Sell first. Negotiate second.
This is a line I use a lot for one very simple reason: You have to sell first before you can begin to negotiate.
The more effective you are in your selling, the more effective you’ll be in your negotiating. In fact, you will do less negotiating, which means you will protect your pricing and your profit more.
The problem too many salespeople have is they confuse the two tasks.
When they think they’re selling, they’re really negotiating, and when they think they’re negotiating, they’re really negotiating. If you think I wrote that wrong, I didn’t. It’s far too easy to negotiate.
Selling is about understanding the needs of the customer and allowing the customer to understand your product offering and, more importantly, the benefits you can assist them with.
Too many times, salespeople will mix negotiating and selling together and try to do both at the same time. Sorry, but you can’t negotiate and sell at the same time.
As tempting as it might be to negotiate early on with a customer, the salesperson who does will find themselves undermining both their short-term and their long-term profit.
Sell first, or as I sometimes say — sell first, and even sell second. Only after the customer rejects your proposition twice should you even think about negotiating.
Make your statements and questions to the customer clear. Don’t use the selling phase as the time to test out various offers. The reason I say this is because if you throw out to the customer too early multiple pricing options, you will wind up giving the customer the idea that you’re willing to negotiate.
If you want to put multiple offers on the table as a way of gauging what the customer might want, make sure all of the offers are of the same price/value relationship. When you do this, you will be able to still gain the input you need from the customer without having the conversation become focused on price.
Sell first. The more you engrain this into the way you handle your career, the better off you will be.
Copyright 2012, Mark Hunter “The Sales Hunter.” Sales Motivation Blog.