Manager: Martin, what’s the status of the Deco-tech’s deal that you were following up for the last six weeks.
Martin: Oh, it has been good so far. Ryan, the CEO of Deco-tech, seems quite positive. I’ve sent him the price quote. Waiting for his response.
Manager: That’s wonderful
Martin: Yes, it indeed is. Hey, I’ve received an email from Ryan. (after a brief pause) the same disappointing sentence again “the price is too high”
(and the enthusiasm drops)
Haven’t you too faced something similar in your sales career?
No matter which industry you belong to or what you sell.
You’ll surely come across the large rock of ‘negotiation’ that blocks the path to the close.
Due to this roadblock, many deals aren’t closed, and several targets remain unachieved.
So how to tackle this huge rock of negotiation for winning the sales game?
Well, there are many tactics for that. Before I get to the negotiation tactics, let’s first look at some rules and skills that are essential for effective negotiations.
Negotiation rules to abide
Negotiation is a tricky game. There are certain rules that you should be following for creating a win-win situation.
Here are a few rules that you need to follow:
1. Be ready to walk away
What happens when you try to open a pickle jar and are not able to do it. You try harder, put in efforts and then just ask someone else to do it to save your time. Right?
So why waste time on something that’s not worth it. Some prospects purposely use stalling techniques to delay the deal and in the end, refuse. This results in wastage of time. You could have used this time on something more productive.
It is necessary to gain a sense of control during negotiation. Often sellers feel that buyers have control and they can get things done their way. This isn’t necessary; it is the seller who gives the power to the buyers by placing themselves in a weaker position.
You only lose control when you don’t take control – Kylie Francis
Gain control and walk away if the terms of the deals are not as per your set criteria. However, for this, you need to set your criteria and walk away price before the negotiation starts so that you act at the right time.
2. Lead the negotiation
Be like the fearless warrior in the battleground and make the first move. Don’t let the other party take control over you. Take charge of the negotiation process and decide how the negotiation will commence, evolve and close.
“Leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality.” Warren Bennis
Drive the negotiation in the direction you want by taking the lead. I am not asking you to dominate the prospect. But just be on the driver seat and direct the negotiation to an outcome that’s beneficial for both parties.
Well, for that, you need to plan and practice. Your confidence and tone matter here.
If you hesitate in the beginning, you might not be able to articulate your thoughts clearly. The power might shift to the prospect.
There are chances that the prospect might only focus on their benefits. So, while leading the negotiation make sure that the beginning is strong to take control of the entire negotiation process. Sellers who take the lead and make the first offer put themselves in the best position to reach a favorable outcome that’s beneficial for both.
3. Effect emotion
Emotions play a significant role in negotiation; they are the primary drivers in influencing a buying decision. Why do you think big brands like Nike and L’Oréal use impactful taglines “Just do it” and “Because you are worth it”.
Potential buyers can connect with such taglines. Nike’s tagline is inspiring, and L’Oréal’s tagline makes a woman feel good.
“People don’t buy for logical reasons. They buy for emotional reasons” – Zig Ziglar
So hit the emotional chord in negotiation.
You should be able to inspire your prospect’s emotions but at the same time control your own emotions. You can’t get derailed with your emotions by getting too anxious or appearing frustrated.
Be calm during the negotiation. With the right mindset, you can drive the negotiation to a positive outcome that’s mutually beneficial for both.
Evoke different emotions in your prospect.
Like for instance “Sadness” – Revolve around their problem area. For this, you’ll have to find out their needs, concerns, and challenges in the initial phase of the sales process. They might be upset or dissatisfied for not reaching their goals due to some roadblock that’s holding them back. Gathering such information will help in negotiations. You can target the area where they are struggling and show them how your solution will help in overcoming a specific problem.
In this way, you can target this and various other emotions like fear, greed, etc. to win the negotiation game.
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Sales negotiation skills
Sales negotiation can be simple or complex. Certain skills are essential for handling the negotiation and bringing them to a successful culmination.
Here are a few negotiation skills that can help in getting positive results from a sales negotiation.
1. Clarity: Be clear with the concessions you are willing to accept
Sales targets can sometimes make you take desperate steps in the heat of the moment that you might regret later.
Like you lower the price or commit something that you cannot fulfill. This can put you in trouble later.
So be clear from the beginning.
Define the concession you are willing to accept. Whether it is discount, freebies or any other add-on, decide it well in advance.
Don’t go beyond your limits. Stick to what you’ve decided this will help you in staying on track.
2. Calmness: Keep the conversation light
Negotiation is a game played by a calm mind. You shouldn’t get too hyper when things are not going in the desired direction.
Only when your mind is calm; you’ll be able to bring the negotiation to a favorable outcome. You’ll know what to say and will be able to handle prospects’ tricky questions.
Negotiation doesn’t necessarily need to be fierce. It can be jovial and fun. It’s your responsibility to make the conversation light and healthy. Negotiation is like jiving.
You both need each other. If one takes an unexpected step, stumbles, or stamps on the other, it will turn into a fiasco.
When both stay calm, understand each other without creating bad blood, it would be easier to come to a common conclusion.
3. Patience: Don’t react quickly
Patience is one of the most important negotiation skills that can turn the tables and result in positive outcomes.
Don’t come to any conclusion instantly. Have patience and try convincing the client. Patience is the number one trait of an effective negotiator. If you can’t wait, you can’t win.
Most of the sales professionals don’t have the patience to follow-up during a negotiation.
44% of sales reps give up after one follow-up
Well during the negotiation, there are chances that the prospects might not respond instantly. That doesn’t mean they aren’t interested in the deal. Negotiation is a game that needs a lot of effort. So, put the required efforts and follow up.
