1. Build Trusted Relationships
Earning the sale starts by earning the customer’s trust. Doing so requires the seller to remain consultative by engaging in a dialogue rather than a competition. Trust emerges when a seller views a customer need as an opportunity to move the sale forward rather than a hurdle.
2. Use Persuasiveness as a Process of Promoting Value
Create a compelling connection between the value of the seller’s solution to the customer’s priorities. This process begins by converting demand to needs. Take the time to understand what basic goals reside beneath blunt statements like “I need a lower price.” Use this information to underscore how the solution addresses the issue. This is a critical step that should be exhausted before trading in which the seller gains an agreement through changing terms.
3. Maintain Control and Confidence
Manage reflexes. Sellers too frequently succumb to an impulse to trade before first fully exploring the customer’s needs. Take the time to consider a response to a demand before relinquishing a term. Sellers will be surprised to find that when they handle trading as a last resort, they can preserve their optimal outcome.
4. Focus on Arriving at Mutually Successful Outcomes
Negotiating a deal means negotiating future deals. Make the goal of a strong relationship part of your optimal outcome. Consultative negotiations occur when the seller gets what they want—even if it’s not all they wanted—while maintaining and strengthening the relationship. This approach builds the foundation necessary to future opportunities.
Effective negotiating pays dividends. By placing equal focus on deal outcomes, relationships and trust a seller can close the deal they want to close while forming a foundation for future business. Mutually beneficial outcomes can only be reached when both sides take the time to understand needs rather than simply issue demand. The path to the sale is in the customer’s words. Keep listening.