Negotiation is one of the great skills that a good salesperson should develop and practice. We are not all great at negotiation when challenged; it takes a mindset and a skill base that can help us work with the great number of variables that can apply in selling today.
Here are some tips for improving your negotiation skills today:
- Know your product or service comprehensively. That will help you with your dialogue and the variables that may come into the negotiation.
- The possible characters and position of the parties to the negotiation will vary greatly and you have to master all of them. A good negotiation is the result of careful planning and communication.
- Always see the negotiation as a series of small steps to the end result. Rarely will the outcome be achieved in one decision.
- If the parties decline to agree, take the time to know their ideas and restrictions. Something will be holding them back and will require understanding.
- Leave emotions out of the negotiation; they do not help. If the other party gets emotional, it will be a strategy and they are seeking to manipulate the circumstances for themselves. Do not let the other party’s emotion undermine the base plan or the momentum.
- Know where you must start the negotiation and where it should head. In saying that, you will also need to know the variables that can arise in the typical negotiation and have a strategy to work through them.
- When you find that there are differences between the parties, define them and then work through them individually. Focus on the interests and outcomes of the parties concerned.
- Be respectful throughout and after the negotiation. Follow through to the very end so that the parties do not feel that they have been taken advantage of.
- Creative thinking will help any negotiation move ahead. Sometimes the parties need to know more of the situation or maybe even want time to fully think through the facts.
- If either party produces obstacles to the transaction or the deal, ask them about the ideal solution and get them to talk about it in great detail. This process is called a ‘Freudian slip’ and will usually help you move the other party forward with facts and solutions.
Good negotiators are experts at their craft and their product or service. They practice and plan how they will communicate and build on any product or service offering. Over time they build an exceptional set of sales and negotiation skills. You can do the same.