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Calum Coburn

The Negotiation Experts


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Negotiation Practices That Enhance Sales Profits


Working in sales is an exhilarating and challenging proposition. When you follow all the protocols you received in your sales training, you expect everything to work out well. Unfortunately, success is not guaranteed. A lot of sales executives find themselves in a situation which involves difficult negotiation. If a seller tasked with negotiating sales lacks proper training, he could easily cost the business in profits, or lose a customer altogether. Sales negotiation seminars are a popular route to reduce the probability of these losses. Once you understand the link between selling and negotiating, everything comes together. Here are some proven negotiating practices you can apply to help double your profits.

Listen before you start offering discounts

The prospective client has opened the door for negotiating and you want to jump in with a discount offer. Wait a bit. At the beginning of a sales negotiation, you don’t have a clear understanding of where the prospect sees the sale going. You could easily give a discount that is larger than what the prospect was expecting. Only consider offering a discount after the prospect has bought into the value your product or service creates for them. Otherwise you’re simply buying their business.

Eliminate range offering

One of the mistakes made in a sales negotiation is offering a range of discounts. When you offer a potential client several discount options, he will usually accept the largest discount. Instead, offer a specific discount percentage. You have considered all the consequences of the offered discount. Now, you wait for the prospect to respond. You need the feedback before making further offers. Negotiation is a skill which needs to be developed over time.

Move away from the price

Both the seller and buyer can easily get caught up on the price. One of the main mistakes made by sellers is focusing solely on price. Effective negotiating goes beyond what the customer will pay. You need to explain the value of your product in a manner which excludes financial terms. When you are selling a product that you are passionate about, you should have a few alternative conversation pointers to include.

Don’t get too serious

Sales negotiation can often times become a frustrating endeavor if it’s not going your way. Do not allow frustration to present itself in your conversations with the prospect. The customer will pick up on your frustration and may perceive you as unprofessional, or feel rushed. You want the potential client to feel relaxed and not pressured. Sales and negotiation workshops often teach techniques for regulating emotions.

Ask the right questions

A good sales negotiator knows which questions to ask. You can use these questions to guide the prospect in a certain direction. The intention is to get the answer you want. There is much information you can uncover if you direct your questions effectively.

Know your customers

Just as a writer has to know her audience, so do you when you’re negotiating sales. Do your research ahead of time and use verified information in your negotiations. Every client is different. What might persuade your prospect to purchase the product or services you are offering? Once you understand what motivates your customer, you’ll have the edge over your competitors.

Practice patience

Sales negotiations can go on for a long time. When you take a course for sellers, you often hear the word "patience." No one wants a potential sale to drag on for a long time.  In the end, your patience could be rewarded with a signed contract. Showing the client you are trying to rush the process can have detrimental effects. The prospect might keep you going a while longer, pushing you for discounts and other concessions. Ironically, when you don’t apply time pressure, there is a greater likelihood you’ll seal the deal faster.

Be believable

You need to be prepared for every question thrown your way. A sales negotiator will know the product or services offered. If you are not passionate about what you are selling, the client won’t trust what you are saying. If you want the prospect to believe every word coming out of your mouth, make sure you have your facts right.

Let go

In every sale, there is a time when you just have to “let go.” Patience is important, but so is walking away. If the client simply isn’t interested in what you are offering, don’t waste too much time trying to negotiate. The rule is to negotiate when you see a potential positive outcome. Every sale is different. You want to pick up early on the subtle queues clients who are unlikely to sign with you give out.

What did we learn?

Negotiating is a skill most sales executives haven’t fully mastered. There is always an opportunity to learn a new skill. Some individuals are natural negotiators. Even if you don't place yourself in this category, definitely explore the negotiation training avenue. In order to turn prospects into customers, you often have to differentiate yourself from the competition. Know your products, your customers, and your sales processes, and allow yourself to walk away when needed.

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