We are on a roll looking at the critical things you need for a negotiation to go well!
Already we have covered:
Now we have arrived at another vital aspect: Do you know their timeline for making a decision?
Time is a huge tool we can leverage in a negotiation. If the customer is in no rush to make a decision, they will naturally refuse any offer we make.
Don’t ask during the negotiating phase what their timeline is for making a decision. Ask during the selling phase, as they will be in a more relaxed state and less likely to give you a false date.
This sounds so obvious and yet too many salespeople overlook it. The reason I believe salespeople overlook it is they want to believe that because they are talking to a potential customer, the customer naturally must be ready to buy.
The reality is many times the customer is not ready to buy, but is merely gathering information. Yes, this is becoming less of an issue, due to the availability of information that customers have by way of the Internet, but it is still a key factor in negotiating.
Negotiations are only effective when there is an element of time and a need to buy. If the customer has no need to buy, then the pressure to negotiate rests solely with the salesperson.
The closer the negotiations can occur to the ultimate time as to when the customer has to make a decision, the better off you as the salesperson will be.
Waiting until after you have begun negotiating to find out the customer’s timeline for making a decision is too late. At this point, the customer knows they can gain a key advantage over you by sharing with you a time that is much further out than what they might really have.
Let me use a car buying example. You might be in critical need to buy a new car, but by telling the salesperson you’re in no rush, they will sense the only way to put you into a new car is by offering you an even more advantageous deal.
You must find out the customer’s timeline for making a decision. Without this information, you will not be in a good position to negotiate.
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Copyright 2015, Mark Hunter “The Sales Hunter.” Sales Motivation Blog. Mark Hunter is the author of High-Profit Selling: Win the Sale Without Compromising on Price.