Kirjoittanut: Lucas Pääkkönen Alvim - tiimistä SYNTRE.
Sales negotiation is when the seller and the buyer have a conversation or a series of conversations with the goal of arriving into a deal, these negotiations normally have some back and forth with both sides having concessions they are willing to make. When sales negotiating, you have to be able to have a balance between accommodating your prospect and achieving a financially viable deal, the goal is to arrive at a mutually beneficial deal, but that is easier said than done. (Kelwig, 2022)
Importance of sales negotiation
Sales negotiating brings value in different ways, but the principal value that it brings is that it helps the seller and the buyer to arrive in to an agreeable deal, without the negotiation, salespeople and prospects will have more difficulty when trying to determine appropriate prices and a mutually beneficial deal. By negotiating a sale, the salesperson has an opportunity to build a lasting connection with the prospect by communicating constructively back and forth. If the salesperson presents it self as composed, compassionate and open during the negotiations, it is showing the prospect that they are showing themselves to the buyer as reliable and that the buyer can count with them for assistance or consultation even after the sale has been made.
Important skills when negotiating a sale
Go prepared. You should never enter a sales negotiation without being prepared, you have to have an understanding on some key parts of the deal. You have to know your prospect’s business, their pain points, alternative solutions and buying power. You should never go in to a sales negotiation unprepared, as then you will be giving leverage to the prospect and setting yourself to close a deal that is not worth it to you.
Define clearly concessions. Define clearly before you have the negotiations with the prospect what is the limit on discounts or add ons that you are willing to conceive, so that after the negotiations you achieve a mutual beneficial deal. As it is easy to promise on the heat of the moment a thirty five percent discount on the price, and only later when you are drafting the contract you realize that you made a deal on terms that you cant or shouldn’t do.
Let the prospect speak. After you have presented the prospect with a deal and they would like to negotiate it, salespeople are usually tempted to start the conversation by offering a discount so that they would be seen by the prospect as accommodating. You want to give the prospect space to share their thoughts and explain their position before offering concessions. You cant know what goes in the prospect’s head, so It is better to stay composed and listen to them on were do they stand. The awkward silence is not the worst thing that can happen, you should embrace it so that you don’t end up conceiving more than you had to.
Don’t offer ranges. It is a common mistake when negotiating a sale to offer a range of options as for example: “I could offer a reduction of the final cost in between ten to fifteen percent”, by doing this you are setting yourself to do a bigger concession that you would have needed, as who is going to accept a discount of ten percent when fifteen has been offered. So you should take out the word between of your vocabulary during sales negotiations.
Don’t split the difference. It may seem as the easiest and cleanest way of arriving to an agreement but usually you could have negotiated a better deal. For example if the prospect asks for a fifty percent discount and you offer to split the difference, that would end in twenty-five percent discount, but you didn’t try to offer ten percent of discount. You should offer a small discount but still keep the price in the neighborhood of the original one, in that way you can see If the prospect will accept it and the profit margin will take a smaller hit.
Make sure you are negotiating with the right person. Many salespeople make the mistake of negotiating with a person who doesn’t have the power to make a decision. If you negotiate multiple tames going up the chain of command, you might find yourself in the situation that when you start negotiating with the decision maker you are in disadvantage as you start the negotiation with a discounted price quoted in a previously meaningless meeting, making you negotiations harder as the starting point is already a discounted price.
Equal footing. Salespeople should not bend over backward trying to accommodate the prospect. Salespeople cant accept the prospect every single demand without making an offer of their own. The salespersons objective is to keep the deal in a win win for both sides. If the salesperson and the prospect remain in equal footing, will be layered the ground work for a respectful and trustworthy productive relationship.
Walk away if necessary. Salespeople don’t have to close the deal every time, if the customer has unreasonable and unprofitable demands for the company, you do not need to accept them, at that point, you just have to walk away. If a prospect only would agree to a deal if the price was drastically dropped is destined to create problems in the future, also it means that they don’t see much value in your offering, making it a matter of time until they became unsatisfied. So some times It is better for both sides if you just walk away. (Brudner, 2022)
In conclusion, sales negotiation is a crucial part of every sales process, making it a crucial part of your business. If you are able to maintain composure, empathy and clearly state your offering utility, you will be able to build lasting connections with prospects, increasing your success in the competitive area that are sales.
Brudner, E. (2022) 12 essential negotiation skills for salespeople, HubSpot Blog. HubSpot. Available at: https://blog.hubspot.com/sales/essential-negotiation-skills-for-salespeople (Accessed: May 5, 2023). ‘
Kelwig, D. (2022) Sales negotiation skills and strategies to win more deals, Zendesk. Available at: https://www.zendesk.com/blog/sales-negotiation/ (Accessed: May 5, 2023).