Polish Your Negotiation Skills
Your sales force can speed through negotiations painlessly by keeping these pointers in mind.
FOCUS ON THE OUTCOME. Let your customer know that your goal is to help him at a fair price for both of you. Keep the atmosphere friendly and calm.
DO YOUR HOMEWORK. Gather as much information as you can ahead of time. Study the customer’s organization, industry, and competition in order to speak knowledgeably about his situation.
AIM FOR THE TOP. Have a clear goal in mind, and begin at a high level so you have room to maneuver and offer strategic concessions.
ASK QUESTIONS TO CONTROL THE DISCUSSION. Use open-ended questions to gather information, and use closed questions to lead the discussion.
CONCEDE CAREFULLY. The best negotiators don’t give concessions for nothing. Instead, they trade them. For example, “If I can reduce the price of X, will you accept delivery in ten days instead of seven?”