Being a great salesperson is about more than just selling (a lot!). The best salespeople establish a long-term relationship with their prospects, setting a foundation for repeat sales and referrals.
So, how do they do it?
Sales negotiation is a balancing act. You need to convert your conversation to a hard sale, at the same time, building rapport with your prospect and ultimately, trust.
Negotiation skills for sales are a key part of any salesperson’s toolkit. In this article, we take a look at some of the key factors that can help you to successfully strike a deal.
The majority of our communication is via body language, rather than the words we utter. Not only must we be aware of our own body language and what it says about us but we must also pay careful attention to our counterparts’.
You only get to make one first impression, so it’s important that it’s the right first impression. In addition to being presentable, a well-delivered handshake is a must. A firm handshake conveys honesty and makes people feel at ease.
Adopting an open, relaxed posture sets the tone for the negotiation. Hand-in-hand with that posture, you’ll need to maintain just enough eye contact to show that you’re actively listening. Too little and you’ll appear disinterested, or worse, dishonest. Too much and you’ll come across as aggressive.
Remember you’re a person, not a robot. Use it to your advantage. Adapt your body language to the situation and the individual you’re negotiating with. It’ll help put them in the mood to cooperate.
Being a Personable Negotiator
There’s no getting away from the fact that negotiations can get intense, but there’s a difference between intensity and hostility. Keep in mind your goal – you want to come away from the negotiating table with an agreeable outcome.
Connecting with your prospect is one of the most vital negotiation skills for sales. Building rapport helps your counterpart to feel valued, improving the potential for long-term opportunities.
It’s not difficult to be personable, either. Offering a drink and engaging in light conversation can go a long way toward demonstrating that you care, which can be invaluable to your brand and reputation, especially if you offer after-sales care. Just ensure your interactions are genuine, or you’ll rapidly lose that trust you so carefully cultivated.
Clear Communication for Sales Negotiation
Negotiation skills for sales hinge on clear communication, which in turn, is impacted by your preparation.
During the negotiation, you need to be able to convey an understanding of your prospect’s business and pain points. If you understand the pain points, you can you articulate why your product or service solves them.
By communicating clearly, you can build essential trust with your prospect, and yes, you’ve guessed it, rapport. You’ll avoid misunderstandings and conflict, or at the very least, have the skills to address any issues quickly.
As a salesperson, it may be tempting to focus on pricing. Keep in mind that price is just a measurement of value, which is intrinsically linked with your prospect’s perception of value. If you practise active listening, you may well find that there’s something beyond price that can sway your prospect, such as an add-on or a freebie.
In any negotiation, you’ll likely come across an objection or two. If you’ve prepared well, you may be able to anticipate objections before they crop up and prepare a resolution accordingly. In any case, having a good understanding of your prospect’s pain points allows you to demonstrate how your product or service is a great solution.
We’ve all heard the expression “patience is a virtue” and it couldn’t hold more true for sales negotiations. When you’re faced with a monthly sales target, you may be tempted to jump in and offer lower prices or more incentives to close the deal. However, maintaining your composure could help you to come away with more attractive terms than if you leapt in with guns blazing.
Giving your counterpart the time they need to digest the situation is a critical part of negotiation skills for all sales teams. Nobody wants to be rushed into making a decision, and giving your prospect the time to breathe can help them to feel respected and enable you to nurture that relationship for better long-term returns.
Tips for Sales Negotiation Skills
Negotiation skills are essential for sales teams to build positive relationships with potential customers. Carefully honing your skillset is a worthwhile time investment as you’ll be able to communicate your USPs, pricing and outcomes more clearly, preventing costly misunderstandings and frustrations.