Several Sales and Negotiation specialists weighed in on what they think are the top 3 mistakes when it comes to Sales Negotiations.
Top 3 mistakes in sales negotiations, according to…
:: Jeb Brooks ::
EVP Brooks Group, sales author and sales training expert, sales blog
- NOT DISCOVERING THE ORDER OF PRIORITIES IN PROSPECT’S MIND
Here’s a hypothetical scenario: Let’s say you’re negotiating with someone who wants to buy one of your widgets and you know that she wants it to be (1) red, (2) with an extended service plan, and (3) delivered in thirty days. If you know that delivery is the most important of those priorities, that piece of information becomes valuable as you begin the negotiation. You can use it to your advantage. However, if you fail to get that piece of information, you’re at a real disadvantage.
With that said, the most common mistakes center around presentation of price. People buy for millions of reasons. However, price is only one aspect of a purchasing decision. Too many salespeople think about the price as though it’s always the most important factor in the mind of buyers. Yes, it is important! However, it shouldn’t be the only thing salespeople consider. If your only preparation for a negotiation is spent considering the price-related aspects of the sale, there’s no telling what you’ll miss. What other points can you make to build value (which, in turn, reduces the importance of price in the mind of a buyer)? Here are a couple of mistakes buyers make relative to price…
“Wowing” occurs when salespeople communicate somehow to their customers that they think their price is too high. Here are a couple of examples, “Are you sitting down…”, “Do you have your seatbelt on…” The most common example of “wowing” is when a negotiator is asked for a price and is so ashamed of it that he or she isn’t willing to say it, but – instead – writes it down and slides it over. If you do that, it makes you an easy target for low-price demands.
“Cracking” occurs when a salesperson, perhaps under intense pressure to give the prospect some kind of discounted price, cracks under that pressure and communicates or signals to the prospect that he or she might be, or indeed is, willing to negotiate the price. Often this happens when salespeople say things like, “our usual price is…”, “our catalogue price is…”, “…but for you, the price is…”. By describing your price that way, you’re providing your prospect an opportunity to ask for an exception. It’s also fantastic way to lose a negotiation.
:: Gavin Ingham ::
sales author and sales training expert, sales blog
- TOO MUCH, “ME! ME! ME!”
Many salespeople are focused only on themselves. When I consult with clients they ask me questions like, “How do I convince the client? How do I demonstrate value? How do I get them to see my point?” All of these questions are wrong as they are all about them and not about their clients. Negotiation is about understanding what other people want and need and helping them to reach the right decision and the right terms. It is about reaching Win! Win! not just Win!
- LACK OF PLANNING AND PREPARATION
Many salespeople are signed up members of the bodge it, blag it and wing it club. They think that charisma, personality and persuasion skills will win the day. They rarely will. The best salespeople are always well prepared. They’ve done their homework. If you fail to do yours, your client will run rings around you.
- NEGOTIATING TOO SOON
In an attempt to get themselves the best deal, most clients will start to negotiate even before they have decided to buy or see the full value. They will lead with price and disinterest to gain themselves the maximum discounts and the best deal. If you negotiate too soon and before the client sees enough value then you will leave money and profits on the table. Worse, you will miss the opportunity to deliver maximum value to your clients.
:: Dave Kahle ::
lifetime salesperson, author, trainer, speaker, Kahle Way B2B Sales Blog
- THE GIVE-AWAY
Giving things away without asking for anything of value in return.
Not recognizing you are in a negotiation.
- KNOWING YOU HAVE THE POWER
Not realizing you have negotiating power. If the customer didn’t want to do business with you, they wouldn’t be negotiating with you.
:: Dr Jim Anderson ::
Negotiating is a very specialized form of business communication. It’s not that people make mistakes while negotiating, but rather that they miscommunicate and this can quickly lead to misunderstandings. There are 3 common ways that these types of miscommunications can get started.
- MAKING PROMISES YOU CAN’T KEEP
The first is when one side of the table makes a promise and then doesn’t follow through on it. This instantly harms your credibility and makes a difficult job that much tougher. If the other side can’t trust you to follow through on your commitments, their interest in reaching a deal with you will noticeably drop off.
- STATING YOU WON’T CONCEED
Next, stating that there is some point of contention on which you will absolutely not make any concessions on. This may be true, but to state it does nothing to move the negotiations along and instead can cause the other side to dig their heels in and pick a point on which they won’t make any concessions.
Finally, telling the other side by when the negotiations need to be wrapped up is a big mistake. Once you’ve shared this information, nothing will happen until the deadline starts to approach. You’ll find yourself forced into a corner by the other side and it will be because you shared your time limits with them.
Check back often for more articles and insight from these and more thought leaders in the sales community.