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Projecting, which is all too common for salespeople, will cost you dearly at the sales negotiation table.


A few years back, my wife and I bought our dream home. It was on a stretch of farmland—exactly what we’d always wanted. We both knew in our hearts that it would be the last home we ever bought. This was where we planned to spend the rest of our lives.

This house, however, had to be completely remodeled. The work was so extensive that the contractor estimated that it would take eighteen months before we could even move in.

Through the years, Carrie and I had remodeled eleven houses. Each time, we’d done the work on a tight budget and made sacrifices with want we wanted so we stayed within budget. This time, though, we had the budget to create the home that we wanted. We promised ourselves there would be no shortcuts and no compromises. We planned to do it right.

After months of work, we were finally finishing up the bathrooms, and it was time to order the glass doors for the showers. The representative for the glass company met us at the house. We carefully explained exactly what we wanted. He gathered measurements and took notes.

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The last stop was the bathroom in our master bedroom. He collected the measurements and started writing up the order. As he did, a worried look crossed his face, and he shook his head. Then he looked up said, “You know, all this custom work is going to be really expensive. Are you sure you don’t want to go with our standard doors? It will save you a ton of money.”

He clearly missed that the walls and floors of the newly remodeled bathroom had  freshly installed imported marble costing more than $30,000. Rather than up-selling and showing us even more options, he was negotiating down, projecting the size of his wallet on us instead of focusing on the size of ours.

Projecting, which is all too common for salespeople, will cost you dearly at the sales negotiation table. When you negotiate with the size of your wallet, you routinely apologize for your prices, give concessions without being asked, and decide for your buyers what they can afford.

About the author

Jeb Blount

Jeb Blount

Jeb Blount is one of the most sought-after and transformative speakers in the world…

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