Negotiating is an essential skill for salespeople as well as most other professionals. People engage in negotiation more often than they might think, but it’s a skill few seem to invest in.
This can be a huge issue because after putting time, energy and valuable resources into researching and creating a proposal one should be prepared for negotiation…but all too often this is not the case. Many focus the bulk of their time on preparation while expecting the negotiation process to go by quickly. However, closing fast is not always desirable as it can often lead to risky or awful deals.
Negotiation courses can help you avoid getting into unfavourable deals and if you are looking to close while still getting the best possible deal, then utilize these 9 essential tips:
- Plan, Plan, Plan – Most people do not plan out their negotiations or the process involved, and this can cause confusion and delays in closing. Set ground rules such as who will facilitate the meeting, what will be discussed, when the negotiation will take place, etc.
- Eliminate External Factors – Ensure that your negotiation will be uninterrupted unless there is an absolute emergency. Disruptions in negotiation can prolong the process or even cause unforeseen problems.
- Set Deadlines – Make sure that your counterpart is aware of any time restrictions you may have and make it clear that if an agreement is not made within the allotted time then it will be difficult to get approval.
- Become Comfortable with Being Uncomfortable – Many people concede in negotiations because they fear to be uncomfortable, but once you become familiar with the feeling you will truly be able to exceed in negotiations. Overcoming this fear is difficult and participating in negotiation courses is often a great tool in dealing with this issue.
- Understand your Prospect and Their Goals – Regardless of where you are in the process, preparing for the next phase is essential. Make sure to research your prospect, their business and their needs.
- Understand the Market – Once you understand your prospect you need to gain a better understanding of your competitors and the market. Gaining knowledge on this subject will give you a better idea of what you should be offering.
- Be clear – Miscommunication in negotiations can lead to major problems. Your prospect should understand exactly what you’re offering and why they need it. You already know what makes your product the best, so make them see it how you do.
- Make Proposals Not Arguments – An argument relies on one party being wrong and the other being right – this will only prolong the process and cause tension between you and the prospect. On the other hand, a proposal encourages the conversation to move forward.
- Listen – While you should be pushing your agenda and offering a solution, that shouldn’t be the only thing you’re doing. Listening, understanding and adapting your deal to fit the client’s needs is key when it comes to closing.
When going into a negotiation your main goal should be creating a valuable proposal that provides a viable solution for your client.
Usually fearing a long negotiation leaves people in a situation where they do not take charge of the process and subsequently, they become more inclined to concede in order to prevent delays and conflict.
A huge amount of time is spent researching and planning so don’t waste that energy because you did not properly prepare for a negotiation. Incorporating negotiation courses into the process will help you close even the most difficult deals.