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5 obnoxious negotiation tactics from buyers and how you should respond



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5 obnoxious negotiation tactics from buyers and how you should respond

We've all talked with people online or over the phone that try to negotiate with us before and after we give them a quote.  They will always have a price in their own mind that they are comfortable paying, and they will show you that price after you quote them, so you need to know what to say and when to say it in order to convert them into a customer. 

Customers can be obnoxious, and it's usually caused by them not knowing exactly what they're purchasing and how much it should cost.  People get offended when you give them a number that is 10x what they were thinking of paying, and they could actually get angry with you, but you need to respond in a certain way in order to keep them calm and ready to open up their checkbooks 5 obnoxious negotiation tactics from buyers and how you should respond

In this discussion, I'll be going over the top 5 obnoxious ways people negotiate and how you should respond.


They will throw temper tantrums
It doesn't matter if you're selling a $10 service or a $1000,000 house, people will throw temper tantrums if they aren't getting their way.  You could have a sign all over the service or product saying how much it costs, and the person will have a temper with you when they contact you after purchase, and I'm not exactly sure why this is. 

I started selling a $10 service as a loss leader to get new customers in the door, and people still complain about it because they aren't getting top rankings when the work is done.  I always tell them "This is a $10 service that actually costs us much more than $10 to perform.  It's not designed to get you top rankings for a difficult niche, but we do have packages that can do that for you".  They usually respond with "You never told me I wouldn't be #1 after this was done!" and I always send them to the package page where it says "You likely won't be #1 when this package is completed.  SEO is a never-ending process, so you'll likely need to keep ordering in order to see your rankings improve drastically".  Do you know what they do after that?  They back down and don't talk to me again lol 5 obnoxious negotiation tactics from buyers and how you should respond

They will have absurd counter offers
I get this all of the time with my SEO company.  I will quote someone $6,500 a month for their entire SEO campaign each month and they will counter with $1000 lol.  I'm not into negotiating with people when it comes to SEO, but I will definitely lower my quote as I take services out of the end results, which will lower their success rates.  For $1000 I can get them ranked for 1 or 2 low competition keywords that won't make their money back for 6 months or a year, and they never like that, but this is why I quoted them $6,500 5 obnoxious negotiation tactics from buyers and how you should respond

People don't understand how much work and attention you need to put into the details, and they will always low ball you to see what price they can get, so be ready for the ridiculous counter offers and hold your ground.  As soon as you lower your quote or bid, they know you're willing to go lower and they will keep countering.

They will "forget" what they agreed to
The human mind tends to forget things, so you should always have a contract ready if you're doing monthly work for someone or a company.  Have everything covered, in detail, within the contract so you can go back to it if someone complains about what you're doing for them.

If you're doing SEO for a person, and they complain that you're not making custom images for their blog posts, you can always refer back to your contract that never stated you would be doing any sort of graphic design for them.  People overstep their contracts and assume you'll be doing something, so be ready for this and always have that contract on hand for the people who "Forget" what you're supposed to be doing for them 5 obnoxious negotiation tactics from buyers and how you should respond

They like to play the bad cop more than the good cop
Not very often will you run into a client who wants to play the good cop more than the bad cop.  Normally, they will start out as the bad cop, never switch over to the good cop, and finish strong as the bad cop.  If you don't know how to respond to these type of people, you'll likely get some bad reviews popping up because they didn't know what they were buying.

The bad cop situation usually pops up after the person has made a purchase, gotten a service done or received a product, and it wasn't what they thought they were buying.  For this reason, I always go into detail and write up exactly what someone is getting with everything I sell.  I can always refer back to the sales page that says what they're getting if they complain, and they always have to agree that they understood what they're purchasing before sending a payment, so they really step back and start showing the Neutral cop 5 obnoxious negotiation tactics from buyers and how you should respond

They will use the "One additional thing" tactic
I added this part in the end because it's a biggie, even if the title doesn't make it seem like it is, but you'll always run into the "One more thing" clients when you're sending out contracts. 

Every single time I send out a contract, I will get it back and the customer will agree to everything I've written, but they will add in "I have one more thing" and it's always along the lines of "We've edited the contract" which is something that never benefits me and always makes it so I make less money or get paid in 6 months.  Remember, if you're good at something, never do it for free.  Never accept this type of agreement, unless it benefits you greatly, but that rarely happens so you'll need to reject the revised contract and either cut ties or start over with them.


