Notice it says sell first and negotiate second. It does not say negotiate first and then try to sell. It’s important that you don’t forget which one comes first! 

Let me share a paragraph from my new book, A Mind for Sales: 

One of the great misconceptions people have about sales is the notion that all salespeople want to do is negotiate. Making this worse is the misconception that negotiating is a process where both sides are trying to take advantage of each other. This perception is one I cannot stand. As bad as it is for non-salespeople to subscribe to it, there are a lot of salespeople who believe it too. No wonder so many people hate waking up on Monday morning, or any morning. They know they will be negotiating a deal. To people who think this way, having to face the lions in the middle of the Roman Colosseum with the crowd all rooting for the lions is a more viable option. Negotiating does not have to be evil and it does not have to be part of every sales transaction. The best sales are the ones where the need to negotiate never enters into the conversation. The reason negotiation is not a central part of clos- ing the sale is because both parties trust each other. Sales is about investing in others to know where they are coming from. This creates mutual trust. 

The reason painful negotiations occur is because of the lack of trust between both parties. If we want to really uncover the true needs of a customer and understand the outcomes that he/she  is looking for, trust must be built. And it’s your job to start that process. The lower the level of trust between the two parties, the higher the pain of the negotiations. Trust must be a core principle in the sales process. I always say when you create a high level of trust you will create a deep level of conversation.  

Video: Sell First and Negotiate Second: 

The deeper your level of conversation, the less likely you’ll need to negotiate.  This is not a hard concept unless you don’t like listening to people.  Trust is built when you take the time to listen, ask meaningful questions, and deeply value what the customer says.  Until the customer learns how much you value their insights, there is little chance of trust being established.    

One of the many reasons why I see sales as a lifestyle and not as a job or a profession is because of this process. It’s about valuing the customer and their opinion.  Take a few minutes and evaluate the deals you’ve had in the past where the negotiations have been difficult.  Most likely they were tough because of a lack of trust, and that lack of trust is related to you and the customer not having a full understanding of the customer’s needs or of your expectations.  

Copyright 2020, Mark Hunter “The Sales Hunter” Sales Motivation Blog.  Mark Hunter is the author of A Mind for Sales and High-Profit Prospecting: Powerful Strategies to Find the Best Leads and Drive Breakthrough Sales Results.


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