Sales Negotiation Traps that Make the Difference between Success and Failure
If you do not pay attention, sales negotiation traps can really trip you up. No one wants to lose an important sales negotiation, but unless you are either very experienced or very careful to avoid the most commonly reported sales negotiation traps, you may not emerge with what you want.
And it has always been our contention that when there is an uneven outcome or, worse, a clear loser, the sales negotiation has failed and will eventually have negative consequences for both sides — the buyer and the seller.
Five Sales Negotiation Traps to Avoid
Based upon over thirty years of sales negotiations and research across nineteen countries, here are five sales negotiation traps to avoid at all costs:
When you feel confident that you are fully prepared with pertinent information, it may make sense to lead with your preferred plan.A second part of this “first offer” sales negotiation trap is that it is easy to fall into the trap of accepting the other side’s offer too fast. In fact, it’s always best to pace yourself. As eager as you are to reach an agreement, hasty moves are almost always regretted.
Just think of how unsatisfying it can feel if you are the party whose offer has been too quickly accepted. You can’t help but wonder what you unnecessarily gave away. It’s all about the so-called subjective value — how you feel about the negotiation is often more important in the long term than the specific economic value.
There may be something even more to your advantage as the discussion unfolds.
Perhaps they have had a bad experience in the past where they didn’t get fully paid. Or their cash flow is a problem. Or there’s someone in procurement blocking any discussion of payments over time – it’s upfront now or else. Only when you fully understand the big picture, can you negotiate more effectively.
Your sales negotiation tactics should be different for each. For long-term negotiations to succeed, you need the other side to be successful for the duration of the agreement.
Think through your moves and their consequences thoroughly before you sign the deal.
You will need to listen carefully, question, and probe to fill in the blanks so you have maximum wiggle room to obtain a satisfactory two-sided agreement.
The Bottom Line
We negotiate every day — with our partner over who should do the dishes, with our teenager who wants to stay out after curfew, or with our boss for more money. Especially in a sales negotiation, practice, prepare, and avoid the common pitfalls above. Good luck!
To learn more about sales negotiations, download The 2 Most Common Sales Negotiation Tactics to Prepare For
Get key strategy, culture, and talent tools from industry experts that work
Assess how you stack up against leading organizations in areas matter most
Download published articles from experts to stay ahead of the competition
Review proven research-backed approaches to get aligned
Stay up to do date on the latest best practices that drive higher performance
Explore real world results for clients like you striving to create higher performance