Overview of the Ebook
When you think about negotiating in sales, what comes to mind? Is it a formal, well-attended event with the heads of organizations on each side of a table, or is it an informal conversation between you and a customer? Does it happen only at the end of the sale, or is it an ongoing conversation through the entire process? No matter how you have imagined negotiating or how you have experienced it, at its root, negotiating is the means through which you demonstrate that you are committed to maximizing value for both your organization and the customer’s organization.
When we talk about value, we are talking about return on investment – in whatever form it takes
In sales, when we talk about value, we are talking about return on investment. This is what helps you to lead a customer to an agreement – reminding them of the savings that they will receive in return whether in increased revenue, decreased expenses, or increased productivity.
To be able to negotiate well, you need to understand how negotiating is related to the basic sales process. Then we’ll discuss what to do to prepare for negotiating, some guidelines for the negotiations process, how to overcome objections, how to reach an agreement, and what to do once the negotiations are over.
Negotiating Sales and the Basic Sales Process
In Chapter 2, we’ll briefly examine the overall basic sales process. By breaking a sale down into the different stages involved, you can understand that how you perform in the earlier stages of the sales process will influence how the negotiation process goes in later stages. We’ll look at a sale from the point of view that a sale is a way to solve a customer’s problem. The process starts with identifying a prospect and builds until you have not only solved the customer’s problem that they originally presented, but you have established yourself as an expert source for the next time the customer has a problem.
We’ll look at a sale from the point of view that a sale is a way to solve a customer’s problem
Then we’ll look at the general skills that anyone who wants to be able to negotiate well should have. If you’ve ever met someone who just seems to be a ‘natural’ at sales, easily overcoming objections and breezing through negotiations at the speed of light, then they either have these skills as an inherent part of their personality, or they have studied or acquired these skills over time.
Before Negotiations Begin
In this chapter, we set the stage for your negotiating success. We’ll make sure that you are ready to respond to any objections by being sure that you have understood them correctly. We’ll also address some of the common roots of objections so that you can act to prevent them from happening in the first place.
Then we’ll ensure that you have prepared your customer for negotiations as well by reminding them of the value that your product or service will provide, hopefully by quantifying it very clearly. Next, we’ll examine the thoughts and attitudes that help you prepare mentally for the process of negotiating. And the final part of preparation we’ll discuss will be that you need to know when you are willing to walk away from the table and end negotiations.
Guidelines for Successful Negotiation
In Chapter 4, we’ll examine several guidelines that will help you to guide your negotiations towards success. We’ll start by looking at the importance of respect during the process. We all bring our own perspectives to the negotiation table, which is a recipe for disagreement. But you can prevent these differences from stalling negotiations if you are respectful of others’ ideas. Next, we’ll remind ourselves that there is a common goal for you and the customer; it is that you want to give the customer the value your product or service offers, and the customer wants to receive it – otherwise you wouldn’t be negotiating a way to reach that goal.
While you’re reaffirming your value statement, you’ll also want to clarify the actual problem that you are trying to solve. What points do you already agree on, and what points are the barriers to your agreement? If you don’t know these points, how will you know what to aim for during negotiations? Plus, we’ll talk about the importance of collaboration during the negotiations, without which you will not be able to move forward.
Strategies for Overcoming Objections
In this chapter, we’ll look at how to identify the root of a customer’s objection; they might be telling you one reason for the objection when there is really another reason that they aren’t sharing with you directly. Next we’ll discuss some things that you need to make sure you have done during your interactions with the customer or in your presentation to the customer – or you will definitely have a hard time with numerous objections.
Now we’ll begin to look at how to handle objections when they occur. We will look at some of the most common objections that customers make and you will get guidance on what to say or do when the customer makes them. Though objections will vary, they tend to fall under common themes or types, which means that you can learn to handle the majority of the objections you’ll face by employing these techniques.
Strategies for Getting to Agreement
In this chapter, you’re in the middle of negotiating and you have handled the customer’s objections. What remains now is for you to finalize the details of the agreement and reach a mutually satisfying solution. Yet there are times when negotiations can get stuck. A person can become very ‘positional’ in their negotiating, where they refuse to make concessions on a point. We’ll look at some techniques for restarting the negotiations when you face this and other barriers.
After the Negotiation
Finally, we’ll talk about the fact that the end of negotiation is not always the end. You might not come to an agreement at all, so you’ll need to be prepared for other solutions. And if you do come to an agreement, you’ll have more steps to take in order to ensure that the sale is completed as promised and that the customer is satisfied with the results. You’ll want to make sure that the value you have been promising all along is the value that the customer truly receives.
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