In conclusion
Customers and clients will always try to negotiate, it's human nature to get the lowest price possible, but it's not always wise to agree with your customers or clients because they don't really know what you have to do for the price you're quoting them.  You need to stand your ground, charge what you think is right, and never really drop your prices if someone can't afford you.  As soon as you charge them less for something, they will come back and always expect a discount, and that's now how successful businesses are run.


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Thanks!

Tommy Carey

Comments

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cmoneyspinner

I was a store one time. I knew the owner to be a very nice man. But from a distance I could see him, along with his son, haggling with these two ladies. I was waiting to ask some questions. When they finished with their 2 customers they came to talk to me. They were apologizing for making me wait but they said they couldn't help it because these particular customers had the same “characteristics” you describe in your article and they had to do what they could to both satisfy them and get rid of them! I laughed. 5 obnoxious negotiation tactics from buyers and how you should respond But I made a mental note to beware of customers like that and to not be a customer like that!



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overcast

I think some customers can be demanding. And it is not easy to work with them. You can see that some of the time such type of the customers can be problematic. And though need to be handled properly. In that context you can see that buyers should understand they are not affected, I never hope to be a buyer like that.



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jeffreyjose48

There are good and bad buyers. I avoid the bad ones. Its hard to sell to them. But with the good ones they are easy to deal with. Its easy to explain what you are selling to them.



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Corzhens

When you have a store sometimes you cannot avoid to have hard to please clients and some are even persistent in their haggling as if trying to test your patience. I remember one Chinese businessman who said that when the customer is going overboard then it is time to curtail that habit of persistent haggling. What he does is to get his phone and pretend that he has a text to reply to. It is his way of ignoring the customer. But the downside is that the customer may spread the negative about you.



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beerthooyah

This advice are universal. It applies to all kinds of negotiations whether it is an SEO your offering or any other type of products or services. I remember one time when a client negotiate and asks for an additional jobs that can be done for free after we have already signed the contract ( I'm an engineer before in a construction firm) and he keeps on adding small jobs to be added and expecting it to be free of charge since he thought that the expenses are too low and can be covered by the profit we are going to make in the project. Its kinda frustrating talking to client like that knowing that the contract had already been approved upon. What I did was is to make a new contract for the new items of work that the client wants to be done. Even if it was only a small amount, I just explained to them that the profit that we will be making in the project is not that big enough.



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Everett

My favorite tactic is the old "i want write a review of your product/service for my blog, can i have it for free for the review?". Umm.. no. This tactic is the one I hate the most. A lot of the times the person asking for a free product/review do not even have a blog or website to write the review, they just want a free product.

This happens to me a lot, more times than I can count or wish to. It gets to the point where it not only is annoying but offensive. These people usually are in countries where it is hard to make a living, which is understandable but do not try to scam others stating you will be doing a review when you really aren't and you just want a free product.

This is basically the same for influencers, I am sure they get countless messages about promoting X product, creating a blog post, or a video and then the companies offer payment and then at the last second back out. I have heard this happening to multiple people in that specific community, and it's a real shame that it continues to happen. If you are in agreement with something you should follow through with the agreement!



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mitan143

I'm sorry to hear that, but that tactic is crazy. That is definitely a trick to deceive someone! By just hearing it out from you makes me angry too. I'll make sure it won't happen to me in the future. It's fine by me to give them a free product as long as they will, just like you said, follow with the agreement. It's unfair if they will just get the product for free without giving back what they offer in the first place. That thing shouldn't be tolerated in any way.



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Kakashi2020

Some clients/customers I've encountered like to play a round a bit, trying to bring down the price, these are usually the opportunistic ones and those who are not really sure what to do. While there are clients who has a fixed price, mostly a low one though but in my experience, those who have a fixed price are more reliable customers.



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amelia88

The absurd counter offers drive me nuts! I often wonder if some customers would act this way if they’d ever tried to run their own business before. Maybe it sounds like I’m throwing away good business but if someone gives me an absurd offer I usually end up just telling them no and leaving it at that. Customers like that aren’t worth the effort IMO.



