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How to Haggle with Willing Customers

Customers, especially customers from other cultures, love to haggle. They often revel in the negotiating process and look forward to haggling with a challenging businessperson.

To put yourself on an equal footing with some of the world’s best negotiators, keep the following tips in mind:

  • Haggle with the hagglers. Don’t accept a low-ball offer just to make a sale, and don’t turn away a customer because the low offer insulted you.

  • When a customer pitches a low-ball offer, express shock and dismay. No visible response may send the message that you take the offer seriously.

  • Help the customer save face. Explain that if you accept such a low offer, you’ll lose face with other customers who paid more.

  • Use the illusion of precision. Counter the customer’s offer with a precise dollar amount rather than a round number to send the message that you carefully calculated the price you can afford to accept.

  • Never offer to split the difference. Such an offer only results in disappointing both you and the customer.

  • Manufacture deadlines. Give customers a fixed amount of time to haggle.

  • Don’t focus solely on price and money. You can often throw in extras that cost you less than dropping the price.

  • Nip nibbling in the bud. Don’t agree to throw in extras after you’ve settled on a deal, or the customer will nibble you right out of your profit.

  • Officially end to the negotiating process and short-circuit buyer’s remorse. Congratulate your customer on making a wise purchase decision or investment.

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