The sales pitch is delivered, objections are resolved, and the contract is sent. Now, you patiently wait for the prospect to sign, and you’ve sealed the deal. But then — the email comes through, and suddenly you’re scheduling a sales negotiation.
Even if a salesperson has properly qualified a prospect and correctly managed their expectations through the sales process, they still can find themselves shifting gears from consultant to negotiator. And while negotiations can go in an infinite number of directions, honing-in on these six sales negotiation tactics will help close the deal.
1. When possible, negotiate in person. This ensures that you’re talking with the decision maker, and it also allows for direct confrontation. If you negotiate through an email, the prospect has time to craft a creative response. Plus, it’s easy to misjudge the tone when communicating through emails and phone calls. Face-to-face negotiation allows for human connection, and you can feed off the energy in the room.
2. It’s not just what you say; it’s how you say it. In fact, what you say matters a lot less than how you’re perceived, especially in sales. Sitting on the edge of a seat implies you’re overeager. Drumming your fingers on a desk shows you’re impatient. And crossing your arms makes you appear intimidated. The message you convey in a sales conversation is 55% nonverbal communication and body language, 38% tone of voice, and only 7% in the words that you actually use.
3. Establish your goals in advance because do you really want to head into a negotiation without knowing what you want to achieve? Clearly define the limits and define the concessions to ensure the terms that can be accepted.
4. Listening to what the client or prospect has to say is paramount to the negotiation process. You can’t give the right bargain to them, if you don’t give them enough talk time. More than likely, you’ve presented the terms of the deal, and the prospect wants to negotiate. So, let them start the conversation – not lead; start.
5. Understand what the client wants through what they’re saying, and then give them feasible options based on what they are looking for. Social scientists have proven that people are not particularly happy when they get what they think they want. They’re happier when their bargaining partner says “no” a couple of times before they say “yes.” When you know you’re goals and limits and listen to what they want; you can provide a solution that makes them feel as if they’ve won.
6. Oftentimes, demand from a client or prospect becomes unprofitable for the company or simply unreasonable. When they agree to only sign a contract that is radically amended from the original terms, don’t be afraid to walk away from the deal.
For sales reps, sales negotiations can feel intimidating. They work hard to think they have closed the deal only to be met with a prospect or client’s dreaded surprise of “wanting to talk about the details.” The ability to negotiate successfully can bring you and your business tremendous advantages.
Use these six essential negotiation tips to help close more deals and be well-equipped to handle the surprises thrown your way.