The Most Basic Sales Negotiation Principle
Preparation is key to any successful sales negotiation. When you spend the time to examine the possibilities of a negotiation and plot your approach, you are far more likely to come to a settlement that suits both you and your customer. When the stakes are high, invest the time to prepare for an important sales negotiation.
5 Steps to Prepare for an Important Sales Negotiation
Here are the factors to consider as you prepare for an important sales negotiation:
1. Know What They Want
Learn as much as you can about what the other side wants. What is most important to them? What would they consider a win?
Each sales negotiation is different just as each customer is different. You need to figure out their priorities, whether it’s the value of a solution, overall cost, timing, follow-on support, guarantees, brand, etc. Only when you are clear on their priorities going in can you be clear on what you can offer.
2. Know What You Want
What do you need, bottom-line, to feel satisfied with the final agreement? Is there a dollar number below which you will not go? What are you willing to commit to? It’s always best to have a backup plan in case the sales negotiations fall apart.
3. What Interests Do You Share
Next, identify what you have in common. As an example, let’s say the customer was burned by a competitor who did not deliver as promised. If you offer a guarantee, that would provide great value to the customer at little cost to you. Or if the customer needs to “test the waters,” perhaps you can deliver a pilot program before a full roll-out.
4. Beware of Assumptions
Too often, even the most savvy consultative sellers think they know what matters most to their customers and shoot themselves in the foot by offering more than they need or want. Try to establish an atmosphere of trust with clear, open communications and a common goal of reaching an agreement that is satisfactory to both.
The Bottom Line
The best sales negotiators know how to build strong, trusting, long-term relationships with their customers. Negotiating fairly and successfully can be an important step in creating loyal customers.
To learn more about how prepare for an important sales negotiation, download The 2 Most Common Sales Negotiation Tactics to Prepare For
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