Leaving Money on the Table

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Marketers talk about leaving money on the table. This post isn’t about marketing.

If you aren’t hip to sales speak, you might not be familiar this this expression, so here’s a really quick explanation:

Hypothetical Dude has $500 burning a hole in his pocket. He goes someplace where people sell stuff. He doesn’t tell anyone about the money in his pocket, but they can see the hole and the smoke. They know the money is there, but they don’t know how much of it there it. Crazy Eddy loves the smell of pocket smoke, so he approaches Hypothetical Dude and prepares to make a deal.

[…fast forward through a lot of boring dialogue…]

HD decides to buy because he’s worried about scarring from the 3rd degree burn on his thigh. CE can tell the time is right, so he names a price – $100. When HD reaches in his pocket to pay, CE can see that HD was clearly prepared to pay more. If CE had named a higher price – $200, $300, maybe even up to the full $500 – HD would have paid up with no hesitation.

Crazy Eddy has just left money on the table. Money was available, but he didn’t take it.

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