Sales Negotiations Best Practices | Richardson
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Win-win Sales Negotiations are Desirable and Possible
Successful sales negotiations don’t always mean winning or one side trumping the other. Win-win sales negotiations are desirable and possible.
How you approach sales negotiations can help determine your success. While some of the following points may seem counter-intuitive, they are, in fact, best practices:
- Sales professionals should start the negotiation. When asked who should put their opening position on the table first, most sales professionals want it to be the customer. Why? Sales professionals want to know where the customer is coming from and, especially, what numbers they’re going to put out there. But, it’s the sales professionals who should set the bar. They should get their positions on the table first — in a proactive way — otherwise, they’ll fall into a reactive and defensive position. In order to be in control in a negotiation, they have to step up and go first.
- Put all of your terms on the table at the outset. Most sales professionals believe in saving something in their hip pocket. But, if you don’t put all of the pieces out there, it limits your ability to come up with good options and alternatives. If you hold something back and bring it up later, you create mistrust. The customer thinks: What else is he going to spring on me? That undermines what you’ve already resolved in the negotiation. This isn’t to say that you should go straight to the bottom line with all of your terms; that’s what should be in your hip pocket — your final position.
- Don’t negotiate too early. Before any negotiations begin, you need to focus on justifying your value.
- Understand what the customer needs to achieve. Once negotiations begin, make sure that you understand the customer’s needs; it’s not always what they ask for outright.
- Prioritize your trades. Always enter a negotiation with a list of prioritized trades, and know the true value of what you’re trading away.
- Always ask for something in return. When you’re trading terms with customers, don’t give up something without getting another thing in return.
Concession is a last resort
If you concede too early in a sales negotiation, it sets a bad precedent, which can open the floodgates for more demands. The time to concede, if necessary, is near the end of the process, when you believe it will bring the deal to its culmination.
If you are interested in improving your sales team's negotiation skills, learn more about Ricahardson's sales negotiation training program.
Additional Reading and Information Regarding Sales Negotiations