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Everett

Usually these types of people are never ever satisfied with the work you provide them. They will haggle, you will counter haggle, and then agree on a price. After you complete the work, then the buyer will not like it. Happens all the time to freelancers who take those haggle offers. I think it is a scam to be honest, the buyer is trying to get a product/service for free and making you think your work is not of quality or for whatever reason the buyer rejects the end product.



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rlpzbeermoney

It's a mixed bag. What if the customer really isn't satisfied with the service rendered? I'm not dismissing the fact that it doesn't happen. Most freelancers are abused this way. I guess the only real way to get out of it is being really picky with your clients. I know in this day and age we don't get to choose them, but at least try to. Your efforts will be wasted if you don't.



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amelia88

I think to me it ultimately comes down to the manner in which they bring something up - to me I feel like it's fairly evident when someone legitimately has something they want changed, or they're just being ridiculously picky and they'll behave in the same manner no matter what freelancer is doing the work.



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Kakashi2020

One thing a writer could do is to cut through the chase and stand his ground on a reasonable price. But what usually happens is the client would agree but will always have some revisions and add-ons and would not agree on paying additional charges. In said cases the writer really doesn't have a choice but to give in to the demands. So it's really about getting the right kind of client, it's always a hit and miss until the writer collects a pool of regular good paying clients.



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superlicca

I agree that some customers don't really know what should it take or what you need to do to give what they want. Your tips on how to respond to obnoxious negotiation tactics are appropriate. I believe that by helping them understand the things you need to do for their business, you will have a smooth flow of negotiation with the clients.



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Barida

Having that talk with them before you start anything is the best way to go about things. I always ensure that the things that I do for my clients are things we agreed upon. The reason is to avoid any form of issues in the future.



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overcast

I have had hard time dealing with salesmanship most of the time with the buying. You can see that those salesman who ask for "and anything else". That kind of puts you into the loop where you feel like you should buy more. So you always have to avoid things such as that. I can understand food courts asking this but most of the grocery shops asking this makes me uncomfortable. So I think some tricks are harder to deal with as well.



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jetselle

I agree. As a merchant, you will confront different sorts of purchaser strategies. Some are more typical than others and some are more testing than others. Venders who plan for these kinds of situations are more averse to give in amid arrangements. Purchasers have been molded to react in specifics ways. Your activity is to reveal what's extremely going on and react suitably.



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ajahcuizon

Every businessman will have a chance to experience a certain customer that will test his patience when it comes to closing or selling a product. But aside from having a product sold, you should also take that it could be a good way to establish trusr between your company and your customer, which is a very good thing.



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Barida

Contract is everything when you are doing a business and the thing about getting to this point is that you are going to enjoy some good time along the line when the client will try to cheat you. I always feel that the best way to ensure that things work better is to keep the paper signed. Do not be swayed by the good beginning for things may start turning to worse along the line.



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overcast

I have to agree on the point of the contract. I have seen that some of the online sites make use of the contract options. Like say hellosign and docusign etc. Those options allows online document signed which are legally bind. So it's helpful to make use of the negotiation options in that case. I'd recommend making use of the documents such as that.



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vinaya

In the world wide web, it is actually difficult to make people follow your contract. I once was denied the payment. The contract was to design a website. I build a website for the client based on his requirement. However, after I delivered the job he rejected and said that was not what he was expecting.



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overcast

I think upwork and the fiverr take the money from seller before going ahead. So that way they can make sure to work around with the buyers too. I have rarely seen that go wrong. I have noticed mostly that some of the time the buyers seems to be working with the different mindset and if they don't want to pay they will find the excuse.



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theresajane

You have a point and I have to agree with you. Nothing is safer and more secured than having a contract to protect you from abusive clients.



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jaymish2

I think we all seems to forget that people will always try to pay less for something. That's is why sales are always successful. People like to feel like they are getting a deal.What I always do is quote my client a higher price, with the minimum price in mind. I highlight the services he/she will be getting. When we are negotiating and we reach my minimum price, the client feels like they are getting a good deal.I also don't agree to any extra terms that the client suggest that I think are disadvantageous to me. I know how much value I'm giving my client.



