Hi, it’s Ben Lai from Sales Ethos. Today I’m continuing on the series The Many Hats that Professional Salespeople Wear. In this topic we are going to talk about the negotiator and the mediator. Sales professionals are negotiators. When it comes time to closing the sale, you need to be thoroughly prepared for what you’re willing to give and what you’re going to ask for in return. People who are not so good at negotiation tend to give discounts easily without anything in return. And this is not the ideal scenario. So I’m going to give you three tips on how you can be more effective in negotiations in your sales process.
Sales Professionals Are Negotiators Tip #1: Plan Negotiations in Advance
My first tip for you is to plan in advance the negotiables. So thinking about what are the things that are important to the client and important to you but are low cost to provide from both ends. Price is usually the hardest one to negotiate on. The client wants a lower price, you want a higher price. So using those two criteria to negotiate is very difficult. You’re kind of at odds with each other.
However, there are certain things that you can ask for that may be easy for your client to provide.
For example, if you want a longer term commitment, and that is important to you as a company, you can ask them to commit to 12 months. And in return for that 12 months you can give them that discount that they’re asking for. Conversely, something that’s easy for the client to give, that you can ask for in exchange for whatever it is that your priority is, is giving referrals. If you make giving referrals as a condition of the sale, then that’s one thing that’s easy for them to do and is highly valuable for you. So you can use that as part of the negotiation.
Sales Professionals Are Negotiators Tip #2: Study and Learn from Professional Negotiators
The second step is to actually handle the negotiation process. This in and of itself requires a great deal of skill. Unfortunately, I can’t go into too much detail here. What I would suggest is that you look up one of the many books that are available on negotiation and learn the processes that they have learned in their professions so that you can apply it to your situation. There’s a lot of things that come into play including what we’ve discussed as well as self-image psychology. If you come into a negotiation, seeing yourself as a helpless puppy dog, it’s going to be very hard to ask for and to command a good price and a good arrangement with your clients.
Now before I go into the third point, just a quick offer to those of you who are in sales. If you want to improve your own personal skills or if you want to improve the results from your team, feel free to drop me a note for a complimentary consultation and we’ll explore some options for helping you out.
Sales Professionals Are Negotiators Tip #3: Always Look for Win-Win
Now, the third thing that you can do to be more effective at negotiation is to always look for a win-win outcome. This is the mindset of truly professional sales professionals. In the past, most people would think of a sale as a win-lose situation where you’re getting the better end of the deal and, “Ha, I got them. They’re the loser.” But nowadays in professional selling, our goal is to have a win-win situation. It’s a collaborative and symbiotic relationship that we have with our clients. Their success will lead to our success, and that’s the mindset that you need to have when you’re going into these negotiations.
Rather than trying to get as much as you can out of your vendors or your prospects, think win-win. How can we help them and ourselves benefit at the same time? The opposite of that is lose-win whereby we just give a discount and there the client is happy. But we lose our profit margins as a result.
So we need to be professional negotiators and mediators. The way to do that is to plan and define the negotiables to actually handle and be experts at the negotiation process. And then finally, we need to negotiate and win the win-win outcomes. My name is Ben Lai from Sales Ethos and remember that integrity plus skills equals success.
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Transcript by Rev.com