Top 10 "Must Do's" to Negotiation Success

Must # 1 - Know Your Prospect


Learn all you can about your prospect. His or her priorities and negotiation styles vary dramatically. Having a sense of your prospects' priorities will help you decide how hard to push. Be sure to do your homework. Research their history and your topic so you don't waste your time OR theirs.

Must # 2 - Be Crystal Clear About Your Priorities


You must be clear about your priorities, your needs, and your top and bottom line. That way you will communicate much more clearly. You must come prepared with all necessary documents and agreements. Be sure you arrive on time.

Must # 3 - Always Hedge the First Offer


Master negotiators call this "flinching" at the first offer. That simply means show some surprise, dissatisfaction, or discomfort at the first offer. Take it and you probably will leave lots of money on the table. Not to mention you could leave your prospect feeling they gave too much.

Must # 4 - Position Your Product and Services


You must position your product or service in ways that show the benefits your prospect will get. A benefit is what the product or service does - a feature is what it is. Features are selfish "me" statements - benefits offer "you" statements. Don't make the deadly mistake of only talking about price, features and terms.

Must # 5 - Negotiate the Small Issues

You must negotiate the small things. When you put them all together - it makes a huge difference in your prospect's ability to use your product or service the best. Only as an absolute last resort should you ever tinker with your price. Always remember, when you drop your price, it decreases the perception of value in your prospect's eyes - especially if there is no reason given for doing so. Change your terms - not your price.

Must # 6 - Don't Be So Quick to "Split the Difference"


You must not be willing to drop your pants just because your prospect wants to split the difference with you. This is just a short cut way for your prospect to get the terms he wants. A lot of people try this approach even when they feel they have come to terms that are okay with them. Too many times this kind of tactic really leaves neither side winning, or one or both sides feeling that the "best deal" was not struck.

Must # 7 - Don't get emotional


Understand what you REALLY want. But you must release your emotional attachment to it. When you get your emotions, all tangled up in the negotiations process - it weakens your position and causes you not to be able to think logically. Fear is the worst of these emotions and will cause you to be impatient and settle for less than is fair. Be clear about what you want but leave your emotions off the negotiating table.

Must # 8 - Beware of Time Wasters


You must keep focused on your ultimate goal. Are you advancing the sale or not? Don't keep rehashing unimportant points.

Must # 9 - Maintain the Formality or Informality Set by The Prospect


You must maintain the formality or informality that is set by your prospect. Always greet and treat everyone with respect. But then wait for them to set the tone of your meeting. It may and probably will change with time to become warmer and more relaxed. That of course is a good thing. People must usually like you to buy from you. However, be careful not to get on such friendly terms that you lose your professionalism and lose respect from your prospect.

Must # 10 - Cooperate with Your Prospect


You must be sure and cooperate with your prospect instead of agitating him or her. Don't use manipulation. It just creates bitterness. What you want is to create harmony. You must resonate with the hopes, desires, dreams and fears of the person you are trying to help. Don't be greedy; always work toward a win-win result. If you do - you will find it and future business will just get easier and more plentiful.


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