Sales negotiation tips – what's in it for them?

This is an extract from the 30 Day Sales Negotiation Challenge

Brace yourself for a shock.

  • Your customers don’t care about you.
  • They don’t care how long you’ve been in business,
  • They don’t care if you’re the third-generation running the company,
  • They don’t want to see your corporate video
  • They’re not bothered about your mission statement

Present (Photo credit: ejorpin)

All they care about is what difference you can make to their business. People buy because what you’re offering to them is something

they want, something they need or it addresses a problem that they have. If you get them to focus on their problems two things happen:

1. urgency to act increases

2. resistance to price goes down

In a lot of cases you can guess what the problem is likely to be and so you can prepare your pitch around it – but quite frequently if you bother asking them they will tell you. Now

I think am about to make myself a few more enemies with another suggestion: when you have dug out what the problem is let them dwell in the “pain” for a while. Now obviously we want to be in a position to ease their pain, but if we indicate too early that we can do that the pressure goes away and the resistance to price comes back.

In more complex sales, you may not want to even talk about your solution in the first meeting you have with them. You may just want to get clear on the problem.

So the sales process that I have found most effective is:

1. Identify their want need or problem

2. Summarise the situation (get confirmation then pause)

Your summary represents a step change in the sale and until you have done this you should not start to present any solution that you’ve got. When you summarise you’re asking them a question which you want them to say yes to. It’s more effective if you use their words rather than paraphrase for two reasons. The first is in psychological terms, people get anchored to certain words – so for instance if you consider the difference between my house and my home, or my child and my baby, they engender different emotions although the basic meaning it’s a sign. So if they say “we have an issue” don’t paraphrase and exaggerate this and say “so you told me you have a problem” and equally as important don’t minimise it either – if they say they had a problem don’t describe it as an issue.

In your summary you need to keep it quite snappy but make sure the statement about the pain is at the end of the sentence. e.g. If I get this right what you’re telling me is that if you can’t get more reliable sources of supply you will have no option but to let down your customers. However tempting it is at this point, do not, whatever you do, say anything like “don’t worry about that we can sort that out for you” you must let them dwell in the pain.

3. State the idea (in broad terms in one or couple of sentences state your proposal)

4. Explain how it would work (at this point go into detail about your proposal including pricing and any other logistics)

5. Reinforce the benefits (at this point you should be telling them how what you are offering addresses the problem that they have told you they have)

6. Action based close (you are looking for them to commit to an action)

Want the other 29 days, plus extras? Get the Challenge below:


30 Day Sales Negotiation Challenge
You don’t get what’s fair – you get what you negotiate!
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