Keith DeBoer

Are You Leaving Money on the Table?

By Keith DeBoer, Mar 23, 2016
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  2. Keith DeBoer

    Keith DeBoer BrandBucket Brand Ambassador PRO VIP

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    The challenge with negotiating is that I never really know if I did a good job. I may get what I think I want, and I try and do it without taking advantage of the other person. But, somehow, I often feel like I left something on the table that I shouldn't have. Or worse, that I may have taken more than my fair share. – @Hobi Michalec, Broker at Domain Holdings Group, Inc.

    Some people can’t sleep at night unless they’ve squeezed every dollar out of a domain deal. However, while maximizing profits is an important part of being a successful domainer, we’ve learned that leaving a few bucks behind in a deal can also be a worthwhile business strategy. Here are a few reasons to negotiate kindly.

    It’s not just an expression. A win-win is the natural outcome of a transaction that is both fair and equitable. The buyer and seller walk away feeling empowered because they have exchanged something useful and valuable at a fair price.

    Second Time Around
    It takes significant time and money to acquire a customer. It can be difficult to run a successful enterprise without repeat business. If we squeeze money out of a deal, then it becomes less likely that we will receive repeat business from that customer.

    Word of mouth is one of the cheapest and most effective forms of advertising. If we give our buyer a fair deal, then they’re more likely to tell their friends about us, so we'll profit again and again.

    The Slaughterhouse
    There is a saying in the stock market that pigs get rich, hogs get slaughtered. Profit is important, but we've got to be careful not to be greedy. Greed is not a sustainable business model.

    Feeling Groovy
    Last but not least, it feels good to give someone a fair deal. Making our customers happy makes us feel happy too. Life is about more than just dollars and cents.

    I certainly feel this way and many professionals, both inside and outside the domain name industry, do too. Here are some examples from successful negotiators:

    ”Sometimes I settle for less than I sought, but in most cases I still end up with what I want.”Donald Trump

    ”Who wants to be around someone who counts every last penny and never misses an opportunity to cash in? Those aren't the kind of people I want to be around and it's not the kind of relationship I want to have with a company.” Charlie O'Donnell, the sole Partner and Founder at Brooklyn Bridge Ventures

    ”Lots of confidence is the only way investors can break sales records or squeeze a name for its full potential, but these are premium names, the best of the best. When we’re talking about any other kind of name, especially ‘liquid’ [names], you will always be leaving potential money on the table, unless it’s an end user sale.”Josh E (@ikehook) of

    ”Leave the buck on the table. The goodwill and sense of fairness you build by doing so is worth infinitely more than that dollar.”Mike Figliuolo, Founder and Managing Director of thoughtLEADERS, LLC

    How does this philosophy work in real life? In September 2015, sold for $90,000 despite an offer from a second bidder for $100,000. Why did the domain owner sell for $10,000 less than she was offered? According to Hobi Michalec, who brokered that transaction, the bidder with the higher offer had been aggressive and difficult. Meanwhile, the buyer they closed with was genuine and professional, so the broker and seller chose to sell to the pleasant buyer even though his offer was lower than the other bidder. “Sometimes it’s not the guy who yells the loudest or pushes the hardest who wins the deal,” Michalec says of the sale. When it comes to negotiating deals, money isn’t everything.

    While it may seem counterintuitive to leave money on the table, it could actually be one of the smarter business decisions that we can make.

    The views expressed on this page by users and staff are their own, not those of NamePros.
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  5. Keith DeBoer

    About The Author — Keith DeBoer

    Keith DeBoer is a part-time, domain investor and the Brand Ambassador for BrandBucket. He's also a domain industry writer with published content at DNgeek, BrandBucket, DomainShane and NamePros. By day, he's a brand protection and Internet consultant.

    This is Keith DeBoer's 6th blog post on NamePros. View all blog posts

    Home Page:
  6. Comments (28)

  7. DomainPluto

    DomainPluto Dashawn R.

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    Great content my man! I have trouble with this too, happy to see you write a post on this! Great work!

    "Pigs get fed... Hogs get slaughtered"
  8. Ab Peter

    Ab Peter Active Member VIP

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    Awesome content on the ethics of domaining, after all is said and done, the heart should not be sold away.
    thanks @Keith DeBoer
  9. Haroon Basha

    Haroon Basha IZUQ.COM Gold Account VIP

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    It’s not just an expression. A win-win is the natural outcome of a transaction that is both fair and equitable. The buyer and seller walk away feeling empowered because they have exchanged something useful and valuable at a fair price."

