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Door in the Face Sales Strategy

        posted by , February 10, 2013

Why would a door-to-door sales person want a customer to slam a door in their face?

Door-in-the-face sales is modern sales technique that stems from the days of the traveling salesman. A salesman would knock on a door and make an outrageously expensive offer (e.g. $1000). Customers would sometimes literally slam the door in the saleman's face.

The salesman would knock again. He would dramatically lower his price (e.g. $10). Customers often jumped at the offer. It gives customers a feeling of victory in negotiations to get a dramatically lower price.

Door-in-the-face is still a common way to begin sales and negotiations. By starting with a outrageous offer, you help the other side to write their victory speech.

Examples: Door in the Face Negotiations

Sales:We want to take over and run your entire IT operations for you.
Customer: No, way.
Sales: Can we talk about process outsourcing?
Customer: Sure.

Used Car Sales
Sales: This car is $40,000
Customer: What!
Sales: We can talk, my manager might go as low as $35,000 if I ask her.

Daughter: Can I stay over night at Mark's house?
Dad: What!
Daughter: Can I at least go over for dinner?

Raising Capital
Entrepreneur: Can you lend me $200,000 for my business?
Friend: What!
Entrepreneur: Can you invest $5000 in my business for two years?

This article is a installment in the ongoing series of posts called how to win at sales.

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