17 Tips To Improve Sales Negotiation Skills
“My father said: You must never try to make all the money that’s in a deal. Let the other fellow make some money too, because if you have a reputation for always making all the money, you won’t have many deals.” ~Getty, J. Paul
1. Create An Agreed Upon Agenda. Determine the following: What needs to be resolved? Who is involved? What are the major issues? What are the time frames?
2. Resist Committing Too Early. Do not lock in your pricing or commit to other items until everything is on the table and negotiated.
3. Resolve Any Major Issues Early. If the prospect has some major concern about your organization, it is best to uncover this early, so that it is not brought up at the end of the negotiation which will weaken your position and you’ll be tempted to give in to more concessions.
4. Determine What Can Be Shared. Determine the information you will disclose or not disclose with the prospect. Also, consider what types of information they are open to sharing and the information they are keeping from you.
5. Focus On Needs & Requirements. Don’t get caught up on the price alone. Ask to put price aside for a moment and address all other obstacles to find a solution.
6. Establish Value For Your Service or Product. Understand needs, challenges, goals, and then provide a solution.
7. Throw Your Ego Out The Window. If you view the negotiation as a personal victory or loss, your ego is involved and can make it difficult to remain objective during the negotiation process.
8. Buy Yourself Some Time If Needed. Be upfront, but if you can’t approve something yourself and you need a sales director to approve it for you, let the prospect know you need to check with your manager before making the change to the agreement.
9. Plan Ahead. Come to the table armed with where you are willing to give and where you simply can not make any changes.
10. Know When To Walk Away. You and your sales management team should have clear guidelines for what is profitable business and what is not. Be sure to know when you need to end the negotiation if it will be a loss to your company.
11. Be Patient. If you are in the middle of negotiations and significant decision are being made, don’t rush to finalize a decision in that meeting. Consider requesting a break to think it over and discuss with members on your sales team and schedule a follow up meeting.
12. Look At The Negotiation From Various Perspectives. Think about it from your prospects position and request the opinion of your sales manager or sales peers.
13. Make Sure You Are Talking To The Decision Maker. As sales professionals know, if you are not working with the decision maker, especially when it comes to negotiating the final deal, you are wasting your time.
14. Close Your Mouth. Learn to talk less and listen more. The more you listen and ask questions the better you will understand and be able to position your company effectively.
15. Provide Case Studies. If the prospective client has never worked with you before they may have some concerns. Bring written case studies of similar clients that your organization has helped. It will build credibility and help you initiate the partnership.
16. Remember To Give & Receive. If you are offering concession after concession without any commitments in return you are going to get run over in the negotiation. Remember that for each concession you make, there should be some commitment or concession made on the other side.
17. Be Optimistic, Confident & Positive. Expect more and receive more. Think big and aim high. It is easier to negotiate down, than up.