Too many people go into a negotiation essentially blind, and the worst thing of all is they don’t even realize it.
They think because they know what they want, they’re going to be just fine.
Sorry, negotiating is not just understanding what it is you want; it also is knowing what the other person wants.
When you go into a negotiation not knowing where the other person is coming from with regard to their goals, what they’re willing to trade, what they see value in, and finally what their timeline is for making a decision, then essentially you’re blind.
The end result is if the other person knows these things about you, then I hate to say it, but you’re probably going to be their lunch!
Worst thing of all is that when you go into a negotiation blind and the other person is incredibly aware, you won’t even know what is happening to you until it’s too late.
When this happens, the outcome many times gets even worse, if you can believe it.
The person who is not prepared suddenly realizes their disadvantage, and they make haphazard attempts to try to gain the upper-hand. Problem is if the other person knows you’re blind, then they’re going to pick up on this right away and turn it against you.
There are some very simple rules you can follow to keep from going into a negotiation blind. Here they are:
1. Never negotiate with anyone unless you know they have the authority to make the decision.
2. Never negotiate with anyone unless you know their timeline for making a decision.
3. Never negotiate with anyone until you know at least 3 things they value in what you’re offering.
4. Never negotiate with anyone until you know their sense of a price/value relationship with regard to your product or service.
These aren’t complicated rules, and if you can objectively answer them before starting to negotiate with the other person, you won’t be blind. Chances are that you’ll know at least as much as the other person knows, if not more.
Sales negotiation is an activity that can only start after you have first gone through the selling process. The reason the selling process is so important is because it’s in this phase where you can find out the answers to the four rules I’ve listed above.
Copyright 2012, Mark Hunter “The Sales Hunter.” Sales Motivation Blog.