Too many salespeople go into negotiations without any type of a plan.

It’s critical you know what your sales negotiation strategies are to ensure you have the ability to achieve your objectives.

This does not mean all sales negotiations are going to be won. I’m a firm believer that some negotiations are won by losing.

Other times, sales negotiations should be seen as opportunities to take a stand or to send signals to a customer or even an industry as to how you will behave.

Another strategy if you’re negotiating for the first time with a customer with whom you’ve never done work is to merely use the negotiation as an opportunity to learn more about them.  This would be with an anticipation you will have additional opportunities in the future to negotiate again.

The number one thing to remember is no matter your sales negotiation strategy, there is one outcome you can’t forget.  You want to make sure you end the negotiation having earned the right, privilege, opportunity and respect to meet with the customer again.

Here is a sales negotiation strategies checklist to use as you develop your sales negotiation strategy:

1.  Know the playing field

What are you negotiating about?

What is the customer negotiating about?

What are the customer’s expectations?

2.  Understand the source of power

Who has it?

What is their source?

Is it sustainable?

What could impact each person’s level of power?

3.  Develop shopping lists

What are the things you’re looking for?

What are the things your customer is looking for?

4.  Negotiation Variables

What do you deem as essential, desirable and preferable, and what do you know are things you would walk away on?

What would your customer deem as essential, desirable and preferable, and things they would walk away on?

What is the “cost” of each item you’ve listed?

5.  Determine the tactics / strategies

What is your plan of action?

What will be your customer’s plan of action?

How will you respond to each move your customer might make?

What is your point of win and what is your point of walk away?

A sales negotiation strategies checklist like this will significantly improve the likelihood that you will not only know when to negotiate, but also how to negotiate.

Copyright 2012, Mark Hunter “The Sales Hunter.” Sales Motivation Blog.

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