Over the last 18 years I have successfully negotiated with a plethora of customers and clients, across verticals and domains, across B2C and B2B businesses, with bosses, with team members, with suppliers and unions and realized that a strategic approach to the business of negotiation serves you best if you wish to “close” the sales engagement.
When negotiating the final terms of any deal, complex or not, many sales pros find themselves in situations where the clients apparently hold all the cards! Now that is not a happy situation to be in at that critical juncture of the sales closure process…
Since you have invested so much to reach this position, chances are that you will have a lot more to lose than your client, if you wish to walk away…and worse….the client knows that…
This is a recipe for a WIN -LOSE outcome , with you on the losing side.
In order to counter this, you may be better served to create a “counter balance” by developing your “negotiating power” throughout the sales cycle – some strategic initiatives may help you in developing your negotiating power
- Strategy #1: Eliminate or thwart competitive threats.
Convince the customer that your product or service is the only one that can adequately fulfill the customer’s needs.
- Strategy #2. Develop at least three contacts inside the customer firm. Provide perspective to your solution-building process and information about the motivations and politics inside the customer’s firm.
- Strategy #3. Show the customer your ability to see beyond the obvious.
The customer can’t know everything about the firm, much less the market, so being an “outsider” gives you the ability to see situations more objectively.
- Strategy #4. Create the legitimacy that comes from consistency.
Remain aware of the strengths and limitations of your offerings, adhere to your firm’s policies and procedures, and be willing to explain why they make sense.
- Strategy #5. Position all interactions in terms of mutual success.
A productive relationship is based upon mutual respect and understanding, and a sense of working together to achieve mutual goals.
- Strategy #6. Generate a solution that matches the customer’s needs.
Your value to the customer skyrockets when you help the customer to crystallize needs and visualize the right solution.
- Strategy #7: Differentiate yourself from other sales reps.
Communicate clearly how you, as an individual, are a unique resource to the customer and use your own unique personality to your advantage.