5 Sales Negotiation Traps to Avoid at All Costs

chasing money is one of many Sales Negotiation Traps

Sales Negotiation Traps that Make the Difference between Success and Failure
Sales negotiation traps can trip you up. No one wants to lose an important sales negotiation, but unless you are either very experienced or careful to avoid four common sales negotiation traps, you may emerge as less than a winner.  And it has always been our contention that when there is an uneven conclusion or, worse, a clear loser, the sales negotiation has failed and will eventually have negative consequences for both sides.

Five Sales Negotiation Traps to Avoid
Based upon over 30 years of sales negotiations and research across nineteen countries, here are five sales negotiation traps to avoid at all costs:

1. The” First Offer” Trap
It used to be accepted that you should never make the first offer during a sales negotiation because it would tip off the other side to what you really want or need. However, in our experience, making the first offer can give you an advantage in leading the subsequent talks. You present a framework for the discussion that follows.  Our recommendation?  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.

2. The Trap of Inflexibility
You should never enter a sales negotiation without a clear idea of what would be the best outcome for both parties.  And yet, sales negotiations are dynamic; you can’t fully predict what will be on the table.  Don’t fall into the trap of holding on too tight to your bias of an ideal result.  There may be something even more to your advantage as the discussion unfolds.

3. The Trap of False Assumptions
Beware of assuming you know the motivations of the other party simply by what they do or say.  If you really want a satisfactory result for both sides, you need to find out what is behind the moves the other side is making.  Why are they unwilling to consider your request to extend the payment schedule?

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.

4. The Trap of the Short vs. Long Term Approach
Be clear about what type of sales negotiation you are in.  Will the agreement be effective in the short or long term?  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.

5. The Trap of Pre-Conceived Notions
You’ve done careful preparation, but you still cannot fully know the other party’s situation.  Do not assume you know what the other side truly wants and values.  Finding out what matters most is the art of a successful sales negotiation.  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, with our boss for more money, with our landlord for a better rent.  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

Share:
Facebook Twitter Google+ Email LinkedIn
Files under:  

Comments are closed.

The LSA Global team was very receptive and flexible to our needs every step of the way. Their staff and facilitator demonstrated attention to detail, responsiveness, and professional courtesy. The participants were thrilled with the outcome and rated the communication skills workshop and the facilitator as ‘Excellent’. I’d highly recommend working with the LSA Global team to meet your professional development needs.

John Mastrorilli
FRDP Leader

Intuit

What a personal and professional pleasure it has been to Partner with LSA. They are truly a strategic partner with Wyse. For more than 5 years, LSA has been engaged in delivering various training and development solutions for Wyse, from custom on-site programs targeting specific core competencies, to working individually with clients to build job skills, and offering invaluable services to me and my team as we continue to build our learning programs. LSA’s representatives do more than sell a product, they offer a full service solution: they understand our business, our strategic initiatives, and the needs of our customers.

Jeff Rangel
Director of HR

The Managing Virtual Teams program was extremely valuable. Your consultant/ facilitator’s fundamental knowledge of Synopsys as a company provided an incredible base to build upon while tackling the complications of managing and working with globally distributed teams. My team walked away walked away with highly useful practices and tools. It was an excellent use of our time.

Debra Martucci
Vice President, Information Technology

I have worked with other training companies and found it to be more of a seller/buyer relationship than one of matching the right expertise to our business issues. That’s what LSA does – ask the hard questions, listen, and understand our business needs. We receive the benefit of their expertise from assistance with personal development plans to enhancing team performance, to looking at enterprise-wide challenges. It’s all about helping our business succeed as we grow. Right now, LSA is providing great ideas, a fresh approach, and valuable guidance as we develop our management team and accelerate our client relationship management results.

Kristin Westland-Kaune
Director, Team Development

Congratulations on your pro-activity in establishing this program and developing such an effective New Employee Orientation course.

Farhat Ali
President and Chief Executive Office

Fujitsu

In my years working with LSA, it seems like I’ve had a personal consultant at my fingertips to help me identify just the right solution to satisfy our needs. The entire LSA team has become a trusted friend of Actel — assuring we provide state-of-the-art learning to meet our complex, high-tech business and people needs.

