Part of the sales process is the negotiating. As a sales professional is important that you understand the difference between selling and negotiating.
Selling is the part of the sales process where you work to identify the needs of the buyer and how your product or service can fit those needs. It is the matching of what the seller is selling to what the buyer is looking for.
The negotiation part of the process is the actual deal. It is the process leading to the close of the sale. In negotiating, you have a commitment from the buyer and a commitment from the seller and you work on the details to complete the sale.
In sales negotiating, there are several strategies that you need to consider in order to close the sale.
- A negotiation should feel like a win-win. Everyone wants to feel like they are getting a great deal. They want a quality product or service for a fair price. This is basically the definition of value and everyone wants a good value. Buyers will usually ask for far more than they expect you to be able to deliver. It’s important to remember that most people do not wish for getting a great value at the expense of someone else. Therefore, it is important that you phrase the final process by describing how you both come out as winners. A win-win situation makes everyone feel satisfied.
- Always be the smartest person in the room (or the most prepared). As a sales professional you know that part of the sales process is to learn as much as you can about the buyer. You need to understand where they are coming from, what their needs are, what their limitations are, and what they hope to gain. In addition, you must always be well educated about your product or service. Having all of this information will help you to negotiate a deal that is good for you and good for the buyer.
- Be ready for anything. Again, this is the preparation part of the sales process. You need to educate but you also need to know how to handle questions or concerns and turn them into opportunities. Buyers are often good negotiators. It is their job to be good negotiators. Be prepared. You will need to be able to answer questions like “what kind of discount can you give?” or “is that the best you can do?” in ways that will satisfy your customer even if you are not able to offer huge discounts. Always focus more on good value as a strong benefit over just price alone.
- Always make sure you are on the same page. You should never put anything in writing or enter into a negotiation unless you are sure that you and the buyer share the same understanding of where you are in the process and what you are negotiating. If there is a lack of understanding or a miscommunication, you could easily lose a sale.
- Be prepared to walk away. As a sales professional, you know that sometimes an agreement cannot be reached. If the buyer is refusing to budge or demanding concessions that you are unable or unwilling to give, walk away. Some people take a more bullish approach to negotiating. They may know that they are asking for too much and are hoping you will succumb to the pressure. Sometimes, in cases like these, when you start to walk away, they give in. Other times, you simply have to walk away from a deal that is not going to work.
Every sale you make will include negotiation. Every negotiation process will be a little different. By remembering and implementing these tips, you can improve your negotiating skills and increase your sales success.