The ability to negotiate well is fundamentally important to most sales and client-focused roles. Even the best negotiators fall prey to some of the traps that the research indicates simply do not get the best deal.
Here are five practices to implement when looking to improve the results from your negotiations.
1. Be Open
Being too guarded in the negotiation process can cause your prospects to do the same. If we want to be trusted, we must first offer it.
Studies have suggested that revealing some information, even if it’s unrelated to the negotiation, increases the likelihood of a successful outcome.
This is not to say that you should put all of your cards on the table at the outset. Rather, consider that the sale is not just about the product, it is also about you and how you communicate. Don't be scared to offer something of yourself in the negotiation - be authentic and share your hobbies, personal concerns, or hopes to set an open tone that’s conducive to gaining trust and buy-in.
2. Be Authentic and Educate
If you can combine openness with providing value insights and trends, you'll be seen as an authentic subject-matter expert. By demonstrating deep understanding of your products, market trends and, most importantly, your prospects specific needs and objectives, you'll be able to portray yourself as a value and trusted partner.
3. Understand your Ranges and Redlines
It is is essential to do your homework ahead of a negotiation so that you have a clear idea of optimum price points and the ranges which are acceptable. By researching the data and understanding your acceptable range, you will be better placed to make intelligent decisions in the moment, be clear about your limits and deliver the highest possible profit-margin.
4. Rank Order your Priorities
Instead of the traditional approach of closing off some information and options, consider rank ordering. By setting all the issues on the table and being transparent about it, both parties can compare their rankings and determine what the full set of options really are.
This approach, it done correctly, can deliver a happy outcome for both salesperson and client.
5. Counter Offers and Creating Compromise
It is human nature that the buyer wants to feel that they got a good deal while the seller wants to feel as if they have driven a hard bargain to achieve the highest possible return. The best salespeople welcomes some back-and-forth and can complete the discussions with a successful compromise.
Enjoyed this article? Listen to the recent CPSA SalesProChat podcast focused on Negotiation with guest Leanne Hoagland-Smith.
Interested in training to help you master the art of negotiation in order to close more deals at higher profit margins, while keeping your clients happy? Check out this upcoming BC-based course from the CPSA with Paul Watts.
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