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The other day, I ran a post giving you 3 tips on better negotiating.   My hope is that post gave your sales motivation a boost and reminded you that strengthening your negotiating skills is well worth it. Sure, you may not like negotiating. Is it the least favorite part of your job? If so, all the more reason to kick things into high gear and refine your skills.

Here are three more tips to ponder:

Know when to walk away and be confident in doing so. If you want this to work, you must have some accountability with someone else, such as your sales manager, a peer, etc.  Figure out what your walk away point is and share that with your accountability partner.  That way, if indeed you do need to use this tactic, you have the necessary motivation in the moment. It is better to walk away than to leave so much on the table that you have been detrimental to yourself and your company.

Know at least 5 things the other person wants that you can offer. Can’t think of five things off the top of your head?  Well, of course you can’t — if you haven’t walked in the right priorities.  You must do the front end work of selling first and negotiating second.  When you sell first, you become well acquainted with what the customer wants. You can then leverage this if necessary.

Know at least 5 things you can say that will challenge what the other person is offering (price not included). Never negotiate on price. Negotiate using other items, such as technical performance, operational efficiencies, etc. that will provide the leverage needed to avoid a price-oriented discussion.  If negotiations become centralized on price, you are more likely to discount, which isn’t going to help you short term or long term.

While negotiating may not be the most enjoyable aspect of a sales job, it is an intricate part of how our industry runs. Resolve to be at the top of your game — not just with your sales skills, but also with your negotiating skills.

Copyright 2011, Mark Hunter “The Sales Hunter.” Sales Motivation Blog.

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