You have conducted your analysis and presented your product. The sale is drawing near to the close, but first you must negotiate the terms of the agreement. How do you ensure that the deal is fair? How do you position yourself strongly without offending your prospect? Today I will share with you three keys to strike that balance.
Negotiations have transformed over the last few decades. Salespeople would often close a sale, then brag to their peers with a fist-pump saying “Got them!” This abhorrent attitude embodies the Win-Lose mentality. By contrast, “nice” people who dislike conflict (I’m one of them!) will have trouble asking for what they need, creating a Lose-Win arrangement. Neither is ideal for the long-term.
Win-Win is a mindset that will ensure that mutually beneficial deals are made, and that both parties are 100% happy. When a prospect asks for a discount, ask for something in return. You may request a larger order size, or longer commitment. Never give something away for nothing. Doing so will compromise your integrity, and you will lose the respect of your buyer.
Do your homework
Knowledge is power. Whoever holds the most knowledge will have the stronger bargaining position in the negotiation. Ensure that you know what value your product will bring to the client. Research your competitors’ products and prices. Understanding their company, stakeholders, and industry will all help you to negotiate strongly.
Preparing yourself for potential questions and stopping points is also a critical part of this process. By anticipating what the prospect will ask for, you will ensure that your responses are calm and collected. You will be seen as more professional and respected for your thoroughness.
Once you have prepared your responses, the next step is to run a “mental movie” of the negotiation. Imagine yourself in the meeting room feeling strong, answering the concerns with the utmost of clarity and confidence. Picture your client being pleased with your responses, and signing the deal. This will put your mind into the optimal state for the negotiation.
Be willing to walk away
As a natural flow-on from the Win-Win mindset, you must not resort to begging or desperation. Being willing to walk away demonstrates your personal values and integrity. If your client will not foreseeably derive enormous value from your product, say so. If the deal is not profitable for you, be willing to say “no” to the prospect. This mentality may be difficult when you really are desperate for the sale, but will save you dealing with clients that don’t appreciate you and aren’t making you money.
Sales negotiations must be Win-Win to be successful. You can achieve this by fostering the mindset and not giving anything away for nothing. Preparation is another major key, so make sure you thoroughly think through the negotiation. Finally, if both parties aren’t going to be 100% happy, be willing to walk away from the deal. Your strengthened integrity will win you more sales of the right type!
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Sales Ethos helps companies increase revenue through sales training in Melbourne. We achieve results through sales coaching, customer service training, sales management training, and sales process consulting. Ben Lai is a sales trainer and business coach in Melbourne, and offers public sales training courses in Melbourne.