In many situations, the side with the more skilled negotiators will likely win the day.
Master deal-makers over time can pick up expert tips that give them the edge in sales talks. The great news is, newcomers can learn and implement these tips in sales training in NYC. Sales negotiators can practice these five expert tips in sales simulations with a coach or partner as part of their preparations.
Invest Enough Time Preparing
Amateurs often lose out because of lack of preparation. An amateur negotiator without the best sales training may fall for common mistakes. One example is believing that having enough leverage and bringing significant value gives you the upper hand without further preparation.
However, what if you don’t have the luxury of more leverage and a compelling value proposition? Even if you do, are you gaining maximum leverage? Could you be missing some more important elements of the deal?
Master negotiators take time to prepare for effective discussions ahead of the scheduled meeting. Most experts conduct research about the deal long before they get to the bargaining table. Through sales training and work experience, expert salespeople ensure they research:
- Industry standards
- Expected price points
- Best practices
- Baseline costs
Sales pros also take time to study individual team members on the buyers’ side. Experts know the importance of learning what motivates the other side’s team. Finding out who makes the final purchase decision is also a key advantage.
How does their buyer get rewarded? If it’s on measurable cost savings per quarter, then can your opening bid be higher to offer a deal by discounting this quarter that makes your buyer look good?
Generally, an expert negotiator invests at least three times more time preparing than negotiating.
For example, if the meeting is expected to last an hour, invest at least three hours in preparation. To get the facts right and on time, you can involve colleagues and even stakeholders from the buyer’s team in the preparation process.
Avoid Negotiating Alone
Experienced negotiators understand there are aspects of the negotiation process they should avoid tackling alone. A finance expert can enrich discussions around money issues. Someone from the legal department can clarify the legality of terms in the offer. If you and your company can afford to, consult with two or three subject matter experts to ensure you’re prepared.
Team negotiation training and sales training videos optimize individual members strengths. A trained sales team can better work out the buyer team’s interests and intent. Sales negotiation skills training helps your team create a better strategy and present a great original offer or counteroffer.
According to The Journal of Conflict Resolution, team negotiators enjoy up to 30% more of an advantage when facing a sole negotiator. In comparison to solo negotiators, sales team negotiations bring on board a broader knowledge base and more creative solutions. Negotiating as a team also allows better planning and more time to reflect before committing to a deal.
Keep Control Through Questions
Expert negotiation course leaders advise asking probing questions to gain more insight and reach a better understanding. Questions mean you can also establish and keep control of the conversation.
You want your prospective buyer to open up and share more about what you need to understand better. You also want to direct the discussions towards what you feel brings out the best results for your team and creates a win-win resolution.
During your thorough preparations, write down your questions so you don’t forget to ask. Writing down questions gives you a chance to sharpen, refine, and order queries in a way that controls the flow of the discussions.
Send Your Agenda
Over time, sales pros develop a keen sense of what’s important in making a sale. It’s important to set your agenda early on and send it out to your client before the meeting. Of course, bring your copy into the meeting, too.
Having a clear agenda sets the pace and rules of the meeting. In turn, a clear agenda boosts your ability to control the flow of the meeting. The agenda sets out what to discuss, the sequence of discussions, and details of the deal offered.
Set your most important items at the top of your agenda. You want to hash out those first before any disruptions and before anyone develops a hard stance on a contentious issue.
Adversarial negotiations bring out the worst in some people. This is especially true in inexperienced negotiators who may come to the meeting tense and long-faced. Quality sales training can equip you to adopt a master negotiator’s attitude and give you the edge in persuading potential buyers.
A master sales professional knows friendliness and understanding yield better results. It’s wise for sales pros to build rapport early on. This can be achieved by engaging in non-business small talk before the meeting.
During the meeting, friendly body language, a smile, and an empathetic tone of voice help to instill a sense of fellowship. These subtle cues can put the client in a positive frame of mind.
When you’re personable and welcoming, the sales client is likely to be more amenable to giving you a deal that you like. A personable salesperson also deflects hostility, de-escalates negative confrontations, and suggests positive solutions.
Skilled salespeople know that being personable gives you authority. When you offer a friendly approach, others tend to gravitate towards you and treat what you say with respect.
Some expert negotiation tips are learned through practice and experience. As you engage in more sales meetings, you can build on these five negotiation techniques to better enable your future success.
Advance preparation can shield you from negative surprises and enable you to make well-suited offers. You will likely better understand what your client needs. You may also be better informed on how to optimize for a profitable relationship.
Being part of a team enables master negotiators to lean on the expertise of others. Teamwork also frees up members to capitalize on individual strengths.
Expert sales negotiators gain control over those with less experience by asking probing questions which set the direction and flow of the meeting. Questions help sales professionals have an in-depth understanding of the customer’s needs.
An expert negotiator sets questions in advance and aligns their questions with a predetermined agenda. Send your agenda prior to the meeting to guide the flow so you arrive at a structured agreement faster.
Sales negotiation is not an argument, so work on being personable and likable. If you are personable, your meeting is more likely to have a positive atmosphere, free of adversarial tension. If you master these five sales negotiation techniques, you will likely find you’re closing more deals on better terms.
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