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September 15, 2010

Countering a lowballer

Just yesterday I was talking to a businessman who taught me what he tells prospective clients when they say can't afford his fee.

"What part of my services would you like me to eliminate?"

I've gotten this line from merchants -- maybe I'm looking to buy a piece of furniture or something pricey. I say I can't afford $300, and the merchant leads me to the $100 room. But I don't think I've ever used that line on someone else.

"And do you just say it flat out, with that tone?" I asked.

His eyes narrowed and he repeated the phrase, cool and firm.
"What. Part. Of. My. Services. Would. You. Like. Me. To. Eliminate."

"See, I would be nervous saying that to someone."

"Why would you be?"

I had no good answer. Our conversation moved on to different topics, but those words have stayed with me. And now, I hope, with you!

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