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Why I never give a time limit to interested buyers

Labeled as opinion in General Domain Discussion started by Brandroot, Oct 14, 2016.

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  1. Coral Cove

    Coral Cove Know your brand like the back of your hand. PRO

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    I recently had this discussion with a seller when he asked me to give an interested buyer a firm time limit to buy at his counteroffer price.

    It’s rare that I give a time limit on a domain offer or counteroffers. And the few times that I have is because the sale has advanced for days and has dragged out for far too long, but even in these few times the language that I use is very subtle and somewhat flexible.

    Here are a few reasons why I don’t feel this tactic works:
    • A time limit can easily come across as aggressive and cause the buyer to put up his defense, possibly ending the discussion altogether.
    • It’s not easy to come across as friendly and trusting when you put up a timer.
    • Our job is to relax the prospect so they feel fully confident and comfortable in moving forward. A time limit only adds pressure and we all respond differently to pressure, not very often in a good way.
    • It’s not always sincere. I’ve purchased many domains long after their time limit, at the offer they said would expire. Yes, I did purchase but certainly not because of the timer, which was no object because I knew the game, but many buyers don’t. How will my buyers react to another time limit set on a future domain if I didn’t honor the first? I certainly lost some of my credibility. At that point it just sounds like an empty threat coming from a pushy salesman. I want to be a businessman that stands behind the quality of the product and sell it on its own merits, not on some external force.
    • When I do give my rare time limit, I provide a real reason (which is very important and has closed many sales). I use language along the lines of, “As per our policy I am unable to keep this offer open much longer. We would have to restart the negotiation process.” And maybe follow up on a reason why the price may be increased and the previous offer not possible.
    I wanted to share one more thing, a bit unrelated. A question came up at Namescon this year:

    “Is there a way to counteroffer without sounding too firm on the counter price but also not sounding too flexible on it either?”

    To which the panelist simply said, “no, not really.”

    I often find myself in a situation where I don’t want to scare the buyer away with a firm counteroffer but also want to sound firm enough that perhaps they’ll bite. There’s a difference between the following responses:

    “It looks like the best we can do is $2500 on this name.”

    And

    “It looks like we would be able to do $2500 on this name.”

    I use one of these two sentences often in my responses to offers. How I choose which one to use depends on the language of the interested buyer, the flexibility of the seller and the stage of the sale progression. “It looks like we would be able to do $2500 on this name,” conveys a sense of openness and is a great way to send a counteroffer without sounding closed to a possible counter. It has worked many times for me and has gone both way (receiving a counter or closing the sale).

    I understand we all have our own strategies; I just wanted to share a couple of mine for anyway interested. Take it with a grain of salt.

    It's gonna be great,
    Michael Rader
    Founder at Brandroot
     
    The views expressed on this page by users and staff are their own, not those of NamePros.
  2. Bernard93

    Bernard93 Established Member

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    Good points! They'll definitely be of use:)
     
  3. Adam27

    Adam27 GreenJobs.com VIP

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  4. Nappy Bunch

    Nappy Bunch Top Member VIP

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    I always put deadlines on an 'offer' price as it adds some urgency to the offer and gives the idea that the buyer would need to act quick or miss out on potential savings.

    Its a proven technique in good quality copy-writing as well.
     
  5. Coral Cove

    Coral Cove Know your brand like the back of your hand. PRO

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    Yes, exactly. I understand why it is used, which is why I explained why I don't use this. "Adding urgency" can backfire in a lot of ways.
     
  6. disaac81

    disaac81 Top Member VIP

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    You have the time to post this but yet still waste time with your seller sign up form on BrandRoot. You never respond, which is a sign of a poorly run business that could not care less about anyone.
     
  7. DomainVP

    DomainVP Domain Expert VIP

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    One must master the sales process before setting deadlines, otherwise it will backfire and make you sound desperate.

    There should always be a call to action and a sense of urgency with every communication you send.

    If there isn't, then one should go back to the drawing board and come up with a new delivery for their sales approach.

    As with all domain sales the name matters as well, but a good sales pitch can make the difference between having a buyer on the fence and counting hundred dollar bills.

    Good luck all.
     
  8. Coral Cove

    Coral Cove Know your brand like the back of your hand. PRO

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    Wow, that's quite the assumption. The sign up form is not a sign up form, it's an application. We aren't responding currently because we are not currently taking on new sellers. If market control is a sign of a poorly run business I'm not sure why Brandroot has been so successful. We are very careful and deliberate about our decisions. We don't accept every seller because we typically get the garbage domains submitted to us that are rejected at other marketplaces. If you're interested in selling your domains exclusively with Brandroot, pm me.
     
  9. disaac81

    disaac81 Top Member VIP

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    Thanks for the reply. I understand you want to be careful with the numbers and selection of sellers names, but maybe it might be useful to at least get back to the applicant with an email somewhere down the line to update the status of the application.

    ON a positive note, I enjoyed the original post, thanks for sharing.
     
  10. briguy

    briguy Guru In Remission! VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    I come across a few "Act now..other parties interested" ..which most times just turn me off.

    Like your approach..thanks
     
  11. biggie

    biggie Top Member VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    when someone contacts me, i don't give time limits either.


    why?

    because i think about the time, when no one seemed interested.


    imo....
     
  12. DnFolk

    DnFolk Top Member VIP

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    even i am waiting for the response on application, there hasnt been any reply, is there a way through which i can join BR as a seller ?
     
  13. Coral Cove

    Coral Cove Know your brand like the back of your hand. PRO

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    I agree. This is another sales approach that reeks of desperation.
     
  14. Haykay2005

    Haykay2005 Top Member VIP

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    Good points
     
  15. AndyM

    AndyM Web development services, visit KingdomDesign.com VIP Trusted Contest Holder

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    Totally agree with you here. I've had a couple domainers give me a time limit on here and I've just walked away as they do come across so aggressive. It's not in my nature so I won't deal with people who are.

