Lies and Sales Negotiation Strategy
How often do you think lies have been a part of your sales negotiation strategy – either implicitly, explicitly, on your side or on the other side of the table? Should they be? Are lies effective in the short term? Do lies work as part of a long term sales negotiation strategy?
Do You Know When You Are Being Lied To?
Certainly you know when you yourself are telling a lie (and we include in this definition the omission of the truth). But can you always tell when someone is lying to you? The experts say that, in general, we are not very good at spotting lies.
It seems that most lies go undetected. Multiple studies point toward people having a general truth bias. We are more likely to believe what others are saying in order to avoid the high social cost of accusing someone of lying, especially if it turns out we are wrong.
Negotiating When the Stakes Are High
But our subconscious ability to spot a lie is heightened when the cost of distrust is relatively high and we are in a threatening situation. The implication, then, for sales negotiations is that when the stakes are high, we should pay attention to our instincts. Deep down, we may well have a special “spidey sense” when we are being lied to.
The “So-Called Tells”
We’ve all heard about various theories concerning body language that gives away liars – from looking to the side to sharing too many seemingly unimportant details. None of these signs are fool-proof. The best advice when you suspect a lie during a sales negotiation is to carefully look, listen, probe, and ask some hard questions.
Be open to the possibility of a lie, be curious, and ask more questions.
Implications for Your Negotiating Strategy
There are times in a negotiation when withholding information makes sense. You don’t want to give the other party a power advantage by divulging your walk away position, your lack of alternatives, or your ability to pay. This would certainly give them an unfair advantage.
But neither does it make sense, especially long-term, to be deceptive. There is a great risk of destroying the relationship if your lies are uncovered.
The Bottom Line
For the kind of long-term, trusting relationships top solution sellers want with their clients, we advocate encouraging a sales negotiation strategy based on openness and information sharing. Sure, be watchful for discrepancies and tune into your gut but, for the sake of your reputation, your integrity and the trust of your client, be truthful.
To learn more about winning sales negotiation strategies, download The 2 Most Common Sales Negotiation Tactics to Prepare For
4 Steps to Create Strategic Alignment
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