Sales negotiation is one of the primary revenue drivers for any business. A successful sales negotiation is a win-win for both parties, resulting in closed deals, repeat business and organizational growth.
That said, what exactly is the meaning of sales negotiation? A sales negotiation is a strategic conversation between a buyer and seller. It aims to ensure successful sales by bridging the gap between an organization and its customers, thereby arriving at a settlement that’s favorable to both parties.
Negotiation Techniques In Sales
Sales negotiation techniques are tried-and-tested approaches to effectively crack deals with clients. The best sales negotiators focus on client needs, queries and concerns and know how to address them. Let’s explore a few sales negotiation techniques that can help develop sales negotiation skills in sales professionals.
An effective sales negotiation technique is negotiating with the decision-maker or an organization’s signing authority. Negotiating with anyone else elongates the sales cycle because the salesperson needs to negotiate once again with the final decision-maker. The decision-maker then opens the discussion with the discounted price agreed upon at the earlier meeting, using this as leverage to quote lesser. Sales negotiators, therefore, use networking, connections and organization mapping to ensure they’re speaking with the correct person. They become skilled in distinguishing key contacts and setting up meetings with them early in the sales process.
Research shows a sales negotiation is more likely to succeed when sales professionals emphasize the disadvantages of not accepting a deal. Most people prefer avoiding losses to acquiring equivalent gains. This concept is referred to as loss aversion in behavioral economics. A popular sales negotiation technique is presenting a sales proposal to a client in a way that shows them what they stand to lose by declining it. This can include financial loss or falling behind the competition. Using this technique, sales professionals become skilled in identifying customer pain points.
Introducing Independent Standards
Differences often arise between a buyer and seller during a sales negotiation. Referring to independent standards such as scientific studies, industry benchmarks and past contracts can bridge such gaps in agreement. These standards offer unbiased information to the client and help the sales professional and the customer find common ground to reach a satisfactory agreement. Sales negotiators using this technique must keep a cool head and highlight shared interests with the customer to resolve disagreements.
Chris Voss highlights mirroring as an effective negotiation technique in his book, Never Split the Difference: Negotiating as if Your Life Depended on It. Mirroring is repeating important keywords a client has used in a discussion. Voss says mirroring works best when a negotiator repeats one, two or three words from the last sentence the client has spoken. Experts recommend using an “upward voice tone”, indicative of asking a question. Mirroring is extensively used as a powerful sales negotiation technique. It shows the customer that the other party is paying attention and understands them. This reassures them, defuses tension and lets the sales professional gather valuable information about their prospect. Sales professionals must, therefore, have active listening and excellent communication skills.
A fundamental sales negotiation technique is self-preparation and in-depth research on a prospective client before a meeting. This gives sales professionals a bigger picture of what they want from a deal, what the client wants and possible trade-offs. Preparation also involves brainstorming a core negotiation strategy and identifying shared interests. Sales professionals decide on a ‘walk-away point’, beyond which they move on to other prospective clients. Sales professionals develop their cognitive skills through this technique.
When it comes to sales negotiation, there’s no one particular technique that guarantees success. Often, sales professionals mix and match a number of different sales negotiation techniques throughout the sales process to arrive at the desired result.
Sales Negotiation Skills
A sales negotiation can take an unexpected turn at any point. Sales professionals need to be armed and ready to deal with any challenge a client throws at them. Fortunately, there are a few selling and negotiation skills that can help them emerge victorious. Here are the top three:
Patience is one of the most effective sales negotiation skills to build rapport with customers and boost satisfaction. Mastering this skill teaches sales professionals how to accurately get their point across and achieve clarity.
Asking Good Questions
Skilled sales negotiators ask insightful questions and follow-up questions. They convey a sense of genuine curiosity and interest to their client. Consequently, the client is more likely to cooperate and give them the answers they need to close the deal.
A customer is more likely to pay what a product/service is worth if they fully comprehend its value. Quantifying the value of a proposition is one of the most prized selling and negotiation skills. If properly executed, it gives sales professionals a competitive edge.
Acquiring the appropriate selling and negotiation skills moves sales professionals a step up their career ladder. Skilled negotiators are aware of sales dynamics and know how to crack deals with out-of-the-box solutions.
The Midas Touch
Sales professionals need to keep themselves well-versed with the various types of sales negotiation—from distributive and integrative negotiation to team and multiparty negotiation. Sales negotiation training can help sales professionals stay on top, polish their selling and negotiation skills and deliver excellence.
Harappa’s Impactful Sales Program is specifically designed for professionals committed to acquiring the magic toolkit of excellence in selling. It seamlessly combines the best of a rich, blended and integrated online-first learning journey that delivers transformative behavior shifts.
Built on Harappa’s signature 10-on-10 pedagogy, the 15-week program hinges on six crucial outcomes. These include sharpening the value proposition and making compelling sales pitches, understanding client needs and applying the appropriate persuasion technique and building resilience to deal with setbacks.
The program also comes with a skill map of 15 must-have “Thrive Skills”, some of which are finessing the value proposition, influencing with tact and believing in the brand.
Want to upskill your sales team and drive business growth? Harappa’s Impactful Sales Program is just what you need to give your employees the Midas touch!
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