Working in sales means you are working in negotiations. To make a deal happen, two parties have to walk away wanting to exchange funds for products and services that assist their organization.
Becoming a master of negotiation, capitalizes on having a thorough understanding of how to deal with any customer in any situation. As you strive to become adept at the art of negotiation, consider what winning sales negotiators do differently:
Focusing deeply on customer needs, not what you sell. This is where winning negotiators start. They seek to understand the problem and do not offer a solution until they fully grasp the complexities and nuances of the customer's problem.
Paying close attention to your buyer's behaviours. The change in voice intonation or the body language of a buyer is a clue to how open or closed they are to a sale. Winning negotiators interact based on their observations, so it is important to focus on having full and open engagement.
Probing and dialoguing to get mutual clarity around problems. Ensuring the other person feels that they are understood shows respect and invites dialogue. The more you converse, the more you are partnering together on a solution. Sometimes moving from a confrontational tone to a neutral tenor can be difficult, but it is extremely valuable to making negotiating easy.
Tuning into the customer's underlying goals. There are goals that are often unspoken. If you appeal to a person's apparent goals, but fail to identify their deeper motivations, you can miss the deal altogether. Understanding your opponents intensions, allows you to change focus so you can optimize on their present and future needs.
Focusing the conversation around value. If you are talking about price, then you are in a losing negotiation. Effective negotiation strategies focus on value, benefits and outcomes that will fulfil the deep desires of your customer. Focusing negotiations around money will leave dollar signs in the customer’s eyes, leading them away from your products or services.
Settling for nothing less than mutual wins. Winning negotiators don't want to lose nor do they want their buyer to lose. They know that future business, goodwill and referrals all occur when both parties walk away feeling like they won. Always leave negotiations ensuring that you have complied with your customers’ needs in some fashion.
As a sales professional, you get to practice negotiating every day. It is not easy to become a winning negotiator, but getting your mind-set aligned with a persuasive style and helping your customer walk that journey with you makes your negotiations more successful. You have to be a student of your customer and help them acquire what they want, so you can walk away equally successful. Winning negotiations occur when you are able to walk away from negotiations with mutual satisfaction for you and your customer. Remember you are your most valuable bargaining chip.
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