You’ve presented your case to the prospect and the offer is on the table. Now comes the hard part—the tough negotiations that will largely determine whether you get the order.
You can greatly improve your odds of completing the deal by employing an art often neglected by sales pros: writing. Before and after every phone call or in-person meeting during the negotiating process, hit the keyboard and send a brief, informative e-mail that clarifies and advances the discussion.
E-mail is, of course, no substitute for face-to-face interaction at this or any stage of the sales process, as it doesn’t help you gauge the critical nuances of verbal inflection and body language.
But a series of smartly written messages during negotiations can serve as markers for what’s been agreed to and what’s still on the table. More important, it can solidify your bargaining position in a number of subtle yet effective ways.
Here are a few tips on how to use e-mail to your advantage during negotiations:
When you communicate your negotiating position clearly in writing, you establish the framework of the discussion, and you set the stage for more productive phone calls or face-to-face meetings. Each e-mail message should serve as a guiding document on the way towards a successful deal.
About the Author:
Ralph Allora is the principal owner of Allora Communications, a consultancy specializing in marketing communication strategy, promotions, and creative services for clients in the media and service industries.