“And there is no such thing as a no sale call. A sale is made on every call you make. Either you sell the client some stock or he sells you a reason he can’t. Either way a sale is made, the only question is who is gonna close? You or him?”
Improve Your Negotiation Skills – Negotiation skills can be considered to be just a stream of communication back as well as forth that takes place between people regarding the value of the things they will be exchanging. For instance, it may be an exchange of an art piece created by you with the money of the person who purchases it. The ability of a person to negotiate in a successful way in the turbulent climate of business that exists today makes the difference between success as well as failure. A few tips for carrying out the art of negotiation successfully are –
Negotiation skills Tips
Show Empathy as Everyone is a Winner
When sales is being negotiated by you, the prospects will have a number of objections. At times, this may consist of a long list with the result that they will take these frustrations out on you. If you have empathy, you will be in a position to appreciate their struggles along with validating their concerns. When empathy is applied by you, the prospects get the feeling that you are making an effort to understand them and are on their side. For being a negotiator who is truly effective, you need to have an understanding of both the sides.
This will help you to put yourself in a position to close the deal. In the absence of empathy, you will just be banging your head against the wall by putting forward only your point. If the concerns of the prospects have not been validated, they will become defensive and stop listening to you even though your sales presentation may be effective. Listen to the points of your prospects and affirm them. You will be appreciated for that. It will not undermine your service or product but making use of the prospect’s pain will highlight your service or product.
Example – “Yes, I understand money is tight; however, based on what you’ve told me, I think the savings from our product will provide your business the much needed boost you need in just a few short months…”
Tailor Your Response
You need to know your audience, the negotiation skills questions that you should ask them and what they want. The first step lies in understanding the driving force behind the party with whom you are negotiating with and what are their priorities. Figure out the kind of people that you are dealing with so that you can talk to them in a language that is recognised by them. This means that you need to find out the buttons that you have to push. Adoption of your approach will help in making the process of negotiations easy, once you have found out who you are dealing with.
The people who are analytical, precise and formal are generally thinkers and will have to be provided with a lot of information, the people who have competitive, demanding, intuitive and purposeful will have knowledge and will require the bare minimum information. On the other hand, people who are patient, relaxed, caring, persuasive, sociable, expressive and warm will give preference to diagrams and stories. It is equally important to understand the type of person that you are and adjust yourself according to the type of person you are negotiating with.
Nature has given us two ears along with one mouth and they are to be used in life generally in the same proportion. This is the best possible way for understanding the person against whom you are up. The other party should be asked what they are expecting out of a negotiation and a face-to-face meeting can be held for this purpose prior to entering into the specifics. “Knowledge is power” and hence the more you are going to speak, the more you are going to give away. Therefore, you should be quiet and try to exercise control. You should let the other party do the talking, ask them a number of negotisation skills questions, listen to their answers and make negotiation skills notes.
Be Mentally Prepared
Almost 55% of what is going through in our minds is given away by our body language and therefore, the preferred medium for negotiation skills is usually face-to-face. You need to adopt the correct approach mentally. If you have a feeling of subordination, it will be difficult to cover that up and will lead to the setting of the incorrect tone right from the start. The approach adopted by a junior person who is selling something to a senior person may be subservient and that will be a terrible position as far as the negotiations are concerned. Rather than this, people who enter into the negotiations should think that they need each other. You should be aware of the value of what is being offered by you and the way it will be helpful to the other party. Once there is clarity in your head, you will get a feeling of being in control and will be able to take the lead by means of questioning.
Discuss and do not sell
Negotiation needs to be a discussion regarding the ways to achieve an outcome that is agreeable mutually and not only an exercise of selling. The classic pitch of the sales is generally like “look what we can do for you”. Instead of this you need to say ‘This is what we do and what we can offer. How can it help you?’ This gives you something to negotiate with, as they’re telling you why they want your product or service.”
