The reason so many people want to be transactional and agree to a discount their price is that it eliminates one of the major areas of conflict in sales. If you agree to your prospective client’s price, then there is no conflict, you just say “yes” and you are off to the races.

While this approach eliminates a natural conflict that occurs in most major deals, it eliminates a lot more than that.

What You Are Losing

Being transactional eliminates any perception that you are a consultative salesperson or trusted advisor. A trusted advisor engages in the difficult conversation. They don’t fear it. Instead, they embrace it, knowing that they are demonstrating their value by tackling the difficult stuff many salespeople fear.

When you are transactional and competing on price, you eliminate the ability to differentiate your offering. You eliminate the perception of value. Price is an expression of value. The low price leaders in your space don’t compete on value. Lowest price is an absence of value. When you are transactional and reduce your price, you are projecting a lack of value and a lack of differentiation.

Being transactional, especially when it comes to pricing, eliminates the profit you need to execute the solution that you are selling your client. It eliminates the likelihood that you succeed for your client and, over time, it eliminates the possibility of retaining them as your client.

Know Pain, Know Gain

By engaging in the back and forth of a negotiation around price, you deal with the inherent conflict. You also gain the opportunity to turn a sometimes uncomfortable conversation into a collaboration around making the right investments, producing the right results, and choosing the right partner.

This conversation around price provides you with the opportunity to move from transactional to strategic partner—but only if you are willing to engage in what can sometimes feel like conflict.


Have you ever been tempted to reduce your price to avoid a conflict (or a difficult conversation)?

What do you risk losing by behaving transactionally, especially when it comes to price?

What do you gain by taking business at a markup that doesn’t serve your needs and puts your results at risk?

How do you turn a difficult conversation that is a natural conflict into a collaboration?

Sales 2014
Post by Anthony Iannarino on January 18, 2014
Anthony Iannarino
Anthony Iannarino is a writer, an author of four books on the modern sales approach, an international speaker, and an entrepreneur. Anthony posts here daily.
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