Your perspective regarding an activity is what will either derail or advance your achievement. Negotiation seems to frighten people even more than the thought of needing to make a sale.

Most people express their fear of losing an opportunity in its entirety or of making a mortal enemy upon attempting to negotiate
. These fears stem from having been the victim of hardcore tactics perpetuated by others to get us to change our minds to purchase. The media and some trainers further compound the damage by portraying the same relentless behavior. These are the more damaging reasons as to why sales and negotiation are both feared.

But neither outcome of either losing an opportunity or making enemies need to be proven true. Instead, I have found most often that people are appreciative of a dialogue based upon questions and answers. Simple inquiries as to what the other person is thinking will alleviate any need for intimidating sales or radical negotiation techniques. Provided the information gathering process is lively and genuine, you will find what you need to know to negotiate a good conclusion for all parties.

Intended clients may not perceive a need for what you are attempting to sell, however, when you put a new perspective on the subject matter, you will often rescue and make the sale. By asking for history of experience or why the thought is negative, you may hear about previous vendors who did not comply with excellent customer service. Another possibility is the previous experience took place long ago and today that service is completely out of date. Your prospect simply needs to be updated on the new information. By taking the time to explore all of the troubling circumstances, you will be able to navigate to a much-improved outcome.

Likewise, if you are the buyer and a seller is asking for more than what you believe something is worth, slamming the door shut is only one option. You may ask, “What if” type questions. Consider offering a trade. Give the seller options too. State upfront you are on a modest budget and offer what you have in mind to spend. Quickly add that if they are unable to meet your request, perhaps they might recommend someone else able to meet the requirements. Even when you purchase, in a sense you are the seller too in that you have the opportunity to sell your creative ideas.

Keeping options and dialogue open are the keys to successful negotiation.

Remember, just as you do not like the thought of losing business, neither does anyone else! Most business people are appreciative of the opportunity handed to them to work out a solution so that everyone wins.

When you change your perspective of negotiation from “haggling” to “opening doors of possibility”, you increase the potential for making a sale. The more flexible you become in seeing solutions to a problem from all sides, you will find selling and negotiation easy and very possibly fun. Your personal brand may become, “the one with whom it is easy and fun to work.”

Your open attitude is what will encourage repeat business, referrals and testimonials. Achieving these results are what lead to the Smooth Sale! Check out the Summer Sales School roster of online classes.


Elinor Stutz, CEO of Smooth Sale, LLC, (800) 704-1499, was honored by Open View Labs with inclusion in their international list of “Top 25 Sales Influencers for 2012.” Elinor authored the International Best-Selling book, “Nice Girls DO Get the Sale: Relationship Building That Gets Results”, Sourcebooks and the best selling career book, “HIRED! How to Use Sales Techniques to Sell Yourself On Interviews”, Career Press. She provides team sales training, private coaching and highly acclaimed inspirational keynotes for conferences. Elinor is available for consultation.