Sales negotiations are crucial to success. Negotiating in sales requires professionals to leverage various strategies via a series of discussions to demonstrate value, overcome prospect objections, and improve the chances of a deal being closed.
For salespeople, leveraging the right negotiation strategies and tactics can be the difference between losing a lead, and creating a dedicated brand advocate.
The question is, how do you negotiate effectively, without losing your power as a sales professional?
At their core, sales negotiations are strategic discussions between sellers and buyers. They focus on building rapport, answering questions, overcoming objections, and proving value. The primary goal of negotiating in sales is to reach an agreement everyone can be happy with.
In a successful sales negotiation:
Sales negotiations can be a one-time event, after a price or contract has been sent to a prospect, or they can occur throughout the entire sales process.
Sales negotiations ensure companies can appeal to their audience’s needs and interests, by adjusting the deal to suit specific requirements. According to studies, the best negotiators in sales are 12.5 times more likely to be happy with the outcomes of their sales conversations, and 3.1 times more likely to achieve their target pricing for a sale.
Negotiating in sales creates value for both the salespeople and the customers. The purpose of sales negotiations is to arrive at an agreeable deal for both parties. This reduces the risk of conflict between salespeople and consumers and improves the chances of mutually beneficial outcomes.
Negotiating in sales can also help salespeople to build more effective, lasting relationships with customers. Negotiations give both parties more room to communicate constructively, building a rapport that can lead to better brand loyalty, and increased customer lifetime value.
Used correctly, negotiation strategies and tactics n sales allow sellers to frame themselves as crucial resources to their buyers. This improves a company’s chances of conversions while enhancing the overall brand reputation. Successful negotiating in sales can lead to:
Learning how to negotiate in sales effectively requires sales professionals develop a series of crucial skills. While there are various skills which can be relevant to the negotiation process, some of the most common employees will need to prioritize include:
Effective sales negotiations begin with preparation. The most important thing any salesperson can do is learn everything they can about their prospect, the business they’re going to be serving, and the products or services they have to offer.
To start a sales negotiation, make a list of your prospects pain points, competing solutions, and potential objectives or goals. It’s also worth making sure you know exactly who you’re going to be talking to throughout the negotiation (such as the CIO or CTO).
It’s also a good idea to clearly define concessions ahead of time. Cost is used as a negotiation tactic 12 times more often than quality. Knowing what kind of deals you’re prepared to give your client will ensure you’re in a position of power when expense issues arise.
There are various ways a sales professional can approach sales negotiations. Some specialists focus all of their attention on conveying value in every conversation. Others use confidence and emotional impact to drive the direction of the conversation. Here are some of the top negotiation strategies and tactics experts might try.
Knowing when to walk away from a negotiation, and having the confidence to do so is crucial. If a buyer knows you’re desperate for a sale, they end up with more power than you.
However, if you’re willing to walk away and take your value with you, this gives you a more level playing field. Remind yourself you have alternative prospects to turn to. Your time is important, so let your customers know you don’t need to give them this opportunity.
Research shows being willing to walk is the number one strategy for better negotiating in sales.
Your focus in any sales negotiation should be to convince your customer your solution is worth their investment. This means you shouldn’t be tempted to cut the cost of your offer the first time you’re met with an objection. Instead, focus on demonstrating value wherever you can.
For instance, if your buyer raises an objection about price, find out why exactly they’re worried about the cost. If they’re concerned that they’re not going to get a return on their investment, you can use previous case studies and statistics to prove the value of your product or service.
Value-driving sales organizations are two times more likely to capture better prices, and have a higher win rate in general.
Finally, sales negotiations are often an emotional affair – don’t be afraid to use this to your advantage. The best sales negotiators influence the emotions of their buyers deliberately. They focus on building rapport, and trust through evidence of their thought leadership.
In some cases, they can also leverage things like “fear of missing out”, to highlight the potential dangers of failing to take advantage of a great deal.
Remember, the best negotiators also manage their own emotions. Don’t let your frustrations get the best of you during negotiation discussions.