Negotiation is a subtle art. Here are the 6 keys to doing it well.
1. Prepare your negotiation
This key step is too often overlooked. However it often conditions the outcome of your negotiations. There are four important elements when preparing your negotiation: define your objectives and your quid pro quo (what you are willing to concede during the negotiation), find out about your client, establish your strategy and anticipate the process.
2. Listen, listen and listen
Many salespeople arrive at their clients’ desks with their presentations, which often took a long time to prepare. Forget your presentations, listen to your client, ask open questions, gather information that will serve you later, rephrase their words to understand their needs.
3. Always be ready to leave the negotiations.
If you rely too heavily on the outcome of the negotiations and you have no other options or a plan B, you will lose your ability to say No. The people you are negotiating with can then sense this and make the most of it. Before starting negotiations, you must always be prepared for not finding an agreement.
4. Aim high!
Have high expectations. But careful, this doesn’t mean having exorbitant demands. The seller must offer a higher selling price than he expects to receive while the buyer offers a purchase price lower than what he plans to pay. Thus, during the negotiation, the two parties will be able to find a happy medium that suits them both.
5. Structure your pitch
A well-structured pitch will have a strong impact on your client and will increase your chances of success. You must first choose your pitch according to the needs of your client; you don’t need to give your client a list of all your arguments but instead choose the right arguments. Then work on the order and sequence of your arguments so that they have the highest possible impact. By doing this you will leave less room for objections.
6. Don’t give anything, without receiving something in exchange.
Your client will always ask for concessions, that’s the game. If you give them one thing, ask them for something else in return. For example, “If you recommend me to 2 clients I can give you 30 additional payment days.” Always start your sentence with the client’s concession, otherwise they will retain the one that you are asking for. This technique will get your client on side and will enable you to get something in return.