Why You Should ALWAYS Stand Firm On Your Walk Away Point In Sales

Written by Sean McPheat | Linkedin thumb

fold one's armsA couple of years ago, I witnessed a great example of negotiating in action, and it taught me a strong lesson.

I was on holiday in Turkey and looking around one of those colourful bazaars where everything known to man (and much unknown) is up for bartering.

A lady had seen this scarf that she fell in love with at first sight.

Of course, the stall-holder had noticed her interest and tried to force the item on her.

The young lady asked how much it was and was quoted 20 Euros.

She said no and offered 5 Euros.

The bartering started and continued back and forth until they were literally only 50 cents apart.

The stall-holder wouldn’t budge, neither would the woman.

So she walked away with her partner.

As she walked past I asked her why she walked away for the sake of 50 cents when it was obvious she wanted it so much.

She said that she had a figure in mind and she wasn’t going above that figure.

As they walked away, we heard a shout from behind us and the stall-holder ran up to the lady and her partner and said he would accept her offer.

She paid what she she wanted to pay and the man gave her the scarf.

This young lady in question won because she knew when she would honestly and truthfully, without any doubt or hesitation, walk away from the deal.

She knew her walk-away point.

When you are negotiating, do you sometimes go beyond the point you said was your ‘last resort’?

What message do you send to the other person if you do?

Naturally the message is that, even though you have said ‘here’s my limit’, they know you are open for more movement.

So, what lessons did I learn that day:

  • Be very clear in your own mind what your walk-away point is. In our experience, no one is ever happy when they go beyond their stopping point
  • Try to figure out what your customer’s walk-away point is. Though they may prefer your proposed solution to still having their problem unsolved, in any influence situation they will have other options. If you push them further, they may walk away.
  • Remember the saying that ‘Those who stand for nothing will fall for anything’. Don’t abandon your principles. When you feel like you’ll need to abandon them, that’s your walk-away point

The lesson I learned that day in Turkey has stuck with me.

I now know that I need to be very firm on my walk-away point with prospects.

Happy selling!


Sean McPheat

Sean McPheat
Managing Director

MTD Sales Training | Image courtesy of Big Stock Photo

450 sales questions free report

Originally published: 11 October, 2016

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