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Everett

Yes, people will always strive to get a lower price. What is funny to me, is "sales" prices. Those prices are not actually a "sale" price, because the item is so heavily marked up. For instance, the store could have got that item for about $4, but it is selling it for about $20, and if it goes on "sale", they will be putting the price at about $12-9. So essentially you are not getting a sale price but a lower price.. I would buy from the manufacturer if I could. Think about all the savings without store overhead. 5 obnoxious negotiation tactics from buyers and how you should respond



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rlpzbeermoney

Yes in this economy, people are really "value oriented" when it comes to products and services. But that is also why we should continue to push quality services. If a service is of high quality, the price should also reflect that. And sometimes the client might not understand that side of things and that is where things get complicated.



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theresajane

I totally agree with you. Actually, as all of us have been customers of different products and services, we always look for best deals that will make us save more. However, we should always put to mind that we are also dealing with people who struggle to live and work to survive.

Everything that you have written is very helpful and I will make sure that I will put that to mind, especially the emphasis of contract.



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ajahcuizon

I agree with you. Every one of us strive to earn a living, that's why people should understand that we should respect each other's needs. Customers tend to ask discounts from business owners without considering their places. They should also think that when they are asking for a discount that is too much to handle, they should still think the needs of the business to stay alive. They should not take advantage of their rights as a customer.



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ajahcuizon

Negotiating with customers might be a little tricky and needs a lot of patience. I agree that it is normal for people to ask for a lower price. But we should stand on our right to charhe what we deserve. I think the best way into this is to have a good and pleasant salestalk. Like you're selling a product for an amount higher than the original amount, then the customer asked for a lower price, you can give them discounts for your service without having to adjust the original price.



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Martinsx1

The only silly trick these buyers uses that annoys me so much is pretending to forget what they initially agreed to, and trying to impose on you what you never wanted to transact.

This is actually the reason why I try to keep screen shot of all my business negotiations should there be need for further clarification in the future.



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ajahcuizon

That is why keeping records of your transactions is very important as you can use it as your evidence that you both agreed on same terms. Customers will likely to use this advantage if they knew that they could use this against you. A contract will always be the most effective way to make all your transactions in one place and set it as a legal approval of your transaction.



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HappyLady

I think you hit the nail on the head when you said people do not know or understand what they are asking for. Your point about the contract made me think. I have got caught out trying to do things for friends. One guy wanted an entire website for £30.00. He was really upset when I said I had done all I could do for the price. (set the thing up with basic information.) It was an off the peg one anyway, so not so hard for him to take over.) I know how much this person charges for their own services so I was not going to back down. It makes sense to be clear from the start that the contract is not negotiable at all. The thing is, if you have no clue about SEO you cannot negotiate. You don't understand what you are negotiating about. Even time-scales and things like that come into the equation, so from the point of view of the buyer, I think I would rather have a package that says you will do x, y and z and stick to that. You have a living to make and a skill to offer, and it is never wise to undercut the other person by too much.



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rlpzbeermoney

This is where a contract comes into play. I don't think verbal agreement is scam proof nowadays. People want safety, both the freelancer and the customer. Though, I don't know how it works in an online setting.



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Corzhens

In my experience with a retail business it is common for wise buyers to have researched on the price of the item that they plan to buy. When I discern that he is a wise buyer then I become amiable with the negotiations and more often I give a big discount. But when the buyer is obviously guessing as if posing a challenge with the impossible price then I stand firm on my quoted price.



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overcast

I think retail for the vegetables and the grocery items can be working well. Most of the times the amount of the effort required on the selling are less for the grocery. You can see people immediately doing it. And it can be good enough for the people to give that. I guess depending on how you manage it'd be lot different.



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stbrians

People are just people. It does not matter the location but behave in a similar manner. As I read through your article I could identify exactly how customers in my area behave. It is as if you were talking more of offline customers rather than online.



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NesMarcos

I could not disagree with you on this anymore. It definitely does not depend on the location where the person is from but it honestly matters on how one behaves.



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vinaya

I can relate to most of the points shared by the OP. Once a buyer bought a $20 SEO service. He was expecting #1 with that service. Before I struct the deal, I had clearly mentioned that no one can guarantee you #1 spot, what seo service can actually do is increase your chances of getting #1 or on the first page for that matter.
Sometimes buyer reject what they have actually agreed. It is very frustrating to fight a batter for payment after you have delivered your job.