To simplify your task, advanced CRM like Salesmate helps you in automating your follow-ups. You just need to create a sequence with any number of stages and timely emails as well as texts will be sent as per the set criteria. So, this will make your follow-ups easier and increase the chances of getting a response to push the deal ahead and close it.
Effective sales negotiation tactics
People often become self-centric during the negotiation and think about their own benefits. Which is why many of them can’t come to a common conclusion. Negotiation doesn’t need to be manipulative or deceptive. There can be a common ground where everyone wins.
As a seller, you need to drive the negotiation in a positive direction to successfully close the deals.
Here are a few effective negotiation tactics that can help you:
1) Focus on many non-monetary points
“The prospect is too reluctant, let’s just reduce the price and end it”
Haven’t you had this thought while negotiating with a prospect?
Well, reducing the price isn’t the only way to win a negotiation. Steer the negotiation in a different direction. Instead of lowering the price, you can throw some light on the non-monetary points.
Like, speak about the value your product delivers or you can even mention your strong customer support team. Like how the CS team will help them get acquainted with the product to use it in the most effective way.
You can even offer to mention their company’s name in one of your blogs. Such free marketing attracts the attention of most of the buyers.
Besides this, if you have various pricing plans with different features then you can add one or two features in the basic plan. However, you need to do it in a way that doesn’t hurt your revenue.
Well, you need to wear the creative hat here and see what different can you do that would mean a lot to the prospect. If you do a little brainstorming with your team, you’ll be surprised to see there are many giveaways that can help in convincing a prospect during a negotiation.
Being creative is seeing the same thing as everybody else but thinking of something different.
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2) Build a sense of urgency
Some prospects just tend to stretch the negotiation for long. Building a sense of urgency is a great sales negotiation tactic that can help in dealing with such prospects.
This negotiation tactic stimulates action quickly.
Do you remember the times when the e-commerce sites flashed your favorite gadget or shoes at a discounted rate?
Didn’t you think about getting that product before the offer ends?
This effective negotiation tactic tends to amplify the already-present feeling of wanting something.
Without a sense of urgency, desire loses its value – Jim Rohn
Most of the sellers even create FOMO (fear of missing out) by displaying how many products are left. For instance, travel sites like booking.com display how many rooms are left in a specific hotel.
Highlight how scarce is your product, this is a great way to drive prospects to act. Nobody wants to miss a good deal. The scarcer a product the more people want it.
3) Tackle the ‘what-if’ question with another question
The negotiation often tends to turn into a question-answer session. Potential buyers often shoot many “what if questions”
What if we get a similar product at a better price?
What if we don’t get the expected returns for our investment?
Like these, you ought to face many other “what-if” questions. Most of the sales reps go blank when they are suddenly bombarded with such questions.
Well, the best thing to do here is asking another question to see where the prospect is headed.
For instance, someone asks you a question “What if someone else offers a similar product at a better price?” you can respond with the question “What if you don’t get the necessary features for overcoming the issues at that price?”.
Don’t let the potential prospect overpower you with a set of questions. You might just waste your time answering and explaining yourself.
Instead of just answering their questions and prolonging the sales cycle, make an unexpected move by counter questioning them. They might not have answers to every question. So, there are chances they might not question further, and your negotiation might conclude soon.
4) Identify the pressure points
What does your prospect need the most currently?
Which problem requires immediate attention, or it might affect their business revenue growth?
Well, finding the problem areas of your prospects can give you the strength to drive the negotiation to an outcome that’s favorable for both.
Think about this, don’t you look for an immediate solution when you are under pressure?
For instance, you’ve got a job of your choice in another city and you need to join it immediately. So, finding a new house in that unknown city that too as soon as possible would build pressure on you. There are chances you’ll react quickly and settle for something that serves the purpose.
In a similar way find your prospects’ pressure point. This is a great negotiation tactic if used wisely. Help them visualize the consequences of not addressing the problem right now. Give them strong reasons for implementing the solution immediately.
5) Increases their Glucose level
Wondering if this is seriously a negotiation tactic?
Oh yes! It surely is.
When glucose levels are low people tend to get quite aggressive and this can be harmful to your deal.
They might get offended soon or be too adamant about a certain point while negotiating.
So, if your meeting is planned at a coffee shop, offer them a pastry or something sweet that might keep their sugar level high.
6) Offering a middle option
We are aware that the high price repels a prospect. However, the prospect won’t even be happy if they get low-priced products with very few functionalities.
So, while they are swinging between the two extreme prices, you can grab the opportunity to make the actual proposal.
People tend to go for the middle-priced option as it is better than the lower-priced option and cheaper than the higher-priced one. This a great negotiation tactic where you sandwich the actual offer and make it more attractive.
7) Pause after the prospect makes an offer
A brief pause can make your prospect ponder if they have made the right offer. Don’t immediately accept their offer or start negotiation for a higher price. Be silent for a while after they make an offer.
This will help you in making a better decision and give them time to mull over what they’ve said. The brief silence might make the prospect uncomfortable and there are chances that they might even adjust their offer.
Negotiation is one of the most critical parts of the sales process. If managed smartly it can help in boosting your conversion rate. Along with the right skills and tactics you even need proper planning to negotiate successfully.
Mull over your past negotiations. Records your sales negotiation calls. List the most common objections. Find out ways to tackle them. See where you are going wrong. Implement a software where all the notes and recorded calls related to your negotiations can be stored. Choose a CRM with a built-in phone system where you can find all your sales data as well as make, receive and record your sales calls. Salesmate is one such advanced CRM that comes with such amazing functionalities like built-in calling and email sequences.