No matter what you’re doing in life, having negotiation skills matters. Sooner or later, you’ll need to pursue some goal of yours, which may not coincide with what others want. And in that situation, you’ll need to reach a compromise, preferably one that’s more favourable for yourself. Especially if you’re working in sales somewhere, this is a skill you’ll have a dire need of. Don’t worry though, we’ve got a couple of great tips to get you started on negotiating a sales deal.
Do Your Homework
So, just like you need to learn the basics of internet marketing, you also need to learn the basics of negotiating a sales deal.
This isn’t something you can learn overnight, but if you pour your heart and soul into it, you’ll find yourself becoming a deadly negotiator in no time at all. But bearing that in mind – where do you start?
First and foremost, you have to realize one important thing – knowledge is power. Which means that, before entering any sort of sales deal, you should definitely do all of your due diligence.
When you approach customers with any kind of idea, you should know all about them beforehand.
Defining your customer and examining their behaviour is key to successful marketing management. That way, you’ll have the upper hand in any sort of negotiation.
So, if you’re selling a product or a service that the customer already gets from someone else, try to find out what they were paying for it before.
If you can’t find the information on your own, make sure that’s one of the first questions you ask during the negotiations.
That way, you’ll know exactly what kind of value the customers are hoping to gain from negotiating with you in the first place.
If you feel confident enough, ask them point-blank as to how much they would pay for a solution to their issues. That’s something you need to do before entering price negotiations.
Getting Into The Details
As we’ve already mentioned, when you’re negotiating a sales deal, having all the information is critically important. But why precisely?
Well, it’s crucial for actually establishing your position against the other side. You need to be able to make an informed choice, and even more importantly, avoid surprises at the negotiating table.
If your potential clients or opponents (depending on the type of deal) see that you are surprised by something, that will bring down your authority during the negotiations.
For example – you need to know who your most likely competitors are before entering negotiations with the customer.
Also, find out what their rates are for a similar service or product. Realistically speaking, your potential client is probably considering other proposals simultaneously.
So, you want to constantly be one step ahead of everyone else. If you feel like the client is open enough, ask them who else they’re thinking about when it comes to the specific service.
Also, you definitely need to be certain of your bottom line long before you actually take a seat at the negotiating table.
That way, you’ll have some leeway to give concessions or go hardline during the actual talks, without any hesitation.
Know the Industry Standards
Let’s face it – every industry has its standards when it comes to both products and fees. And if you want to learn about negotiating a sales deal in a specific industry, you’ll need to be aware of these standards.
That’s really a basic necessity for any successful sales talk.
Imagine, for example, if you were trying to sell some sort of software to a certain type of industry. In the process, you’d want to learn everything about their standard data security measures and protocols.
If your potential clients sense that you just have good marketing practices but you’re not an expert on what you’ll selling, they’ll immediately respect you less. Which, by the way, is a terrible position to be in during a negotiation.
Also, most negotiations have certain unwritten rules and unspoken norms. These are the average terms you can hope for, and everything more than that is up to you.
But obviously, you need to know who you’re dealing with – that will affect your business conduct during the negotiations as well.
Let’s take a look at an example – like if you were attempting to sell a service to a company that’s known for social responsibility. In that case, the company would probably check out your own company’s reputation as an employer.
These are all things you need to think about before negotiating.
Silence is Golden
Okay, this last piece of advice may seem like a cliché, but trust us – silence is one of the most effective tactics in any sort of negotiation. But how do you utilize it?
So, you start negotiating a sales deal. You present your own terms, with a firm stance. And then – you just leave your prospect to think. And in no moment should you feel tempted to interrupt the silence yourself.
That would completely undermine your now strong position. After you give them the terms, leave the other side with the obligation to start the conversation again.
If you present yourself like this, you’ll give away an aura of absolute confidence in your own service or product.
As you might’ve gathered – silence is a superweapon in any sort of sales negotiation. In fact, the best salespeople do a lot more listening than talking during a negotiation.
These experts know that asking the right questions and demanding information as feedback puts you in a position of power.
So, you’d do well to follow the 80/20 rule: talk only 20% of the entire time and spend the remaining 80% listening.
Shristi is the Chief Content Officer at Raletta. She enjoys writing about food, fitness, finance and everything in between.