The Three Most Common Mistakes Made in Sales Negotiations
1. Conceding too much too soon
2. Underestimating your power
3. Responding poorly to adversarial tactics
Average negotiators make these same mistakes repeatedly. Successful negotiators are successful, in part because they have learned to eliminate these common mistakes. You can improve your ability and the ability of your sales team by eliminating the common mistakes described below.
Mistake #1: Conceding Too Much Too Soon
The most common mistake made by average negotiators is to concede too much too soon. If the customer says something like "your price is too high," the average salesperson will immediately make a price concession. Instead, successful negotiators always try to:
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||Value Added Selling|
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||Questioning and Listening for Needs |
||Negotiation Strategy & Tactics|
-Get something in return by using "if/then" language
-Use a settlement range for maneuvering room. Every negotiation involves one or more issues. Successful negotiators plan a settlement range of acceptable outcomes for each issue
-"Agonize" when appropriate
-Concede an elegant currency rather than make a concession on price. An "elegant currency" is anything that has high value to the customer and is low cost to the seller. Exploring for and exchanging elegant currencies increases the likelihood of reaching a win/win.
Mistake #2: Understimating Their Power
Average negotiators understimate their power. Many people approach a negotiation believing that they are in a less powerful position than the other party. Salespeople often feel that the customer holds all the power.
Actual power is difficult to assess, so most of us depend on our perception of power. The following is a simple rule to use when considering the power in any given negotiation situation. The Power of Alternatives: Power in negotiating is a function of alternatives. The more alternatives you have, the more power you have. To increase your power, be sure to identify your critical wants and needs, and then identify alternative ways that you can get those needs met if you don't reach an agreement with this customer.
Mistake #3: Responding Poorly to Adversarial Tactics
The most common way that average negotiators respond to adversarial tactics is fight or flight. In other words, break it off or respond in kind. Both of these responses will not result in win-win negotiations. The best way to respond to adversarial tactics is counter-intuitive. Successful negotiators have learned not to react, to stay calm and to disarm the other person, and to then use win/win tactics rather than adversarial tactics. The free STAR webinar on March 8 will highlight the 25 most difficult negotiation tactics.
Where Do You Go From Here?
Please visit us on the web to learn more about our Sales Negotiation Skills Workshop or contact us to register for our free Negotiation Webinar on March 8th. If you have a question or want to discuss the subject of negotiation in more detail, please call or send us an email.
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