5 Sales Negotiation Tactics to Reduce Pricing Pressure

sales negotiation tactics and strategies to reduce pricing pressure

While sales negotiations often feel unpredictable and challenging (especially for big and complex deals), our research over 3 years in 19 countries, across a range of industries, found 97% of the verbal sales negotiation tactics used globally followed a very, very predictable pattern that could be reduced to just two main propositions.

  • Alternative – The buyer’s alternative to you (most often your nearest competitor)
  • Price – Or offering something else for free or discounted

The best sales negotiation tactics to fight the competition and align with your buyer is to find ways to clearly differentiate your offering in the eyes of your customers in a way that addresses their most pressing issues and needs. Otherwise you will most likely find yourself in a situation where you are considered a commodity and in a price war where the lowest bidder typically wins. Remember what you learned in consultative selling training…value trumps price.

Here are 5 field-tested sales negotiation tactics to set your offering apart from the rest:

  1. Know your target clients. Define and agree upon who would benefit most from your solutions in terms of industry, geography, buying triggers, pain or gain, title and role.  Customers who “fit” better than others consistently produce higher revenue, greater profits, and more consistent client satisfaction scores.  This is a direct consequence of shorter sales cycles, less problems, more rewarding relationships, better results, and more referrals.  If you do not know how to identify your target clients, download The 4 Steps to Identify Your Target Clients to accelerate Growth.
  2. Be creative and forward-thinking. Go beyond the solution selling basics to show your customers that you are looking ahead at emerging problems in their industry and how your offerings can give them a competitive edge both now and in the future.  To do this, your sales force must be able to consistently understand what matters most to your clients, their company and their industry and strive to go above and beyond what your clients expect at every turn.  To stay ahead of your clients, subscribe to trade journals, engage in related forums and discussion groups, network at conferences and local events, keep track of the competition and above all else, ask your customers.
  3. Use what you have learned. Evaluate why you have won and lost deals in the past and use that knowledge to better differentiate yourself more strategically.  Be as specific, simple, and clear as possible about what sets you apart from your competition. Companies typically differentiate themselves in the areas of “better, faster, or cheaper.”  How do you set yourself apart in a way that matters to your target buyers?
  4. Consider the audience. Tailor your points of differentiation to the specific group you are addressing. Sales folks will have a different perspective than customer service or the CEO. Know what matters most to them and behave accordingly.
  5. Highlight cultural compatibility. When all else is similar, deals can be won by emphasizing how your company culture is symbiotic with your customer’s. What you value, they value. This can make the difference when competition is stiff.

To learn more about improving your sales negotiation skills, download The 2 Most Common Sales Negotiation Strategies to Prepare For

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