Go Flash Go!!

Published on February 2, 2003

In the movie Flash, a young boy was given a horse named Flash by his father who left to work on the high seas. The boy lived with his grandmother who dies when he is roughly 10 years old. To give his grandmother a proper funeral, the cost is $500.

The only way this young man can pay for the funeral is if he sells his prize possession, Flash.

The boy goes to the ranch of a big business tycoon and asks if he wants to buy his horse for $500. Sensing a deal, the business owner offers $350. The boy, staring down the possibility of not getting anything at all at a time when he desperately needs money, calmly responds to the tycoon by saying the price is $500.

The tycoon immediately throws the strong arm negotiating tactic at the boy by saying the horse is only worth $350, turns his back to the boy and starts walking away. What does the boy do? He does what most salespeople fail to do. He simply turns his horse around and starts walking away himself, forcing the tycoon to turn around and finally agree to the price of $500.

What happened in this negotiation? First, the boy was fully aware of what he needed,$500 and not a penny less. How strong is your vision of what you need in the deal you are negotiating? What’s your walk away point? If you don’t have one, any price will do.

Secondly, when the tycoon told the boy $500 was too much and he was offering $350, the boy simply restated his price of $500. He did not defend his price. He simply restated. How many times have you seen salespeople start defending their price when the customer says its too high. Once you do this, you automatically reduce your negotiating power. This is not about defending your value. It is about stating with confidence the value your solution is worth.

Third, the boy did not let emotion get in the way of his negotiating strategy. When the tycoon tried to instill the fear of loss into the boy, the young man simply decided to leave. As a result, he transferred the fear of loss right back onto the shoulders of the Tycoon, especially when the tycoon learned that Flash beat one of his horses by a mile in a recent race.

This movie scene is a classic negotiation. Next time you need to negotiate your price, remember this story. If a 10-year old can stand up to a business tycoon and get a fair price, you can do the same when it comes to selling your products and services! All it takes is confidence in the value and outcomes you are offering your customer.

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