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Negotiation Skills: Top 10 Ways to Lose a Negotiation

Posted by on May 16, 2012

Negotiation SkillsIt’s like a bad dream: You arrive at a negotiation without the tools and tactics you need to produce a win-win outcome. Things go horribly wrong, and everyone leaves with a bad taste in their mouth. In fact, you’re sure that the other party wants nothing more to do with you. Even if you technically “won” the negotiation, it’s not a true win. We call this a lose-lose outcome.How do you avoid a repeat? First you need to know what notto do. There are many ways to lose a negotiation. Here are the Top 10:

  1. Fail to plan ahead
  2.  Go in with a combative attitude
  3.  Have no idea what you can offer and when to walk away
  4.  Arrive without responses to the other party’s likely objections
  5.  Assume you know what the other party wants
  6.  Fail to address the other party’s questions and concerns
  7.  Ignore the underlying power balance
  8.  Fail to neutralize the other party’s negative tactics
  9.  Narrow down the negotiation to only one issue
  10. Negotiate a win for you that results in a loss for the other party

One or more of these are probably familiar to you. We all have to start somewhere, right? The worst part is, any one of these actions is enough to sabotage a negotiation and possibly the whole relationship.


Sales Negotiation: A Win-Win for Everyone! [Week 4 of 6]

Posted by on February 1, 2012

Sales Negotiation

Last week, we talked about Competitive Selling and its three distinct processes: Profiling, Converting, and Evaluating. So now you have an idea of the many layers that make up successful sales execution, which must be applied as a whole. Now it’s time to talk about what “win-win” sales negotiation looks like.

It may seem obvious, but the first step in the win-win sales negotiation process is simply believing in the process, not seeing it as some type of marketing technique. The goal is not to make a single sale but to institute and then maintain a progressively better and more mutually beneficial relationship with your clients.

You should not be simply selling a product. Instead you and your company should be selling innovative and creative problem solving abilities that will create value for your customer, well above and beyond the capabilities of the product or service you’re selling today.

It also important to remember that the goals of your company and of your client, while somewhat aligned, are not identical. This means that, to be effective, your sales negotiation must address several issues at once. This allows room to compromise on some issues while holding fast on others. Quite simply, a one-issue sales negotiation can only result in a no-sale or a poor deal for your company.

The Roadmap

The next step is understanding and controlling the “roadmap” to a successful sales negotiation. There are four identifiable stages:

Framing:The framing stage is extremely important as it shows that you understand your client and their business. You must assess your client’s needs and offer them real solutions.

Positioning: In this stage, you lay out your initial offer and listen to your clients best-case scenario. It’s important to determine which items are changeable and which are not—which leads us to the next segment.

Discovering:Now you have to really listen to discover the key needs and financial drivers of this negotiation. Anything that can be added or subtracted can be used to seal the deal.

Agreeing: With a solid framework, the details can be worked out. This is an excellent opportunity to uncover further needs that can be addressed in a future sales negotiation.

Sales Techniques

Business is not a game, but companies are out to win. To this end, they employ various techniques in order to secure the best possible deal. Being aware of these techniques is the first step to becoming “tactically bulletproof” to them. In order to establish a power base, veteran negotiators may use tactics like “good guy/bad guy,” or even make you wait for an hour to see them. But if you concentrate on the process to provide value for the clientand your deals with that client—these negotiations will get progressively easier to wrap up.

This is just the tip of the icebeg when it comes to Sales Negotiation Skills. Truly absorbing these concepts requires in-class coaching, practice, and finally real-world application. At CGWA, our 5 targeted Sales Execution Workshops are each developed, tested, and refined in the field—in response to real sales execution issues faced by very successful commercial teams. Next week, we’ll talk about the fourth of these workshops: Consultative Selling Skills. See you then!