7 key things you can start doing right now to improve your negotiating skills:
1. Be prepared to walk away. Have 100% confidence you can and will do it if necessary.
Too many salespeople fall victim to getting chiseled down on price one small step at a time. Ultimately, they agree to an offer that simply doesn’t make sense. You have to know your walk-away point.
2. Make sure the person you’re negotiating with is the one who can and will make the decision.
Nothing will undermine a negotiation more than thinking you have an agreement, only to hear from the other party they now need to go to someone else to see what they think.
3. Only negotiate when the other party has rejected your offer at least 2 times.
Agreeing to make concessions too quickly only results in one thing — losing credibility and losing profit. A better approach? Sell first and negotiate second.
During the selling process is when you uncover the customer’s real needs. Understanding those needs are key if and when you do have to negotiate.
4. Before you even start negotiating, know how the other party values time and the timeline in which they intend to make a decision.
Time is the ultimate negotiation tool. It’s amazing how powerful it can be when the other party is under pressure to make a deal. People who aren’t in a rush to make a decision can be the most difficult to negotiate with.
5. Know your list of things on which you may be willing to concede if you get something of equal or more value in return.
Just like when you go grocery shopping… if you have a list, you’ll spend less. Having your list will keep you focused.
6. Know at least 3 critical needs the customer has that you can leverage in your negotiations.
There is no way you can negotiate successfully if you don’t know what the other party values. Three is the minimum number. Ideally, if you’ve engaged the customer in the selling process, you’ll have a much larger list of needs.
7. Be confident and believe in what you have to offer.
Your outcome is going to be a direct result of the level of confidence you have going into the negotiation process.
Following the above steps will help increase your level of confidence. In the end, it’s what you choose to believe that will ultimately determine your level of confidence.
Copyright 2014, Mark Hunter