You don't have to be a born salesperson to excel in the sales arena. By developing your negotiating skills, you can improve your ability to close more and better deals. Learning and implementing proven sales negotiation strategies and techniques can:
- Improve your bottom line.
- Build lasting customer relationships.
- Turn difficult customers into satisfied customers.
- Build your confidence.
Invest in your negotiating skillsEntering a sales negotiation as an untrained seller facing a trained buyer is a recipe for disaster. Make sales negotiation training part of your business plan. Attend a seminar. Read a book. Team with a mentor. Empower yourself to be the best negotiator you can be.
Be prepared to walk awayAs the seller, your primary goal in the negotiation process should be to create a positive, long-term relationship with your customer while establishing a price and set of conditions that fit within your business needs. Negotiating a low price — just to make a sale — sets a precedent that may be difficult to follow. Before stepping into the negotiating process, know your bottom line, and be prepared to walk away if the sale isn't advantageous to you and your company.
pricing methods to determine what to charge for your products and services.
Ask, don't tellAsking questions can be one of your strongest negotiating tools. Instead of trying to tell a prospect why you think he or she should purchase your product or service, ask questions to find out what their needs are and then show how your company can provide solutions for those needs.
Negotiating begins at "no"Objections are a normal part of any sales negotiation. It's a good idea to anticipate obstacles you may encounter and how you'll respond to them, but you can't possibly anticipate every possible objection. Learn to use objections as an opportunity to learn more about your customer's needs and what solutions you can bring to the table.
Personality countsSuccessful negotiations sometimes depend on personality. If you can assess your prospect's personality type, you can use the most effective techniques to show them why your service or product is right for them. For instance, if a buyer is skeptical, you may want to back up your claims with documented facts and successful case histories; if a buyer is social, you may want to emphasize the popularity of what you're offering.
- Focus on building a long-term relationship with the client. A short-term sale may not be in the best interest of a long-term seller-buyer relationship.
- Sometimes, it's what you don't say that closes the deal. Remaining silent at key moments in a negotiation can work in your favor.
- Be realistic with your expectations.
- Leave your ego and emotions at the front door.
- Be flexible and willing to adjust strategies as necessary.
- Realize that the buyer may be as well trained as you are in the art of sales negotiations.
- Apply sales negotiation strategies to other situations where negotiation skills would be beneficial, such as employer-employee relationship issues.