Consumers today are all about saving money, which makes sales a bit more difficult. However, there are strategic sales negotiation practices that are valuable tools in helping you to get the sale, without sacrificing profits in the process.
Understand Your Customer
The first step in strategic negotiation is to understand exactly what the customer is looking for. This means you need to take the time to understand their current needs, expectations, and potential objections. Successful negotiation cannot take place if you do not know your customer. In fact, you are much more likely to get a successful sale when the consumer believes that you actually care about their situation, rather than simply making the sale.
Know Your Competition
Strategic sales negotiations require information, especially about your competitors. The internet has made it possible for potential customers to analyze their options before they ever step foot on a sales floor. This means that they will use competitor pricing, standards, and offerings in their negotiations in order to get a better deal. If you are already aware of this information, you can formulate a plan that will prevent competitor leverage during the negotiation process.
The key to negotiating is to understand that most people expect their first offer to be refused. This is why many consumers provide a low-ball offer – they do not actually expect to get it. Instead of agreeing to a drastically reduced price, take the time to provide counter-offers that are considerably closer to your original asking price.
Start Out Selling
The sale is the most important aspect, so you need to make sure you are selling before you ever consider negotiating. You should present your sales proposition at least two times, before giving in to the negotiation process. Immediate negotiation results in a dramatic drop in revenue that may not even be necessary.
Let the Customer Speak
Successful negotiations occur when the customer is allowed to speak, and you should always let them be the first to do so. Additionally, do not interrupt the customer – this implies that you do not think their needs or concerns are important, which will kill the sale before it ever gets started.
Adding these practices to your strategic sales negotiations will allow you to become more successful, without leading to unnecessary losses in profits. While negotiations are important, the bottom line is always about increasing potential sales.