- Explain product pricing rationale, ROI metrics in details before and after you quote the price. Look for body language clues to adjust your position. Practice numbers delivery with an orals coach. Have the buyer repeat the same back to you what they believe would be a good deal. It helps in case they forget at a later stage.
- Keep a buffer in the pricing to handle scope creep and unforeseen circumstances like (+15%). Let the client know of the buffer.
- Have a strategy to hold firm on pricing. Have your bargaining chips like throwing in more professional services, premium support, added training etc all available in your bag.
- Do it only once: Before you start the negotiations, get a promise from the prospect that we will NOT do the pricing discussion again after that one time. You only negotiate once and only with the decision makers in presence. Everything before that is list price.
- No suckers please: Make sure you are not being column foddered in the deal. That's a topic for a different time though.
With software sales, it can be hard to put a firm price point on the derived value. It's especially hard to quantify with NPVs even when you sell a hosted solution as it can take several things to fall in place for a client to see a return on investment. It's here that I see sellers starting to doubt their product capabilities, their own ability to convince the client (and themselves) of the derived value and that they don't have a rock bottom in mind. It's usually end of the quarter by the time the sale matures and then the procurement sharks squeeze startups into giving the software virtually for free. With practice and with anticipating the situation sellers can do better.