As a sales leader, you want to prepare for every step of the process. Because negotiation is so far down the sales funnel, it would be a shame to be unprepared and lose a deal because you weren’t prepared. Preparation allows you to think strategically. It also makes you look professional. Someone’s business was important enough for you to take the time to prepare. So how do you prepare strategically? And what does it take to have a successful negotiation? Learn more from Kristie Jones in this episode of Sales Reinvented!
When Kristie is talking to a sales leader, she has them focus on two things:
You need to write down these things. When sales reps do this, they’ll see that they’re on a more level playing field.
If you’ve forged a relationship with a prospect or customer, you should understand their non-negotiables and where their buying power is. You want to make sure you fully understand their position. What are their concerns or problems? Look at contract language, pricing, timing, etc. Everything can be part of the negotiation.
Self-awareness is also important. If you know you’re meeting with an introverted procurement person, you may have to slow down and focus on details. You need to understand yourself and how you come across. Once you do that, you can adjust your communication style to fit the other party.
Kristie asks people to sit down and draw a line down the middle of a piece of paper and write down the costs of no agreements. She also has them write down what they’re willing to give to get what they want. So when a negotiation gets stressful, they can have their cheat sheets in front of them. Because when tensions rise and the stakes are high, people start to panic, which leads to bad decisions.
Kristie is dating someone who lives in another state and works where she lives. She knew that spending New Year's Eve together would be a challenge. But it was important to her. So three months ahead of the holiday, she shared she wanted to spend those days together. She wanted to kick back and watch football together the next day. It was a non-negotiable for her. She gave plenty of notice that the non-negotiable existed.
As the time got closer, and she knew that the negotiation would have to begin, Kristie sat down with him to go over her give/gets. She had them prepared in her head. She brought the topic up at a time she thought was appropriate. She asked what the plans were.
He shared the challenges he was facing, which she had already anticipated. So she shared some viable options:
Negotiation is a process, not an event. She gave him time to think about what might work. Then they’d get back together and formulate a plan. They ended up deciding that he’d spend New Year’s Eve Day with the kids and spend the rest of the weekend with her. Everyone was willing to give a little to get a little.
But what happened next? Listen to the whole episode to find out why flexibility in any negotiation is key.
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