8 Essential Negotiation Skills You Need

Negotiation can land or lose you the perfect deal. If you have the skill, you’ll end up with exactly the agreement you want. If you don’t, you’ll be stuck pandering to your leads with the end result of unsatisfying business. So how can you improve your abilities and your sales?  

1) Be confident

One-on-one negotiation is commonly difficult for salespeople. With the success rate of negotiators that lack confidence not reaching above 20%, it’s important you have this on your side. We don’t just mean be confident in yourself either.

In order to succeed in sales negotiation, you also need to be confident in your product. Let the value of what you’re offering justify your unwillingness to make too many compromises. If you can’t convince your prospect that they’re buying into a quality product, they won’t offer you top dollar for it.

2) Maintain the ability to compromise

Despite this, never lose the ability to compromise – when a client is particularly determined, this can help move negotiations along. If you show yourself as unmoving, you risk one of three things: your client moving backwards and remaining sturdy as well, a stagnant deal or a loss of the deal entirely. Likewise, an awareness of any discounts or joint offers you can viably place on the table can sometimes help sweeten and close a particularly stiff deal.

3) Don’t get ahead of yourself

Firstly, never amend a deal before you have to. If you immediately start lowering the price of your product, the prospect will feel that they were originally being cheated. You lose money and credibility with the buyer. Secondly, never assume anything during the back-and-forth. In negotiations, agreements change sporadically. Nothing is certain until both parties have finalised the details.

4) Let your prospect take the lead

Always let your prospect lead the discussion. Without knowing where your boundaries are, the client is more likely to be cautious about amendments they want to make. Caution means the drafted contract doesn’t stray far from the original, and so the finalised deal will benefit you more.

5) Don’t forget, money isn’t only important to you

Whilst the final financial agreement of the negotiation is obviously a concern for you, never forget that it’s on your prospect’s mind as well; probably even more so. Be realistic. Can you offer a staggered payment programme? Is the buyer justified in asking for a lower price, or are they being difficult? If a customer can find a similar product elsewhere for a much lower price, they may be willing to sacrifice quality over cost.

6) Fully understand your client

You want to know the company you’re dealing with inside-out before you enter into negotiations. Be sure you’re aware of what they want, how much they want it, and how far they are willing to go to obtain it. A good rapport between you and your client is vital. Showing them that you are willing to tailor a deal to their needs will make them more likely to trust that what they need is you.

7) Don’t withhold the truth

We all know what it’s like when someone offers us something great. You end up asking the question “what’s the catch?” Inevitably, your prospects will ask the same thing if you inflate your product too much. It’s essential that you are honest when you need to be.

Your product isn’t perfect. So what? Compared to similar products offered by other brands, yours is by far the best for a list of reasons. You just need to convince your prospects why.

8) Don’t overthink or oversell

Great salespeople never look like they are selling anything. Great salespeople circulate information on their product and build others’ confidence in it. They don’t sell, they let the product sell itself. This is the key to your success as a salesperson.

Ready for the next steps? Read our guide on how to build an overperforming sales team.

Better yet, if you’re looking to other sales related material, why not check out this guide we wrote on the age old marketing vs sales debate?


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