Apart from this, you need to identify the trade-offs, the things that can be offered by you as they are of low cost to you but are highly valuable to the other party. For instance, if you are selling IT systems, and a part of that offering is three days help by the engineer on-site. You can give them five days, as you have already paid for that person and a day or two here and there will not make much of a difference to you as far as the costs are concerned. However, in case your engineer is usually charged at Dh 500 per day, it becomes valuable for them. Hence, you have to think of the ways that you can help them so that they help you.
In case it is your products or services that are on the table, the main issue is to try and not move on the price front. In other words, you need to think of the things that you can give them so that they still make the purchase at the original prices.
Take Some Time Out for negotiation
Do not be afraid of asking for a break in the negotiations in order to recollect your thought processes. You require time to be away so that you can give it a reconsideration. Until and unless you are against deadlines that are absolutely fixed, be prepared to take a time out and then utilise it for recalibrating your thoughts.
Understand your position and also get to know their position
You need to form three positions in your head before entering into negotiations. These are – what is possible for you to get away with and that is often your opening bid, what is expected that you will get on the basis of the knowledge of the market as well as your deal breakers. This can be put as you “mega win”, your “expected win” or your “walk away”. In the middle of the negotiations, it is easier to give away more than what you had wanted to give away initially. Negotiation skills is an emotional thing and therefore it is very essential to work in advance ion these positions. It is recommended that you be extreme but realistic enough with your opening bid. Then you can move from such a position and give them the satisfaction that they are winning. This results in the other party becoming more agreeable. Trust is required for collaboration to work and relationships are damaged by positions that are unrealistic.
Amongst the biggest mistakes made by the negotiators, is the failure to uncover the position of their opponent. For instance, when selling, in case a potential customer is not willing to pay the asking price, then you need to ask them what they are willing to pay. Most of the people miss out on this point. They usually say ‘ok’ and offer a discount of say 10% to which the client may say, ‘That’s not enough,’ and then the salesman will offer more. We call that ‘ringing the dishcloth’. You stop to do this when there is a stoppage in the drops that were coming out. Once you have been told by the other party, what they are willing to pay, you will have two positions and a scope for negotiation will be present.
Do not give anything away without getting something in return
Concessions that are unilateral are self-defeating. Whenever you have to give away something, you need to make sure that you are getting something in return. You need to tie a string always. “I’ll do this if you do that.” Otherwise you might be sending an invitation to the other person to ask more concessions from you. When something is given away by you, without the need of the other party reciprocating, they will have a feeling of entitlement to your concessions and will not be satisfied till they get additional concessions from you. On the contrary, if your concessions have to be earned by them, a greater sense of satisfaction will be derived by them.
Do not take the issues or the behaviour of the other person personally
Negotiations fail often as either one or both the parties are side-tracked by issues that are personal and are not related to the deal which is at hand. The focus of the successful negotiators is on problem-solving which is mainly the way an agreement can be concluded that gives respect to the needs of both the involved parties. Obsession over the personality of the other negotiator or regarding the issues that have no direct relation in making a deal, can lead to the sabotage of a negotiation. In case somebody is difficult to deal with or is rude, then you should try and understand their behaviour and not take it in a personal way.
Aim high and expect the outcome that is the best
Negotiators who are successful are optimists. You’ll get more, only when you expect more. Opening with an extreme position is a proven strategy for achievement of high results. The sellers need to ask for more that they expect that they will receive and less should be offered by the buyers than what they are prepared to pay. People do better if they aim higher.
Negotiations involve a lot more than mere open-ended questioning. It involves other negotiation skills for sales tricks also along with some of the vital principles that will make the person negotiating stand in good stead, irrespective of the thing that he or she is bartering over. The skills of sales negotiation do not come to a person naturally. They need repeated practice. While most of the negotiation skills may appear to be like common sense, it has been observed that it is not uncommon for people to get themselves caught in the momentary emotions and ignore the basic instincts that they possess. To develop effective negotiation skills, emotions, luck as well as magic do not have any place. What is required is an iron gut, street smartness, homework along with an unblinking discipline. These are the main keys that will help in unlocking your abilities for getting the best possible deals under any sort of circumstances.
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