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NesMarcos

This is a well shared post, indeed! I would definitely agree with, people throw temper tantrums when they do not get what they want. Even how many times we try to explain to them how it goes and what it does, still we can't please everybody. If they don't talk to you then, move on.



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Martinsx1

Sometimes, I keep asking myself if I'm their parents for them to be throwing temper tantrums simply because they don't agree with the price of what they actually want to use.

But it's never a good thing to join them in their temper tantrums because they are the ones going to pay you. Just find a way to appease them and get them to deal with you.



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NesMarcos

That is absolutely agreeable. No matter what we do and what we say, they are the ones really going to pay. However, sometimes even one is trying to find ways to appease them, still no one can please everybody all the time. Just keep in mind, business is business so better do the best you can to shoot that deal!



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NesMarcos

They will "forget" what they agreed to, is always a noted point. In any negotiations, contract should always be the top most priority because it will definitely save you from having unwanted dealings in the long run. Needless to say, following what is indicated in the contract is a must.



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amelia88

So often we hear the old saying “the customer is always right” but a lot of the time they’re not! I understand wanting to ensure your customers are happy but I also think some people are never happy.



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NesMarcos

That is indeed a good point! 'Customer is always right' is always being took advantage by some abusive customers. Giving a topmost satisfaction is the best but we also need to make sure that business is not being abused because we want to satisfy the customers.



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amelia88

That's right - it tends to be a leverage tactic used by a lot of customers. I've worked in customer service roles basically my whole life, since I was a teenager, and I've seen some absolutely awful behavior that some customers have shown. It can be almost embarrassing watching some of them behave at times. Mutual respect is important but it does have to go both ways!



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NesMarcos

That's true! Some customers are really abusive and some of them make it to a point that a customer service rep is degraded for their 'likes' to be possible. Sometimes, I cannot blame some customer service rep losing respect to some customers because of this leverage tactic used by abusive customers.



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theresajane

I agree with you. That has been the rule of people in business through the years. But the sad truth is, customers money is what makes the business going, thus, making them (the customers) feel superior over you who's working all day just to earn a living.



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anyone01

At whatever point you arrange, recollect that it pays to remain quiet, to never demonstrate that a ridiculously low counter-offer or an irritating slowing down strategy has disturbed you. Utilize your poise to terrify the individual who is consulting with you. What's more, on the off chance that he or she winds up irate or annoyed, don't take the draw to strike back. Simply take heart. You've snatched the enthusiastic preferred standpoint in the circumstance presently go finalize that negotiations.



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centurion

These are the bad methods or things of any one thing and forget the matter what they had promised within the website or what they had promised with his product description? I have been using internet for more than 15 years and I got huge and huge cheat before up to 2006. Once a day I had lost $720(xcix) earning with a website by work and certainly the total website went to vanish with the total users balance. But now a day there have huge and huge matters are available so that any body can check the validity of the website and any body cna check the website truth matter or within freelancing website we cna check the buyer reputation before taking any work order.

Thanks
Centurion



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Martinsx1

Haha, when they throw tantrums, I just laugh over it because they are just trying to get me to sell below what I'm supposed to sell. But as long as I'm not offering at a very high price, I would try to calm them down and convince the buyer that the price is good for the product or service per say.



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amelia88

I think that's what it comes down to. I totally understand when someone wants to negotiate a price, but if they are literally just acting like a child or being rude/disrespectful that's where I draw the line. I'm always open to price discussion but I'm not going to be walked over or treated badly and then expected to be nice!



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Jeane

What I hate most is when customers attempt to have you change the terms of the contract for some reason. In my opinion if you've already agreed on specific terms with someone they shouldn't attempt to have those terms changed because they think maybe they are paying more for a service or want you to do more than what the contract stipulates.

I had to end such a contract once but I suppose instead of terminating the contract I should have stood my ground, told the customer, "nothing changes."

That is unless they were willing to pay for the service that was being provided.



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nrnlss

I like this article, it very useful and educational. And I agree how costumers sometimes over use their power and sometimes they put the blame on us when in fact the blame is on them.



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