The more prepared you are heading into a negotiation, the more likely you’ll exit with a successful outcome. If you stop to think about it, this is no different than a student planning to take a test or an athlete preparing for a big game. Preparation increases the likelihood of success and it’s really quite simple. It comes down to four things:
- Hold your Head High: Be confident in exactly what you offer.
- Be Efficient: Use time to your advantage.
- Know Your Audience: Get familiar with two or more critical needs of your customers.
- Negotiate with the Right Person: Be certain you’re negotiating with a decision-maker.
1. Be confident and know exactly what you will offer.
The key reason salespeople give too much discount when negotiating is because they fail to establish boundaries beforehand. Knowing your offer will increase your level of confidence. When you do present your offer, you must do it confidently. Present using strong body language, a solid voice and tone, and most of all, eye contact. Customers, especially those who like to negotiate, will immediately sense in your body language if there’s room to give. Prevent this by not revealing any weaknesses.
2. Use time to your advantage.
Nothing will delay a decision more than a customer knowing they don’t have to make a decision. Take that option away by using urgency as not only a reason to close the deal now, but also as a way to help close the deal at full price. If customers know there’s limited time or supply, their willingness to buy will naturally increase.
3. Know at least two needs of your customer.
The selling process is all about uncovering the needs of the customer. If the customer doesn’t share their needs, why should you expect them to be interested in buying anything at full price? The better you understand your customer, the more you can build on their needs profile. Your goal is to help the customer see that what you have to offer is what they need right now.
4. Be certain you’re negotiating with a decision-maker.
Make sure you verify during the sales process that the person with whom you are dealing is the decision-maker. An easy, concise way to determine this is to ask early in the sales process, “How have you made decisions like this in the past?” A question like this is non-threatening and can help verify the credibility of the person.
That’s it! Four simple principles that will help you enter a negotiation prepared. Having answers to these four things doesn’t guarantee success, but it will greatly increase your odds.
By Neil Lustig, CEO, Vendavo