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Three Immutable Truths About How Your Salespeople Should Respond to Rate Reduction Requests

Posted by Mark Trinkle on Fri, Jun 30, 2023

How should you coach your salespeople on how to respond to rate reduction requests from clients? Share this article or the information you've learned from it with them. These three immutable truths will help guide them to the best response. 

There are three immutable truths about rate reduction requests.

#1: It doesn’t cost a client anything to ask for a better deal. The worst thing that can happen to the prospect is that somebody will tell them no. It doesn’t cost anything to ask. In fact, you’ve probably been trained as a consumer to ask.

#2: Your attitude and your response to the request that your prospects and clients are making will have everything to do with setting the tone for future negotiations.

#3: Probably the most important of the three immutable truths; If you don’t move the conversation away from rate towards value, you will always be negotiating on rate for the rest of your relationship with that client.

Here’s the truth: What you win them with, is what you win them to. If you've used a very aggressive pricing model to win the business, then you have won them to that. And you have also created the expectation that is what the relationship is going to look like. You have created the reality for yourself that you’ll have them for a customer up until the point that somebody comes behind you that is just a little bit more aggressive. And they cut the rate. I mean, stop and think about that. The reality is what you win them with, how you win the business, is exactly what you’re winning them to.

So you have a decision to make on the front end, and you have a decision to make on the back end when they come and ask about these different requests. If you want to be good at responding, you need to be assertive. Why not use the word aggressive? It’s a fight to grow business. Don’t we need to be aggressive?

No, I want you to be assertive. The difference between an assertive and aggressive is emotion. Assertive people are under emotional control. Aggressive people are not, their emotions are in control of them. We want you to be assertive, standing up for what you believe is right. Asking all of the right questions, but with your emotions under control.

Number two is no surprise. You need to be skilled at asking questions and listening. We believe at Anthony Cole Training Group that the two most important attributes for a salesperson is that they are:

  • Great at asking questions
  • Great listeners
Let’s talk about listening for just a moment. Here’s the problem today. Most people (and particularly sales people) do not listen with the intent to understand. They listen with the intention or desire to interrupt.

Great sales people are great listeners.

Number three, you have to be able to sell value.  You must believe that your offering has value, that you have value, that your institution has value. You must believe it. You have to be willing to walk away if the prospect doesn’t believe it.


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    Anthony Cole Training Group has been working with financial firms for close to 30 years helping them become more effective in their markets and closing their sales opportunity gap.  ACTG has mastered the art of using science-based data and finely honed coaching strategies to help build effective sales teams.  Don’t miss our weekly sales management blog insights from our team of expert contributors.


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