Negotiating is one of the most important skills you can learn.
While it is a
skill, it’s an art as well.
Learn to negotiate like a pro and your sales career will be
much more rewarding, in all aspects.
Negotiating is a topic that covers much more than we can
cover in a 33 minute lesson.
However, here are some points to remember:
negotiate for something for which you aren’t prepared to walk away.
Once the person you are negotiating with knows you have to
have what they are holding from you, they have the upper hand.
Make sure before you start the negotiation that you have
alternatives or you can live without whatever they have.
If you learn nothing else from this lesson, please learn and
understand this point.
Everything else follows behind it.
patient. Most people
aren’t. Many times you
will get what you want by just waiting out the other party.
This point follows closely behind the second point. If you
can live without whatever you are negotiating for, then you do have
the luxury of being patient.
Along those lines, when talking over the phone or face to
face, don’t respond immediately to an offer.
Many times your silence will be taken as a sign that you do
not care for their offer.
This can be difficult, but you must bite your tongue.
Many times, having used this approach I have had the other
party come back with something like, “Well, I can see you don’t like
that idea, how about this…” and offer something better.
professional and courteous.
You don’t want to appear confrontational.
Never give someone a reason to want to “stick it to you.”
I hear this frequently from sports coaches before big games.
They don’t want their players “trash-talking” about their
opponents. They don’t
want the other team to have any additional reason to fight harder to
to listen. You have a
better chance of being heard if you really listen to the other
person. Sometimes this
requires parroting back to the other person what you believe you
heard. If the other
person thinks that you are not listening or paying attention, they
will become frustrated and either physically or mentally quit
negotiating. There are
plenty of books and articles on listening.
Check one out before
you start negotiating.
exactly what the other party wants early by asking them.
“What do you want out of this negotiation?” is a legitimate
question that shows you care.
It also helps you prepare what you are going to offer or
concede before you open your mouth.
You may get someone trying to be coy with you and say
something like, “I want to get the best deal possible.”
You can respond with, “Come
on, Joe. Let’s get it
all on the table so we can work together to get this done.”
how to let the other party win something from the negotiation.
Decide ahead of time what you can live without and keep that
in your back pocket. If
you believe it may be of value to the other party, let them “win”
it. Everybody likes to
“save face” and be able to walk away feeling as though they won
negotiate when either party is angry or distracted.
You will be wasting your time.
And, if you do go ahead with the negotiation, you probably
won’t get what you want.
If you are
the one starting the negotiation by making the first offer, be
certain you convey your excitement about your offer.
You are thrilled you could offer this to them and nobody
else. Many times people
will accept this as they don’t want to disappoint you or start the
relationship off on a negative note.
– There are excellent books on negotiating.
Get a few of them and read or listen to them.
One I can personally recommend is,
Getting to Yes by Roger
– You want sales reps that aren’t going to cave in the first
time a prospect throws something at them that’s just a
Encourage them to learn negotiating skills and situational role
play with them.