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4 Things You Must Know BEFORE You Negotiate

InsightToo many salespeople find themselves dreading having to negotiate.

Reason is simple: They dread it because they don’t feel they’re any good at it.

Truth be told, they’re right!  They’re not good at it, because they’ve done zero to prepare themselves to negotiate a successful outcome.

If you’re not willing to do your homework before heading into a negotiation, then you have every reason to dread negotiating.

There is a pretty simple belief I’ve held for years: The more prepared you are heading into a negotiation, the more likely you’ll exit the negotiation 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.

If preparing is important, then how do you prepare to negotiate?  It’s really quite simple. It comes down to four simple things.

First is being confident in exactly what you will offer.

Second is using time to your advantage.

Third is knowing two or more critical needs the customer has that you can help them with.

Fourth is being certain you’re negotiating with a person who can make a decision.

That’s it!  When I share these four things with salespeople who dread negotiating, they look at me with a blank stare. Their blank stare is then followed by a question that goes something like, “Is that it? I thought it would be a lot more.”

Knowing how to use each of the four items is key. Here are some quick tips to help you use each one successfully:

Be confident and know exactly what you will offer.

Key reason salespeople give too much when negotiating is because they failed to establish before hand what their negotiating boundaries are going to be.  Knowing your offer will increase your level of confidence.

When you do present your offer, you must do it with confidence. This means strong body language, solid voice and tone and, most of all, eye contact.  Customers – especially those who like to negotiate – will sense immediately in your body language if there is room to give.  Best way to prevent this is by not showing a weakness.

Second thing I mentioned is using 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 from them by using urgency as not only a reason to close the deal now, but also as a way to help get full-price.  If customers know there is either a limited time or a limited supply, their willingness to buy will naturally increase.

Third item is knowing at least two needs the customer has.

This is why the selling process is so important.  It’s all about uncovering the needs of the customer.  If the customer doesn’t share their needs, then why should you expect them to be interested in buying anything anywhere close to full price?

The more needs you can get the customer to share with you, the more you can build on them. Your goal is to help the customer see that what you have to offer is what they need right now!

Last item shouldn’t even be something a person is concerned with but surprisingly enough it is with far too many salespeople. Why would a salesperson even think about negotiating with anyone other than a decision maker?  Reason is simple — too many salespeople fail to verify during the sales process that the person with whom they are dealing is even the decision maker.

A good rule to follow is ASK!

Early in the sales process, the salesperson must verify, and the easiest way is to ask them, “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 things that allow you to go into a negotiation prepared.

Having answers to these four things doesn’t guarantee success, but it will seriously increase your odds of having a successful negotiation.

For more negotiation tips, download my free infographic on negotiation.

Copyright 2014, Mark Hunter “The Sales Hunter.” Sales Motivation Blog. Mark Hunter is the author of High-Profit Selling: Win the Sale Without Compromising on Price.

Click on the below book cover for more info on boosting your profits!

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1 thought on “4 Things You Must Know BEFORE You Negotiate”

  1. Hi Mark,
    Really enjoyed your Negotiation piece. Years ago i took a Negotiation Skills workshop while I was at Pepsico and it was top drawer. I think you nailed it here too, Thanks for the added insight and graphic.
    Best,
    J. Hurst

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