Negotiations are an important part of the sales world. Without them, you wouldn’t understand your customers’ needs, be able to affect profit margins, and build relationships with the other side. You would simply be a storefront and not a salesperson. Learning how to properly negotiate throughout a sale would certainly have an impact on your business – both revenues and margins. Let’s take a look at how a negotiation course can help you reach the goals you’ve set in your sales career.
The Art of the Discussion
There is usually a fair amount of discussion that takes place before the paperwork seals the sale. How do you maintain a calm and cool composure should the discussion be heated? How do you overcome the subtle objections the other side brings up? Customers who believe they are not getting a fair deal may try different ways to get a rise out of you. The best thing you can do is stay cool, calm, and collected. Taking a negotiation course can give you a toolbox full of resources to do just that. You can reach in and pull out the tools as you need them, giving you the confidence to remain in control throughout the process.
Don’t be a Doormat
Not only are you getting a read on your client and learning how they handle a situation, but your client is also learning about you. If they think you are a doormat or a pushover, they may try to bring the discussion to a new level, hoping you will crack and bring down the price. Maintaining a confident exterior even if you are on the hot seat is very important. If this is your first negotiation with this client, if they break you down this time, they will think they can do it again and again. Stand up for the value of your product. With the proper training, this becomes easier and more second nature, ensuring self-doubt doesn’t creep in.
Build Your Confidence
There is nothing worse than being in a sales negotiation and looking weak. Clients immediately know they can take advantage of you and they will pounce. How do you maintain your confidence in a stressful situation? Here are a few tips to keep you going in the heat of the moment:
- Know your walkaway. Write it down before you begin the negotiation. While it is ideal to stick to your walkaway, the situation may change – so, you don’t always need to end the negotiation if it gets there, but at least take a break, change the subject, or introduce new players.
- Watch the other party’s body language. It may be easy for you to tell how you are feeling, but it is also important to watch the other party to see how he or she is reacting. Quick Tip: The secret to reading body language is congruence. Crossing of the arms or legs by themselves might mean the other side is not interested, but it’s that action paired with something else, such as angling their body away from you, less eye contact, or negative facial expressions, that means more likely than not there is a problem.
- Don’t become reactive. First of all, you should be prepared. But, in negotiations, things come up, and it can get emotional. If that happens, and you start feeling an urge to react physically or with words to something, hold it! Keep your emotions in check to continue your professional appearance. It is very easy for people to feed off each other’s emotional tension, so defuse the situation and move on. Consider counting to ten in your head, taking several deep breadths, or even taking a break if you need to.
By using one or more of these techniques, you should be able to remain in control during a heated discussion. Your client will remember how you handled yourself and it will be a major deciding factor for future business opportunities – so you’ll want to think long and hard before reacting emotionally.
Learn to Empathize
Part of negotiation training is the ability to have empathy for the other side. You spend a lot of time researching your side of the story, so it can sometimes be hard to understand where the other side is coming from. Take a moment and try to see why they are coming across with such a strong opinion. What is the driving force behind their argument? Reflecting on another point of view could help you compromise and figure out a new win-win solution that you couldn’t see before.
Share Your Why
It’s important to reveal your backstory to your clients. Why did you start selling this product or service? Why did you think he or she would value your offering? What has it done to improve the bottom line of your other customers? By offering up a more personal story, you can connect with your clients and show them that you really mean what you are saying. Authenticity is the most important factor, so get ready to go deep and pull out some real stories. It’s always helpful to have a why statement prepared for when the opportunity arises.
To learn more about negotiation training, head to SNI’s website for the details. You won’t want to miss out on the opportunity to take your sales strategy to the next level.