By John Holland, Chief Content Officer, CustomerCentric Selling® – The Sales Training Company

Image courtesy of Winnond at


Non-Key Players often ask sellers for “best and final” pricing. If a number is quoted, sellers cede control as well as margins. In some cases they meet later with decision makers only to find the starting point for further negotiation is the “best and final” figure quoted. Any further discounting means it wasn’t your best price. Once you start down that road, it’s a slippery slope.

Before giving a best and final number, a question can help keep sellers from getting backed into a corner:  Am I the vendor of choice, and is price the only remaining obstacle to doing business?

Common answers and suggested responses:

  • NoIt looks as though you have more work to do in making a decision. Why don’t we leave price as an open item. If and when you decide you would like to do business, I can bring my manager to meet with (the decision maker) and you to see if we can come to terms.
  • YesCan you schedule a meeting with (the decision maker) so that we can attempt to reach an agreement?

It takes some courage not to discount if the buyer’s response is:  No. That said, if you aren’t the vendor of choice, you run the risk of putting a low-ball number on the street that probably won’t get you the business and has the potential to cause you problems in future transactions. If you are the vendor of choice, the buyer will come back to you.