Linda Mitchell
Training Manager

Thank you to LSA Global for their partnership and support in helping us to design and roll-out our valuable management development training program. I personally have partnered with LSA Global at four of my previous companies. It continues to be a delight working with LSA. We look forward to partnering with them at Blackhawk Networks for future training and consulting needs.

Suzanne Kinner
VP Human Resources

Blackhawk Network

The Next Generation Management Development courses have helped me communicate more effectively with my peers and teammates. By utilizing effective communication techniques such as clarifying and confirming, and asking open ended questions, I have been able to clarify and understand information in situations where I would have otherwise asked limited questions and made false assumptions.

Robert Breckner
Firmware Engineering Manager

LSA Global’s consultant brought a fresh perspective to our behavioral based interviewing strategy for two key executive positions we needed to fill, and their consultant helped us develop questions that produced a much deeper understanding of candidates’ capabilities. I am confident that the two new executives joining our organization have the right skills to add significant value. Throughout the process LSA was also very responsive in dealing with short lead time requests.

Because of the unique nature of our business, Excel is a core application in our accounting organization. After three attempts to find an Excel consultant who is capable of helping our finance team integrate advanced applications into our work processes we found LSA and Alex. He was not only a “Real” Excel expert but was masterful in helping us identify where to use Excel applications in our processes to increase our group’s efficiency.

SPO Partners & Co
Kim Silva, CFO

Harmonic has worked with LSA for over 8 years. We have found their partnership extremely beneficial. We recently implemented a Management Development Program that was designed and customized to support our company’s strategic initiative of hiring, building, and retaining key intellectual property and human talent. We worked closely with LSA to target and implement the right solutions with the greatest impact. I would recommend LSA to any company that’s looking for a trusted training and development partner.

Janice Passarello
Director of Human Resources

On behalf of Roche and my staff I would like to sincerely thank you for your help with this. The English as a Second Language (ESL) assessment and coaching that you provided for our team was a great success.

Cam Greig
Associate Director

Roche

I consistently look to LSA Global when I need custom programs put together for my client groups. I can always count on LSA to do a thorough needs analysis and to put together spectacular programs that are well received. Their management development and performance management expertise and professionalism make them one of my top-rated learning and development partners.

Stephanie Webb
HR Program Manager

Rambus

We have been able to utilize LSA’s extensive network of top-notch resources to leverage our investment in employee development. The result has been the cost effective and highly efficient delivery of quality educational and management training programs.

Steve Feller
Vice President, Human Resources

We have worked with LSA Global for our learning and development needs and have always had great success. They helped us recently with customized Management Workshops that we held for the second time. It was fantastic, and I would highly recommend LSA to anyone that is attempting to get immediate and impactful improvements.

Mary Johnston
HR Manager, BU Radiology Informatics

I have worked with LSA Global at previous companies and welcomed the opportunity to bring them in to support my new organization. We worked closely with LSA to design a solution for our Client Partner Teams and Management Training on both coasts. LSA designed a customized solution for our business and organizational culture. LSA is a quality organization, one that I’d recommend to any company looking for a first class training and consulting partner that makes an impact.

Laurie Torres
Chief People Officer

Evaluate your Performance

Toolkits

Toolkits

Download key published insights and tools from industry experts highlighting best practices in the areas of talent, strategy and culture.

More

Health Checks

Health Checks

Want to know how you stack up against leading organizations?  Receive a complimentary benchmarking analysis courtesy of an LSA Expert.

More

Whitepapers

Whitepapers

Get up to speed on timely solutions critical to your business. Published by LSA Experts based upon client feedback and key industry trends.

More

Methodology

Methodologies

First we identify the key metrics you want to improve. Then we assemble a dedicated team of elite experts who have successfully solved similar problems with similar clients.

More

Blogs

Stay up to do date with the latest information on how we help high growth companies align their culture and talent with strategy.

More

Case Studies

Client Case Studies

Real world consulting and training approaches from LSA projects, providing insights on how your company can outperform the competition.

More