I’m sorry we can’t make a deal. Please don’t heckle me.
As a self-employed individual, I’ve closed a lot of deals. Seven years worth, in fact. Enough to make me a thousandaire. But I’ve lost a lot more than I’ve won, something that’s expected in business.
What isn’t expected, however, are the rare occasions when a prospective buyer ridicules me for not meeting his terms. It usually happens like this: Buyer probes, likes what he sees, and then starts asking questions. We talk. I name my final price. He doesn’t like my final price.
But instead of walking away, like most sane buyers do, this buyer hangs around, and suddenly decides he no longer likes the free market.
Specifically, he starts heckling me. Mocking me. Making sarcastic remarks like, “Good luck with that.” Or worse, how to run my business—as if he’s the only one who knows how to run a solvent company for seven years. (Amazingly, this person even thinks insults will help them get their way in life.)
Whenever someone does this, it confirms several truths. He really likes my product. He knows it’s better than the alternatives he’s already explored. And more importantly, he’s not someone I want to work with.
In the handful of times this has happened to me, I’ve found the best way to diffuse the situation is to thank the individual for considering your services, and wish him genuine success in finding a better fit. Then decline all subsequent correspondence. For good.
Obviously, it’s important to remember these truths when the tables are turned—when you are the prospective buyer. In short, if you really like something but it’s outside your budget, by all means, politely ask if the price is negotiable. If so, try and work a deal. If not, confidently move on and keep looking.
I promise you’ll find something that suits your needs.