Many people, especially sales people, often share the mistaken belief that Negotiation forms part of every sale which is not true. We often hear ‘my people need to be able to negotiate’ when upon further inspection they first need to learn how to sell. The reason many rely so much on negotiating is that their initial sales job was a poor effort. They neglected to properly establish the clients’ real priorities and needs and didn’t demonstrate how they can help the customer achieve results; financially as well as via their products, services, knowledge or intellectual property. Instead they find themselves in combative positions needing to negotiate over misunderstandings and limitations and the price rather than value.
So before you and your team head to attend a Negotiation skills course first check if all you need to do is learn how to sell first.
Here are some tips that help you know when to sell and when to negotiate.
- If the customer expresses needs – you should SELL – by addressing and satisfying these needs.
- If the customer expresses objections – you should SELL – by correcting any misunderstandings, managing any limitations which outweigh the objection and providing documentation, if needed.
- If the customer expresses interest – you should SELL – by closing the sale and taking the order.
- If the customer rejects the deal and makes demands – you should NEGOTIATE – by Buying time if needed; Analysing the proposal from the perspective of the Customer, Competition & Priorities; Analysing the proposal based on your objective, the negotiable points and non-negotiable points; added or equivalent value.
- If the customer considers your proposal – you should NEGOTIATE – by presenting the best two options given the client choice and correctly positioning your offering from a Value and Functional perspective.
- If the customer accepts the best proposal option – you should SELL – by closing the sale.
- If the customer rejects the best proposal – you should NEGOTIATE – by having fallback position proposal offer.
- If the customer accepts 2nd fall back proposal – you should SELL – by closing the sale.
Make sure that your sales people know the difference between selling and negotiating by initially training them in good consultative selling process. When they have that mastered, move to training in negotiation skills. Good selling should never need to be combative nor should good negotiations. If done well on every level there should be a win:win for all.
Remember everybody lives by selling something.