When you work in sales, developing your negotiation skills and strategies is crucial. If you want to win more deals, you need to approach every sales negotiation knowing how to prepare and what a win-win outcome should look like.
In this blog, we will introduce you to some key sales negotiation skills to help you achieve successful win-win outcome.
What is a sales negotiation?
A sales negotiation is a strategic discussion (or series of discussions) between buyer and seller. The ideal outcome is that a deal is closed, and a good working relationship is established for future business. The main goal of the negotiation process is to reach an agreement that is acceptable to both parties.
In most sales negotiations:
- Buyers and sellers communicate what they need and where they may be able or willing to make concessions.
- Compromise is often required to reach an agreement.
- Most compromises involve price or contract terms and conditions.
- Sales negotiations can be a one-time event—or they can occur at multiple points in your sale.
How long should a sales negotiation take?
There is no hard and fast rule for how long a sales negotiation should take. It could involve a single conversation or many discussions over multiple days. The duration of the negotiation will be dependent on:
- The size of the order.
- The value of the order.
- There number of people involved in the buying decision.
Key sales negotiation skills
Serious buyers usually come to the negotiating table armed with knowledge, research, and certain expectations. While it is not always easy to predict the outcome of your discussion going in, the more prepared you are, the greater your sales and negotiation skills you have, the more comfortable and adaptable you will be.
Here is a list of key skills that will help you perform better as a sales negotiator.
Before you negotiate, figure out what your own objectives are and what you are in a position to offer. In addition to is important to understand the other party is most likely to want.
- Why your prospect needs what you are selling (the specific benefits it is going to provide)
- How badly they need it (the likely financial and emotional costs attached to not buying)
- Their budget and purchasing role (how their buying process works, who the decision-makers are and whether they will be present)
Be a good listener.
Being a good listener goes well beyond just hearing your customer’s words. Sometimes when the other party brings up the topic of price, what they are really saying is, “I have concerns.”
By letting your prospect initiate the conversation, and listening carefully before you ask questions, you may pick up on cues that indicate the real reason they are in negotiations. These may be:
- Concerned your product or service will not live up to expectations.
- Worried your company will not meet their needs long-term.
- Uncomfortable with the idea of justifying or taking responsibility for their buying decision.
Learn to handle objections.
One big key to handling objections during a sales negotiation, is learning to be a problem solver.
While it is smart to go in prepared with alternative options that meets your prospect’s needs, you should always be on the lookout for opportunities to build value around your original offering instead.
Most sales objections exist because they interfere with the buyer’s objectives. Try steering the negotiation toward ways you and the other party can meet those objectives together.
Keep your emotions in check.
No matter the mood of the prospect sitting across from you, do your best to stay calm and grounded and keep the conversation as light and friendly as possible. Remember, it is best to be hard on the problem but soft on the person.
Know when to walk away.
Do not be afraid to walk away from a deal that will not progress despite your best efforts to reach an agreement. Understanding the Best Alternative to the Negotiated Agreement (BATNA) is critical. This will give you confidence that a No Deal can be better than a Bad Deal.
Most sales managers will agree that, rather than a “winner takes all” situation, the most successful sales negotiations are those where both parties leave the table satisfied and looking ahead.
ProAptivity are an independent CRM solutions provider. We focus on the implementation, training, and support of highly customised CRM software solutions. Our CRM software supported by our sales and sales negotiation training provides the customers with the tools needed to deliver successful customer experience management.
Fundamentally, we help organisations embed CRM best practice throughout their organisation.
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