Improving you sales negotiation skills by using these four negotiation steps can directly affect your commissions, bonuses and sales targets. Salespeople negotiate with their clients all the time on price, delivery date, scope of agreement or to iron out the details on a large complex contract. It does not need to be painful.
What are four essential powerful negotiation steps you can take to help you successfully negotiate with your client?
Preparation – Planning for your negotiation can make the difference between a failed, painful or mediocre negotiation to a successful negotiation. Do you know who will be involved in the negotiation? It might not be your client contact.
Have you prepared for any and all questions your client might ask? What are your goals for this negotiation? What are you willing to give and not give? Have you brainstormed on what their objective is? What do you think they are willing to give and not give? Do you have alternative plans to offer?
Preparation is a key negotiation step. Have a goal/outcome in mind. Know what your plan of attack is. Know your client. Have an agenda and stay focused on it.
Do not mix up the deal with the relationship. – Avoid the trap. Keep the deal (such as price and service levels) and the relationship (such as mutual understanding and respect) separate. Identify and agree upon the main focus of the deal and get agreement on that first. Respect the other party and their interest. Do not accept anything else for yourself.
Control the controllable – What can you control in a negotiation?
You can control your:
- Preparation – Take the time to thoroughly prepare for your negotiation.
- Attitude – Maintain a positive, can-do, confident attitude. Be professional and respectful.
- Focus – To successfully negotiate the best deal possible a top sales person stays focused on the goals and outcomes. They are focused on the agenda. They are focused on listening to their client and hearing & understanding the nonverbal communication as well as the verbal communication. This ‘hearing’ also gives them flexibility. Top sales people keep the focus of the negotiation on the deal.
Lessons Learned – At the end of every negotiation, no matter what the outcome, analyze what worked, what did not work and what could have gone better. Pat yourself on the back for the things that went well. Do not beat yourself up for any mistakes. Use this as an opportunity to learn. Figure out where you could have prepared more and where you could use additional negotiation training.