How is your negotiation working out?
Everyone is negotiating all the time, even when they don’t know that they are, whether it’s for a new sales deal that will smash your target or simply because you need to leave work early for your child’s school concert, and you promise to deliver a project required by tomorrow morning at lunchtime on that day in order to do so.
Some people love the process and relish the challenge and others find the whole thing very scary indeed. There is a wealth of information out there about how to improve your negotiation skills but here are a few things that came up in one of our sales meetings recently. So in no particular order, some of these suggestions may help.
It is highly unlikely that you are going to get everything your own way. So being realistic about the outcome of your negotiation is going to be a better target to aim for rather than thinking you will achieve a ‘perfect’ outcome.
Disguising your questions in a subtle way can often yield a better response that simply blundering in. Approaching the negotiation in a conversational style is a much more relaxed way to put your prospect in a position where they are more likely to reveal more information or soften their stance with you than making unreasonable demands.
As part of your offering it is wise to have a couple of items to give up that come at no cost to you that you can include as ‘sweeteners’ to the deal. This should be something that you are prepared to sacrifice in order to get back what you most need. It could be something as simple as extending a warranty which may be perceived as a big deal to your prospect by giving them peace of mind but in reality doesn’t give too much away for you.
Try to be creative in the solutions you offer as part of the negotiation. That is to say, you may have already skinned your item to the bone and there is nowhere else to go in terms of price. However, instead of a ten month waiting time for a piece of furniture for example, you may be able to move the delivery up to one month. No more money has changed hands and you have innovated your way to a deal.
If it is possible then you must always wait for your prospect to make the first offer. However, that is not always the case so you may want to consider a tactic called ‘inflate / deflate’ in other words you make your first offer so low that you have already smashed expectation into the ground for your prospect. It’s unlikely that your offer will be accepted but the climb back uphill to a more realistic price may well not reach the lofty heights your prospect had in mind and wasn’t prepared to say initially.
Good negotiation is an art form and one which every business or salesperson needs. With formal training and practice, everyone can become a competent, if not excellent, negotiator.
Maguire Training deliver many courses on sales and negotiation and you can find out more by clicking on the link below which would be a great place to start.