Want to know the secrets the “best of the best” use when they negotiate a deal?

Of course you do!

How do I know they’re the secrets of the best?  For the last 10+ years, I’ve been questioning the best sales leaders to uncover what makes them so successful in negotiations.

Of all the tips I receive, here are the 6 that consistently show up in the responses:

1. Always be prepared to walk away and make sure the other party knows you’re comfortable walking away.

If you aren’t prepared to walk away from the deal, then you’re stuck having to accept the terms of the other party.  Be clear upfront with the other party that you are  prepared to walk away and that making a deal is not necessary for you to feel good.

2. Leverage time to your advantage.

Nothing is more effective as a negotiating tool than the use of time.  Why do most labor agreements get negotiated with only minutes to go until a strike is called?

Using time goes both ways. You can use it to force a deal with the other party or to drag out a deal to secure a better offer.  Either way, know before you begin how you intend to leverage time.

Key is to not leverage it too early in the negotiation. Bringing up the issue of time at a critical juncture of the negotiation will allow you to gain maximum value.

3. Always have an option and know what their needs are.

Know what the other party is looking for and what you’re looking for.  This allows you to have the most flexibility and allows you to fully capitalize on what the other party values.

4. Never show your best offer.

Regardless of how heated the negotiations get, never put your best offer on the table.  Your best offer is for you — and you only — to know.  Putting your “best offer” on the table will be seen as being desperate, and the other party will seize on it and go for still more.

5. Never put anything in writing until you’re ready to sign.

Everything is negotiable and remains negotiable right up to the point of signing a contract.  Putting things in writing may appear to be the proper way to proceed, but you can wind up boxing yourself in with too few options near the close of the negotiation. 

6. Leverage the other party’s pain or need.

It’s always about the other person’s need or pain. It’s never about yours.  The more you can keep the conversation focused on what they need, the greater the concessions you’ll secure from them.

There’s the list!  What do you see that you can improve in your negotiating skills?

The best thing of all is using these tips effectively doesn’t require special training.  All it takes is preparation ahead of the negotiation and focus during the 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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