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Sales Training: Negotiating

Negotiation is your opportunity to demonstrate your commitment (and your company’s) to a long-term relationship with your client, as well as to maximizing value for both parties.

Sales negotiation can be a formal event at a specific time or date, or it can be an ongoing theme at different points in the sales process. Negotiation goes beyond price and includes the entire value proposition.

You should seek a mutually beneficial relationship with your prospects and customers rather than something that benefits only you or them.   The negotiation guide below provides a quick overview for negotiations with a prospect or customer.

Before negotiating begins:

  • Avoid negotiating unless you’ve had an opportunity to fully present your value proposition
  • Consider the objections raised up to this point in the sales process and identify what your prospect’s or customer’s hot buttons (main points of interest) may be based on these objections
  • Be prepared to illustrate how your offering will be used by them and quantify the value they’ll get
  • Be certain you’re working with a person who has the authority to negotiate and make decisions
  • Be confident in the value your product or service will return
  • Be prepared to be patient, which can also build trust; remember that patience is a key weapon in the “hunter’s arsenal”
  • Be prepared to work toward a solution that works for everyone
  • Know in advance at what point the agreement is no longer beneficial to you and your company and be prepared to walk away at that point

During negotiation

  • Use open-ended questions to confirm your understanding of their needs
  • State your understanding of how the prospect or customer will benefit from your product or service – confirm this is accurate by asking
  • Listen, and well
  • Don’t rush to fill pauses – be comfortable with moments of silence
  • Be prepared to change the value proposition to support price concessions; support your price integrity by adjusting the overall value
  • Try to identify agreement on small items to help develop positive momentum – summarize these agreements periodically

After the negotiation

If agreement is reached…

  • Summarize verbally and/or in writing the agreement for all appropriate parties
  • Thank the customer/prospect for their time and reinforce the purchase decision
  • For your next negotiation, review the points that seemed to help move the negotiation process forward – study them, know them, use them

If no agreement is reached…

  • Sincerely thank the prospect/customer for their time and commitment to the process
  • Avoid appearing/sounded annoyed or disappointed; keep in mind that there will be other clients to keep you busy
  • Give the prospect/customer an “out” or an opening for them to come back to you and your company in the future
  • For your next negotiation, review the points that seemed to prevent the negotiation process from moving forward – study them, know them, use them
Interested in receiving more sales training tips? Join us for a free web seminar Tuesday, June 19th at 12:00 pm EST. This one-hour web seminar will cover the 5 attributes of highly successful sales professionals, managing price expectations/price objections, and understanding your potential buyers (and their roles). Register here.

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