The negotiation process isn’t always easy for a salesperson to navigate. But mastering the process is paramount to your success. The bottom line: if you can’t negotiate well you won’t fare well in anything you do in life. In this episode of Sales Reinvented, Chad Burmeister joins me to talk about some of the parts of the negotiation process that salespeople shy away from—and how to change it.
Chad Burmeister is the Founder and CEO of ScaleX.ai, which promises to deliver an “unfair competitive advantage” by helping your salespeople increase lead frequency and sales competency. He is the author of multiple books, including AI for Sales and Sales Hack. Don’t miss his stellar insight on the negotiation process.
Chris Voss was the first to make the phrase “everything is a negotiation” popular—and for good reason. Chad points out that nearly everything we do involves negotiation. When you make a purchase, engage in a conversation, or play with your kids, some sort of negotiation is involved. Chad points out that it’s well worth any monetary investment to go from a ‘C’ level negotiator to an ‘A+’. Perhaps that change in status means more bookings, more revenue—maybe even fame and fortune. Whatever it is you’re trying to achieve in life can be benefitted from mastering negotiation.
The Objective Management Group has studied close to two million salespeople and found that only 54% are comfortable discussing money. A salesperson NEEDS to be able to comfortably discuss money in the negotiation process—yet most can’t stomach it. Chad sees that as one of the biggest roadblocks to a successful negotiation.
Chad notes that the discomfort associated with discussing money is often associated with the way you were raised. Did your family have money? Were they savers or spenders? Did they avoid discussing money at all? If you can understand your money mindset and buying pattern, you can learn how to master this part of the negotiation process.
Instead of letting a prospect walk away to “look at other vendors” you have to be comfortable pointing out what you discussed. “I thought we’ve discussed your priorities and requirements? You’ll save a million and increase sales by 5.4 million. Why do you need to look at the other vendors?” Chad shares another story about haggling in Mexico that drives the point home—so keep listening.
When Chad completed his MBA, he took a class on power, politics, and negotiation. They spent a lot of time role-playing negotiations. Roleplaying in class with other students was the catalyst he needed to learn the negotiation process inside and out.
Aside from consistent practice, Chad recommends taking a class or reading a book—you can even play poker. Learning the art of poker is a great way to learn how to see people’s tells, when they’re exaggerating, etc.
Chad also believes you need to master closing techniques. Instead of “let’s schedule our next step meeting” at the end of a meeting, ask “If I could... would you…?” You’re essentially giving them an option to voice any objections they have to closing the deal in that meeting.
To hear more of Chad’s advice—including his thoughts on gap selling—keep listening!
Chad’s second job out of college was with Airborne Express. He had set up a meeting with Uhaul about some packages they had been shipping with USPS They were shipping packages of license plates for $4.50. The Uhaul would meet the USPS truck in whichever state the plates were to be delivered. They send 12,000 of these a month. 10% of the time, the USPS truck didn’t make it in time and the license plates got shipped back. So Chad took the time to dig and find out the impact of the 10% of trucks that were missed.
Other than being fined, every once and a while a cop would sometimes pull over Uhaul trucks with expired plates and make them empty the contents from one truck into another. So with the fines, he calculated Uhaul was spending $5.87 to ship the new license plates. Airborne typically charged $6 to ship, but he offered to do it at $5 and demonstrated the total cost of ownership that would save Uhaul money.
Chad won the account—1,000 shipments a month. Then he won the Canadian account, which was 2,000 shipments a month. He went on to become the #1 salesperson at Airborne. Eventually, he got recruited away to a job in southern California where he met his wife and started his family—all because of the outcome of ONE negotiation.
Listen to the whole episode of Sales Reinvented for Chad’s insight on the negotiation process. If you’re looking to improve your skills—this is the place to start!
Audio Production and Show notes by
PODCAST FAST TRACK