It’s important to remember you should sell first and negotiate second.
This means we don’t even think about negotiating with a customer until we have first completed the selling process.
And this means having had our solution rejected at least two times. I’m a strong believer in this rule, because too many times salespeople start negotiating way too quickly, only to find themselves getting into even more trouble.
Below are 4 questions you must be able to answer before even thinking about negotiating:
Has the customer rejected my offer at least twice?
Do I know at least two critical needs the customer has that I can help them with?
Do I know when they intend to make a decision?
Do I know for sure that I’m dealing with the decision maker?
If you don’t have the answers to each of these questions, don’t allow yourself to begin negotiating. The reason is simple—you’ll lose!
Are you ready for the bonus question?
What would the customer response be if you merely walked away and refused to negotiate?
In my work with companies, I discuss this issue in-depth and in particular with sales managers. Having very strict guideline with regard to negotiating is absolutely essential if you’re going to protect your bottom-line.
Some of you may want to argue with me how having a tight policy on when to negotiate can wind up hurting sales and I’ll respond with an emphatic “no”! You’ll wind up with fewer sales if you have a pathetic sales team and you’ll wind up with fewer sales if every customer you’ve ever talked to has been one you’ve negotiated with.
If this is your company, then you have a bigger issue and I would say the issue is how much longer do you expect to remain in business?
Being strict as to when you negotiate and not negotiate will result in one thing with two outcomes. First, your salesforce will learn how to truly sell and become effective at it. The two outcomes will be more sales closed without a discount, thus a higher top-line and a bigger bottom-line.
Negotiating is an issue I talk a lot about in both books I’ve written, High-Profit Selling and Advisor Selling. Click on the below links to find out more:
Copyright 2014, Mark Hunter “The Sales Hunter.” Sales Motivation Blog. Mark Hunter is the author of High-Profit Selling: Win the Sale Without Compromising on Price.