that out of the way, okay, it's okay to do that. The next part was like, okay, well there's sharing price. And then there's negotiating price, right? Where you start to go back and forth. And here's what you notice too. When rates start to fall at that 10% mark, six to 10% of the emails in the deal are talking about price. And that's where negotiations are beginning, right? So you're sending an email with price. Maybe they respond, maybe it's thanks, maybe it's whatever. You want to make sure you're avoiding negotiating over email. And here's how you know when it's starting. As soon as your prospect asks for something, asks for anything, you're beginning a negotiation. If I'm sharing information with you," Hey, here's our pricing. Here's our terms. There's some high level stuff," right? We all have our own kind of go to pricing spiel, that's okay. But as soon as they respond and go," Hey, do you offer any discounts? Hey Devin, can you do net 60?" All of those are asks. And as soon as they start asking, that's when negotiations begin. So the other thing to consider is, okay, what do I do then? Right? What happens? Because it's going to happen. If you share pricing over email, it almost always leads to some sort of ask and it can be very direct. Like," Can you do a 14% discount and I'll move forward," right? Maybe a little heated. Or could just be something casual like," Hey, Devin does Gong off for net 60 because our finance team needs it for XYZ reason." Right? It's kind of like a passive and it doesn't feel like you're really diving into a negotiation. But don't be fooled, both are negotiations. So what you want to do is move the conversation from email to phone. Because when you're negotiating over email, you lose a lot of your advantage. One is you slowed down your deal. That's because when someone gets your email, they might not see it right away. Or maybe they see it and you give them a ton of time to think about it, to strategize and come up with a really good response. And if you do that over and over again, you get into the cycle and that can extend your deal out days, weeks, hopefully not months, but you know what I mean? You can take a long time to get through that and get to the end result. But if you get it over phone, if you have that conversation over the phone, it's much faster and you can control the conversation as the seller. Right? You can hear the tone of objections. Is this ask a must have, or is it just testing the waters, right? And you can also start to do some more give and get, which is yes, we can do that if we can do this, this other thing. Yes, we can do 10% if you move forward by Friday, that sort of thing. So if you want to know how to do that, here's the super quick email template. I use this all time and it works really well. If you read this and you're thinking it's very simple, that's the goal. You want to keep it super simple." Hi Joe, totally makes sense. Let's hop on a quick call to align pricing with your budget, plus answer your questions. I'm sure we can knock this out in seven to nine minutes tops. Does tomorrow at 4: 00 PM work?" That's it. Now what you want to do here is you're saying we're hopping on a call to align pricing with your budget, your budget, something you care about and answer your questions. This isn't I want to get on a call so I can talk about pricing. It's about you, the buyer that's very important. The other part is, however you want to word it on that last sentence there, seven to nine minutes tops. I always make sure it's less than 10 because that seems psychologically, that's lower investment of time and you want people to commit to it. If your pricing is going to take 15 minutes, you're like," Devin this is really complex way we do pricing." Then don't lie. Don't say it's going to be nine minutes if it's going to be 20 minutes, but you get the idea and make it seem like a very easy and quick ask. All right, cool. I'm looking over in the comments see if there is any questions. Nope, not yet. If you've got any punch them in here, more people tagging their friends and sales and Mackay defending Hawaiian pizza, which is fine we can argue later. Let's see, and I've got actually an interesting story about this, which kind of led to the desire to do this report, which was, it was end of the year, it was Q4. And it was about two years ago. And I had this deal, I had been working since like October. We did the full sales process, got into a pilot, Gong does pilots for folks that are interested. And we got to the very end of the negotiation. And I got these signals from all of the influencers, manager levels, directors that they were really excited about Gong. So I was feeling really good about it, but I was trying to get the managing director who is the decision maker and I could not get him on the phone. And that kind of last week after Christmas, before new years the absolute crunch time, which stresses the highest. And so what I did is, I kind of knew better, but I was like all I can do is get this guy to respond over email and what could have been a deal done by Tuesday afternoon, literally dragged out from Monday into Tuesday, into Wednesday. And I kind of just kept getting deeper and deeper into negotiations and was losing, getting just chipped away little by little by little. And so I finally eventually had to put my foot down. I was like," Look, I'm not doing this anymore." It was mostly from a fatigue to be honest, which is not a place we want to be in and was like," Look, here's the offer. If you want it, you can take it if you don't want it, let's talk on the phone. But like, we're not going to email back and forth anymore." And we ended up getting them on a call and I kind of sussed out like the guy knew he had me in the corner. He knew I was cornered. He knew I needed this deal. He was going to move forward. But he was like," Hey, if I can keep chipping away and getting a better deal, a better deal over email, as a buyer why wouldn't I do that?" So lesson learned the hard way, except for the fact that I did end up getting that deal done. Ended up hitting quota because of it. So it was very high stakes and high pressure, but it could have avoided all of that by following some of these insights that I just shared with you all as well. I'm just going to check my notes here real quick. See if I missed anything. I don't think so. I don't think so, but we do have some more content for you on negotiation and pricing. So we have a pricing cheat sheet and 10 negotiation tips from Chris Voss, the negotiation boss, that's my nickname for him. So we'll drop those in the comments for you all. The pricing insights or data backed that'll help you present pricing more confidently. And then there was negotiation tips from FBI hostage negotiator, Chris Voss, you haven't heard of him, go get his book. And then you can take some of these best practices and put them into your calls this month, this quarter, this year. All right. That is our show for today and our show for this season. So reminder, if you're just catching in, make sure tag a friend in sales, get the dad hat. It's the last run. I think there's like 10 or 12 left. Once they're gone, they're gone. We're not ordering any more until next season. We'll get some new swag. So I hope that you enjoy the show today. Thanks for joining us. If you want, you can definitely connect with me on LinkedIn. Send me a message. We can chat. We can talk pricing sales, negotiation, dad jokes, whatever it is. Make sure you're following Gong on LinkedIn as well. You'll get notifications for our next Gong Labs research, when we kick off season two and all the other sales content that we put out on the internet. That's a wrap for season one. Thanks for hanging out with us. Hope you have a great rest of your Friday. See you next time.
One of the biggest debates in sales: Is it safe to email price? What about negotiating over email? Special guest Amy Volas, Founder & CEO at Avenue Talent Partners shares how emailing and negotiating price affects your win rates (it’s not what you think). Can I get a cha-ching?