It’s important to practice and train in football, basketball, or any other professional sport, right? Yet too many professionals discount the importance of practice and preparation. But if you don’t plan and prepare when you’re negotiating with a team, you’re planning and preparing for complete failure. A great negotiation is the result of great planning on both sides. Keld Jensen emphasizes that you must spend time preparing—more so than on the negotiation itself. Learn how he accomplishes this in this episode of Sales Reinvented!
Keld believes there are hundreds of steps one can take to prepare for a negotiation with a team, but names a few of the most important:
Keld uses a negotiation planner that is simply a schedule with columns. One column lists the variables that are negotiable. Then you take the starting point (i.e. a proposal) and calculate your negotiation wiggle room and the consequence(s) of using that wiggle room. Will you win or lose money? You need to come to a conclusion for every variable and the total cost or benefit.
Keld believes you should never negotiate alone. He recommends negotiation with a team of 2–3 people so nothing gets missed. It’s impossible for one person to do it all.
When Keld pushes his clients and students to work as part of a team, many of them feel uncomfortable. You have to relate to the content, the case, the counterpart, and the people on your team. That requires discipline. A negotiation team should consist of three roles:
You have to coordinate who’s doing what so you don’t unintentionally give away something you shouldn’t.
Keld was helping a Norwegian agency sell a production plan to an Italian customer. The head of the Norwegian negotiation team was the Sales Director. His team consisted of himself, the Technical Director, and the Managing Director. They’d been negotiating for hours, discussing commercial items.
Then the Italian counterpart pointed out that all of the manuals were in English and asked for them to be translated into Italian. The Technical Director jumped in and said, “We’ve already done that!”
The real cost of translating the manual was €12,000 and he just gave it away. Why did he say it? Because he was proud of it. That’s why they should’ve discussed what he was and wasn’t allowed to say. He should have said, “We can discuss how much that will cost.”
What is the most dangerous type of negotiation a salesperson can find themselves in? Listen to the whole episode to hear what it is—and what you should do when you find yourself in that negotiation.
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