Negotiating Like a Boss
Whether we negotiate a turn on the road, which coffee flavour to purchase or to do away with something we cant afford and purchase something else, we are always negotiating. Sometimes with other people, often with ourselves. Learning some negotiation techniques though can help excel sales people, and help customers feel more satisfied with their purchases. We have some simple tips below.
1. Talk to the right people
There is nothing more disappointing than making a deal with someone only to discover that they are not the final decision-maker. Your salespeople can be trained to reach decision-makers early in the sales process, which will help reduce the chance of this happening.
2. Let the prospect take charge.
If you have presented the terms of your deal and the prospect is interested in negotiating them, let’s start the conversation. Salespeople often try to be accommodating by offering a discount or adjustment before prospects even open their mouths. You don’t know what they will say. It pays to listen before you speak, just like in other sales areas.
3. Understand the pain points
Prospects who are able to understand their pain will be more motivated and less likely to resist the price.
Sales professionals who are skilled in the real world can quickly identify pain and feelings of customers and bring them to their attention. They also quantify the financial and emotional costs to the prospect.
A positive environment for negotiation can be created when the salesperson puts herself in the shoes and sees the whole picture. It’s easier for her to understand the customer’s needs, strengths and weaknesses.
Often, the prospect’s stated objection doesn’t address the actual issue. However, it does point to an underlying problem. It is impossible to overcome objections you don’t understand, so it’s crucial to identify the true concern.
4. Build the relationship
When they are negotiating with a trusted partner, buyers are less likely to play hardball.
To reduce friction in negotiations later, teach your sales reps how to build trust and understand customers’ feelings early on in the sales process. The sales professional must be strategic and keep the focus on the offer.
5. Quantify the value
Prospective clients are more likely to accept a solution if they understand its value. Your salespeople should be able to identify and quantify the value of your solution in order to differentiate it from the competition.
This can be achieved using a variety of questioning strategies, including the 3-deep strategy.
6. Know your bottom line
Sometimes, the process of negotiation can be eliminated by following the four steps.
Your reps should be able to negotiate if the sale goes into negotiation. They should know in advance how low they can go while still achieving a win-win outcome for everyone. They won’t regret making promises that they make in the heat of the moment.
The way you structure your sales compensation plan can help reps avoid price concessions.
7. Keep calm and act like a partner
Your salespeople should be taught to remain calm, to stand firm and to maintain a partnership approach, even when prospects take an antagonistic stance. The goal is to build long-lasting relationships that will benefit both sides.
A potential customer should be viewed as a partner in a negotiation. This psychologically puts both parties on the same team and increases confidence in sales professionals’ negotiation.
It shifts the mindset and creates a space for communication that is more based on agreement than on desperate acts of winning.
8. Listen to what the prospect really wants
Sometimes the other side will ask for a price reduction when they are really looking for more value and less risk. To find the root cause of the prospect’s hesitation, coach them to ask probing questions.
9. Build trust and value
Although price is the most common item to be negotiated in a contract it is not the only way you can achieve a win-win result.
Teach your reps to consider other options such as:
- Start with a smaller commitment to build trust
- To lower the price of the package, you can take something out.
- Offering more favorable terms for payment
Sales reps often find that prospects will concede to their offer after other solutions have been offered. They feel it is their duty to try to get the best possible price.
10. Be prepared to say no and walk away
Even the most skilled salespersons can sometimes go wrong. If prospects make unreasonable demands or refuse to budge, it might be time to walk way from the negotiation. If you train your sales team more also, they will be less likely to walk away without a sale.
Many times, a prospect will be motivated to accept a better deal if they are prepared to walk away. It can also mean that the prospect avoids entering into a situation they will regret later.
Sales Negotiation is a required skill these days as the competition tightens and online purchases flood the market. Learning more about sales negotiation will help your team to produce better results in less time. Areas they could learn more on are “Value Added Selling’, “Consultative Selling Skills“, “Solution Selling“, “Body Language” and many other sales training forms.