To become a professional salesperson you must be an excellent negotiator; one that helps your buyer achieve their goals while maintaining the integrity and profitability of your product and/or company. Anyone can “give” their product or service away—that takes no skill or ability. In order to rise to the top of your industry and profession, you’ve got to be able to close sales AND make money doing it. (What a novel concept, huh?)
Here are a few tips to being a better negotiator that will help you close more sales, win business and keep your buyers and your bottom line happy.
-Begin with empathy—NOT sympathy. The difference is simple. If you are empathetic, you understand how the buyer feels but you don’t necessarily feel that way, too. If you are sympathetic, you FEEL the way the buyer feels. In order to effectively negotiate, you almost have to remove yourself from the situation and look at it from a third party perspective. By doing this, you’ll perform more effectively for your buyer and yourself.
-Focus on creating win-win outcomes. NEVER feel as if there is a winner and loser in your negotiations. If you go into the process genuinely looking for a way for both parties to succeed, you will be far better off and have much more success.
-Timing is everything. In fact, it’s been said that the person who has less time constraints will be in the strongest position in most negotiations. Don’t get yourself into a situation where you have to let the clock negotiate for you.
-If you MUST make price concessions, be precise and work in “odd” amounts. For example: instead of reducing your price by $500 at the first sign of a price objection, offer to reduce it $83. This will create the impression that you are already offering the buyer a great price AND the odd amount will imply that you are really working to the bottom line. Also, as you negotiate your concessions should become smaller, not larger.
Again, if you give up something, get something in return. This is a given. Any time you have to give up anything (price, terms, etc) you should ask for something in return from your buyer. NEVER give up something for nothing.
Use these tips and you’ll soon find yourself becoming a stronger negotiator with satisfied customers!