Great sales negotiation requires a combination of skill and confidence. You don’t need to have years of experience to excel at negotiating and you don’t have to be an expert to do well. Instead, it’s all about understanding the person you’re negotiating with, as well as the process itself. These key tips can help anyone start to get a feel for how to negotiate sales successfully.
1. Be clear about what it is that is being negotiated
As a salesperson, the first step towards succeeding in negotiation is to ensure that you have a sound understanding of exactly what is on the table. Often, this means starting with the selling process itself, as this will allow you to identify exactly what it is the other person is looking for – and what they are not interested in. If you have clarity on what is being negotiated then you won’t waste time or energy pursuing the wrong things.
2. Find out first where the other person stands
Again, this is where starting with the selling process and then moving on to the negotiation stage can come in very useful. If you are able to find out what the other person’s opening position is in terms of what is being negotiated then you can tailor your negotiations accordingly. This means identifying expectations with respect to cost or conditions, as well as what the other person is going to be willing to accept.
3. Establish trust
You don’t have to trust each other completely but a base level of credibility and trust will usually result in a much more fruitful negotiation process. The main reason for this is that it removes the need for tactics. If there is a degree of trust and both parties understand that a mutually beneficial conclusion can be achieved then negotiation tactics don’t have to complicate the issue.
4. Read the signs
Human beings give away a lot with our bodies in a negotiation situation so it’s worth being observant. For example, if someone is making demands but unable to look you in the eye while doing so it’s likely that they don’t feel confident in the demands they are making and aren’t going to insist on them. Body language can be a useful tool during a sales negotiation, especially what people do with their eyes and whether they are able to meet your gaze.
5. Don’t expect to achieve your goal with just one negotiation
Even if it takes multiple attempts to get to the desired result you will still have ended up there. Most negotiations are part of a process of multiple stages so it’s a good idea to view one negotiation as a prelude to the next one. Use each one to build on what was achieved last time and don’t be downhearted if you don’t get results first time.
6. Only put something in writing when the negotiation comes to an end
If there is any chance that you may want to change what you’re agreeing at a later date then steer clear of writing it down.
Sales negotiation is no secret – it’s just a simple combination of skills and confidence. Our Sales Negotiation Skills course provides the opportunity to start building that confidence and acquiring those essential tools that will make the process easier and more productive.