Negotiation Tactics

Fred Herman: A Masterclass in Sales Tactics

Fred Herman, a top sales performer, showcased his exceptional sales skills when he sold an ashtray to the legendary Johnny Carson. This story serves as a prime example of how top salespeople use the tactic of getting the customer to name their price, and then either closing the deal or using that number as a starting point for negotiation.

The Art of Getting the Customer to Name Their Price

During a live television show, Fred Herman approached Johnny Carson with an ashtray in hand. Instead of stating a price, he cleverly asked Carson, “What would you be willing to pay for this ashtray?” By doing so, Herman put the ball in Carson’s court, allowing him to name a price that he felt comfortable with.

Carson responded with a price of $20. This was the perfect opportunity for Herman to either close the deal or use that number as a starting point for negotiation. In this case, Herman chose to close the deal, making an instant sale.

Overcoming Customer Objections and Closing Deals

Fred Herman’s success in selling the ashtray to Johnny Carson wasn’t just due to his ability to get the customer to name their price. It was also a result of his prowess in overcoming customer objections and closing deals. Here are some additional tips to help you do the same:

  1. Listen to the customer’s concerns: Before you can address any objections, you need to understand the customer’s concerns. Listen carefully to their issues and ask questions to clarify any misunderstandings.
  2. Empathize with the customer: Show the customer that you understand their concerns by empathizing with them. This helps to build trust and rapport, making it more likely that they will be open to your suggestions.
  3. Provide solutions: Once you understand the customer’s concerns, offer solutions that address those issues. Be prepared to provide alternative options if the customer isn’t satisfied with your initial proposal.
  4. Highlight the benefits: Emphasize the value and benefits that the customer will receive from the product or service. This can help to shift their focus from the price or any other concerns they may have.
  5. Create a sense of urgency: Encourage the customer to make a decision by creating a sense of urgency. This can be done through limited-time offers, exclusive deals, or by highlighting the potential consequences of not making a purchase.
  6. Be confident: Confidence is key when it comes to closing deals. Be assertive in your approach and believe in the value of the product or service you are offering.
  7. Know when to walk away: Sometimes, despite your best efforts, a customer may not be ready to make a purchase. Recognize when it’s time to walk away and focus your efforts on other potential clients.

By mastering the art of getting the customer to name their price and employing these additional tips, you too can overcome customer objections and close deals like a top sales performer.

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