    Truly golden words every buyer and seller should consider while trading.
  10. gsmith

    gsmith Established Member

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    Nice write up! Way to go...
  11. Candace

    Candace Broker at Starfire Holdings PRO Blue Account VIP

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    Well said. Thank you so very much. Learning.
  12. tweetsgonewild

    tweetsgonewild Active Member VIP

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    Just love how you wrote a great article as well as curated some of the finest quotes. Excellent!
  13. Keith DeBoer

    Keith DeBoer BrandBucket Brand Ambassador PRO VIP

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    Thanks for the comments everyone.

    This is one of lessons I am personally learning by watching and listening to the many successful people in our industry. I'm happy to pass it on for others to consider and apply in their own domain transactions as they see fit.

    As Hobi Michalec says we can never be sure we've achieved that perfect balance of profit and fairness but it something we can strive for. Cheers!
  14. Omar Negron

    Omar Negron Active Member VIP

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    Wow, great write up. Thank you.

    I highly agree with this..

  15. Asfas1000

    Asfas1000 Active Member VIP

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    Perfectly said Keith !
  16. ttfan

    ttfan Established Member

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    Very nicely written Keith!
  17. domainer111

    domainer111 Established Member ★★★★★★★★★★

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    Great read Keith thanks. Say you sold aQuirkyBrandable for say ... $3,000 on say BB.

    Now say this name became a massive hit. I mean massive like AirBnB or something. Nobody could ever take away that you came across that name or created it - and now it's a massive hit! i.e. non-monetary reward.

    I remember a domainer saying years ago "we domainers have to make up and market the names for the Internet..." or something along those lines ...
  18. Vinod R

    Vinod R Upgraded Member Gold Account

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    One of the Worst dreams of every domainer explained. :)
  19. Sumit Agrawal

    Sumit Agrawal Established Member

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    Perfectly sums it up. So apt in any business, keeping in mind the long term benefits of this approach.
  20. Bean

    Bean Established Member

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    I wholeheartedly agree with this! It's so much nicer and healthier when both parties are happy and there aren't any feelings of strain, awkwardness or negativity left hanging in the air. I have to say though that personally I really don't mind if someone gets every dollar out of a deal with me, I understand it's just business plus I'll usually just end negotiations if I feel the price is too high/low. But on my side, I always try to be fair, I'd rather cut my profits a little and have a happy buyer/seller who'll enjoy doing business with me again :)
  21. Shams

    Shams VIP

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    I recently left money on the table i have a high 4 figure deal on one my 4 letter domain. The domain originally listed on a brand selling site. The buyer offered me half of the listing price. Which i didn't accept. Even that price is still high enough for that category of the domain name.
  22. frank-germany

    frank-germany xpired domain search engine Gold Account VIP

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    you always leave money on the table

    I always sell to low
    ( I could have done better )

    and I always buy to high

    and f*ck he accept my offer


    read "secrets of power negotiations"
    by "Roger Dawson"

    and forget this win-win BS
  23. Domain Shane

    Domain Shane Active Member Staff PRO ICA Member VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    Nice article Keith. Leaving money on the table is just fine. As long as you don't leave it so often you have to buy a bigger table.
  24. Hobi Michalec

    Hobi Michalec Lumis Co-founder Lumis Staff PRO VIP

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    Thank you very much for your kind words! Whether or not you've left money on the table is often a question of considerable debate. If you're ever in the middle of negotiations and have any questions feel free to reach out. I'm always happy to help!
  25. Keith DeBoer

    Keith DeBoer BrandBucket Brand Ambassador PRO VIP

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    Everything in moderation my friend! :P
  26. Manage Info

    Manage Info Established Member

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    Very well said! Thanks for such a nice article and inspiring words.
  27. domainrz

    domainrz ... VIP

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    Thanks for the nice article Keith
  28. kawalsukhi

    kawalsukhi Active Member VIP

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    I learn a lot of things from this article MAN! Awesome!
  29. frank-germany

    frank-germany xpired domain search engine Gold Account VIP

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    Dealing with fellow domainers like here in this forum,
    definetely your approach is what we all would love to experience in a trade.

    But please be aware that end user sales are not like that.

    Nearly all of these end user sales have one fact in common:
    there is no repeat business
    and no further business relation at all.

    Its a hit or miss deal.

    You either squeeze it to the max
    or you will cry later.

    Its all about
    who of you is the better negotiator.
    Go and learn how to negotiate, or you will regret it.

    Personally I left so much money on that table,
    I could cry all day long.

    Thanks for your post.

  30. lifegoals

    lifegoals Established Member

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    True that Keith , thanks for sharing
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