Your best sales guide is your very own set of values, priorities and unique way of conducting business. These transform into your business development plan. Remaining true to your plan will allow for your personal brand to shine brightly.
Treat negotiation as a friendly conversation with the purpose of seeking to find a happy ending for all parties.
Once you are comfortable with what you represent, you are then ready for the topic that scares most people; that of negotiation. Seeking a win for everyone from the start, makes negotiation friendly and easy. Successful salespeople actually begin the negotiation phase at the first stage of contact.
It is a rarity upon asking someone for an appointment, whether it be a cold call or a referral, that the person will be up for a discussion the moment you ask. Most often, people are busy. The two popular replies are either “I don’t have the time” or “I’m not interested”.
Your best option is to agree that time is short or that interest is limited. Agreement, in this instance, usually becomes an interesting experience. People are so surprised that you agree, they let their guard down to take another 30 seconds to listen to what you have to say next.
Suggest in your own vocabulary that “down the road” will be a better time to meet. You will almost hear a nod of agreement. Ask when to check back in. Follow-up as directed. Most often an appointment will be granted.
Relax and enjoy the conversation. Get the long term view of what the person is trying to accomplish and how they expect to achieve it. It may be so complex, you realize you can’t help as initially thought. But that’s okay. Determine if there is a secondary route you might take as a backup vendor. If there is, suggest it. Again most people are surprised by the “backup” offer and will ask for more insight on the matter.
Take your time to get a thorough understanding of everything required. Ask to meet the team or those reporting to the person with whom you are holding the meeting. Get everyone’s input as to what they believe will be a winning outcome.
The team approach, seen as working to the benefit of everyone involved, will result in getting the team to cheer you on. Relationships are accordingly built on a strong foundation. This adds tremendous value in the overall service you provide. The value built eliminates the need to discount the pricing.
Smile and Ask for the Sale
Most sales are not given as an award. It’s up to the salesperson to ask for it. But the “ask” is the final key to the negotiation. Elements to include are:
- When would you like to get started?
- Timeline for delivery
- Expiration of your offer
When you move the sales process forward from your prospective client’s negotiated viewpoint, your sales success rate will increase dramatically. And you will enjoy the Smooth Sale!