We negotiate every day at every point in our lives; with our family members, with our friends, our pets, our bosses & as sales folks… certainly with our customers. It’s a skill we just can’t live without. Some people are good at it, some struggle…
Here are my 8 points to consider, if you wish to get better at negotiations:
1. Start at the Right Time
The golden rule of negotiation is “Don’t start it yourself”. But it’s unavoidable if you’re into selling a service or software. Negotiations will pop-up at some point of time.
Starting the negotiations talking about pricing or contracts isn’t always wise. Very early in the conversation, set the tone…. If you want to get some, give some. That they will get exactly what they pay for; nothing more or less.
Timing the negotiations is key. Start it early or too late, your chances of closing the deal get slim. Do the homework on the prospect, gather as much info on him as you can, & just go with the flow. The moment your prospect seems ready, break the ice.
2. Research has its Weight in Gold
Contrary to new-age popular belief of going into a discussion impromptu… the better you know about your prospect & understand his needs, better chances you have to crack the deal.
Key during prospecting is always to listen more & talk less. Ask questions, try to get all the info you need from the prospect himself, his problems, his requirements, his expectations, his likes & dislikes. Being better informed will let you have an upper hand during the negotiations.
3. Keep the Equation Casual, Always
So many deals collapse only because things get too serious after a point. The only way to avoid this is by making the prospect feel that you’re there only to help them. Not just to earn a few bucks out of them.
Keep the conversation casual, strike some humor every once in a while… & if you come across any common interests, don’t miss out on throwing that topic in… for striking a chord instantly.
4. Building Trust is Important
Over the years, sales reps have built up a negative impression around themselves. So much so that people avoid them without even hearing what they have to offer.
The only way to stand out is by making them feel that you care for them. Show that you understand their bottlenecks, have their best interests in mind & can offer valuable solutions better than anybody else. Be clear on what your offer can solve & whatnot.
Above all, make promises that you can fulfill. Big talks & no show don’t work at all.
5. Put an Educated Offer First
Nowadays, the customers/prospects are actually wiser than you think. They have access to so much information & alternatives than you can imagine. At a very early stage, they prefer to compare multiple options & then take decisions.
Hence, avoid putting an offer on the table without analyzing the requirements of the prospect. Gather every piece of useful information from your research & put it to good use. Prepare an offer that suits the prospect’s liking & his interest remains intact with you.
6. Believe in What You’re Offering
Irrespective of the fact whether you’re a freelancer or work for a startup/small/medium/large organization, you have to be confident that what you’re selling is complete value for money. You have to believe that your service/product is worth every penny you’re asking for.
Don’t hesitate to collect success stories from your existing users/customers & brag about how your offerings have helped their businesses. Actual facts go a long way in establishing trust among new prospects.
7. Showcase the Freebies
Everything works on trust. Don’t miss out on telling your prospects how you can help them by additionally providing excellent support post-sales, on-boarding assistance etc.
If people trust your product/service & everything else that comes associated with it, they don’t hesitate to spend that extra dollar for a better option. It’s always about the experience!
8. Ask for Something in Return for a Discount
In case you’ve come far in the discussion & a time comes where you feel that giving a concession or a discount will help you close the deal for the good, don’t hesitate. But also, take this opportunity to ask the prospect for something of value in return; A testimonial, success story, review or even a referral.
It’s a win-win for both parties.
Here are a few things I believe would help someone become a better negotiator. Feel free to leave your comments if you have any more tips for the same.
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