Negotiating is one of the most important skills salespeople can develop, yet it’s often overlooked.
Which is a real problem…
Because after you’ve put effort and resources into researching and creating a solid pitch and proposal, it only makes sense to come to the table prepared to negotiate with the prospect.
The key is to create a negotiation strategy in advance, which helps you talk about price and other important elements of the deal.
If you’d like to go into a sales negotiation with a constructive mindset and achieve the optimum result for your company, follow these tips in developing your own negotiation strategy.
Top Negotiation Tips that Help Close the Deal
- Have a timeline planned out.
- Understand your prospect and their business goals.
- Understand the market and industry standards.
- Be clear and transparent about product information.
- Don’t be afraid to set the price anchor.
- Listen closely as you negotiate.
- Answer all questions patiently.
- Know what you’re willing to compromise on.
- Know when to walk away.
1. Have a Timeline Planned Out
As you approach your prospect, you should set a personal goal date or a deadline, so you can better organize yourself.
Have an idea of when each step should be taken, from first contact to following-up, all the way to actually closing the deal.
Don’t necessarily rush to meet those deadlines, but try to keep to your scheduled plan. Flexibility would be great, but falling behind can be disastrous.
2. Approach the Meeting With a Deep Understanding of Your Prospect and Their Business Goals.
No matter which step of the process you are in, you must always prepare as best as you can before making a move and going on to the next phase.
First thing you need to do is to research your customers. You need to know the details of their product/service and how their business operates. That will allow you to adapt your sales presentation to focus on how your own product/service can meet their needs.
3. Understand the Market and Industry Standards
Aside from knowing what your customer needs, you also need to learn about your competitors and what they offer.
Have an idea of the price average for what you are selling, and know what the market demands and tendencies are.
This will give you a better idea of how much you can offer and even help with a proper negotiating strategy.
4. Be Clear and Transparent When You Communicate Product Information
There is no room for miscommunication when you are trying to come to an agreement with your customers. Be as clear and transparent as you can be about your terms, your services and/or products, your prices, everything.
To get the prospect to want what you’re selling, they need to understand why they need your product in the first place.
Make sure you’re explaining all of the benefits of closing a deal with you. Tell them how your product can provide a solution to their pain points. Use data and statistics to give more credibility to your claims.
You already know your product is the best for them, make them see it the way you do.
5. Don’t Be Afraid to Set the Price Anchor
The price defines the value and worth of your product — making it key to position it properly.
Creating a pricing strategy is a challenging and complex process — one that requires extensive market/competitor research, as well as a study of consumer behavior.
Keep in mind, you didn’t put all that effort into creating a concrete pricing plan for your product only to settle for something less for the sake of a sale. Nowadays, with the freemium and premium options out there, salespeople must know how to pitch terms confidently the minute they step into the price conversation.
6. Listen Closely as You Negotiate
Negotiating should not be about you pushing what you want to sell based just on your goals, it should be about offering the option that is most likely to be the right fit for a customer.
Active listening is essential for you to understand your client’s needs and to adapt your offer to be as appealing as possible to the prospect. They’ll tell you more than they’re aware as you both discuss and negotiate.
7. Answer All Questions Patiently
Rushing will only hurt your negotiation process because it makes it seem like you only care about the final result. Worse, rushing makes it feel like you are pressuring the prospect.
They need to be at a comfortable place to be more open to offers. And they have the right to ask as many questions as they’d like before making a final decision.
Asking enthusiastic questions about the product is an indication that they’re interested and they’re trying to get as much information as they can to make up their minds.
8. Know What You’re Willing to Compromise On
Sometimes, there are product features and benefits which a customer just can’t be persuaded to buy, or they just can’t afford to.
Know what can be negotiated about your offer, and be ready to give and take in order for you both to meet each other halfway.
However, you have to make sure you’re not giving up too much just to make a sale. Don’t depreciate your product for the sake of a sale. That leads us to the next tip.
9. Know When to Walk Away
If you have tried everything and you have been quite patient, but you see that…
- The sale might be dragging on for way too long
- The client is pushing you to compromise more than you can
… Be aware, it’s likely that the deal is stalled for good. Even if you end up making that sale, imagine how much time and energy invested in one prospect you could have used to make other sales.
Sometimes, it is better to walk away and focus on another client than to insist on one that you feel will not come through.
Bottom Line in Sales Negotiation
In every sales negotiation, the seller’s main focus should be on creating a compelling value proposition that clearly presents a solution that is perfectly aligned with the client’s concerns.
A lot of time and energy goes into researching and planning, but if the negotiation doesn’t go as planned, all those efforts will go to waste. So spend as much time practicing your negotiation process as you would in preparing for your sales bid.
Got sales negotiation tips that work especially well for you? Let us know in the comments.