    Next time I will be asking why they're putting a time limit on the deal.
     
  16. Coral Cove

    Coral Cove Know your brand like the back of your hand. PRO

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    Since it's an act of urgency, might even consider using their time limit against them by going even lower. "Ok, I understand. If I have only 24 hours then I can offer you $300 less, otherwise I'll pay you in a couple weeks." In my experience nobody honors their time limits anyway.
     
  17. trelgor

    trelgor Established Member

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    Thanks for a thoughtful post. My only issues with this reasoning are;

    * If you discount your name and don't set a time limit, it is obvious that the name was priced too high to begin with, which would lead to a lot of negative stuff as described. Trust, credibility, and all that.

    * Sales people are aggressive. It's their job. Acting otherwise would smell funny. (Aggressive does not mean "pain in the ass", which is also a common trait).

    To me setting a time limit is just telling the interested party "look, I'll give you a discount, if you think it's a good offer you'll need to hurry up though".

    All discounts in real life have a time limit. I just think it would be weird if domains where an exception.

    This is not a dogmatic viewpoint though. If I knew I would net more never quoting time limits, I wouldn't.
     
  18. Bullock

    Bullock Established Member

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    I agree in the way that time limit is suitable, and credible, for a "current offert", of course at discounted price.
     
  19. nomand

    nomand Established Member

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    Thank you for the information. A time limit can be a motivation or not. It's a risk to limit the time of the offer.
     
  20. Coral Cove

    Coral Cove Know your brand like the back of your hand. PRO

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    To address your point:

    The domain isn't really discounted, it is negotiated. Similar to buying a home, you always make an offer, but that doesn't devalue the home. The owner either accepts, rejects or counters. While their counteroffer will likely include an expiration date, it is only so that the owner can accept an offer from someone else after that date; for legal reasons. As I mentioned, if a time limit is in place there needs to be a real reason, otherwise accept the offer and use communication strategies to close.

    Although, you are right, reducing the price can sometimes devalue the product, which is why I try not to alway negotiate on a domain. I recently sold a domain to a buyer who had expressed interest several times over the past few years. He made an offer and I rejected. I told him that the domain would likely see a price increase in the coming months when it is up for review. He bought right away.

    Sales people are aggressive, which is why I don't want to be labeled one. So far this month I've sold 34 domains, and non of them were under any form of duress.

    "look, I'll give you a discount, if you think it's a good offer you'll need to hurry up though".

    This statement may work some of the time but there's no meat for the prospect to chew on. It's weak and will often be ineffectual. We have to get him thinking. Every sales opportunity is a miniature marketing campaign. Pointing out the merits of the product is extremely important, but leading them up to those merits I believe is even more important - The why. They like the product, now get them to love it. I think of Apple's recent MacBook Pro ad. They mention their product for all but 5 seconds of the ad... and it's at the very end:

     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2016
  21. trelgor

    trelgor Established Member

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    Good to keep serious about every aspect of sales communication!

    I do think though that if you have a set price and lower it to make a sale - that is discounting - and should warrant some kind of unique terms to purchase at that price, to keep the product value. Read buy 3 get 1 free, or buy this graciously discounted name during this limited period of time.

    There probably aren't any rights or wrongs. And I agree that sometimes less is more in negotiations.

    When you know there is sincere interest a more subtle approach is probably preferred.

    About "aggressive". It is naturally a negative term as is. On the other hand you wouldn't want a salesman that doesn't actively find every way to close a deal, which to me is "aggressive" in this context.
     
  22. Rory Ivey

    Rory Ivey Top Member VIP

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    A time limit may only b necessary if you legitimately have more than one buyers with serious offers.
     
  23. Lysted

    Lysted Lysted.com Domains Buy - Sell - Connect - Manage

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    Would recommend giving time to the buyer to look around, nobody likes aggressiveness. People have to see the value in your name for them to come back, if the value or likeness is not there, then no discounts, timelines are going to bring them to you, rather it shows your desperation or you yourself do not know the price of the domain. E.g. If you listed a domain at $1500 and within 3 days you came down to $500, that does not give lot of confidence to the buyer about the 'value' of the domain.

    We are talking about a merchandise that has no real value/metric or price comparison tools. Only comparable tool is very similar names which may or may not be for sale. If the user has come to you by themselves, there is a good chance that they like the name. Now things are on your side. Now one thing you can do at this stage, do some research yourself. Consider yourself as a buyer of the name, and think of alternatives you can think. Check their availability, prices etc. However you may not know what 'exact' business purpose they are seeking the name for - you only have idea. YOU can get better idea by thinking 'where all this names can be used'. If you think that your name really does not have (m)any substitutes especially at a price closer to your price, then stick to your price. Research is very important.

    When a buyer starts looking for a name, it is an ever evolving process. The name they may be seeking may be totally different from what they were seeking months ago. That is the result of the diligence most buyers do. Keep in mind buyer is going to buy the name at the quoted price only if it is 'best fit' for their needs. If it is not the best fit or very close to it, then they will try to bring you down in price, and unreasonably. And that does not mean that you should sell at lower price because user wants to use it for purpose that you think is not the ideal/best use of your name. That is like 'wasting' a good name.

    Lastly, would recommend, 'know your name', 'know the potential of the name' - and price it reasonably. 'Know your customer' as much as you can. Good names having value, will take time, but will sell. Mathematically, considering 3% of the sales rate can keep you at breakeven or even profitable, you can afford to be wrong lot of the times, and you learn as you go. Lastly would like to mention, do not make any hard and fast rules. Every situation is different.

    Best luck in selling!
     
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2016

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