Customer Experience News & Trends

The keys to successful negotiation

Here are five tips that will help your salespeople set clear objectives and get the information they need to meet them. Bring them up at your next sales meeting.

1.   Prioritize your goals. If you’re going to compromise, you need to know what you must have, as opposed to what would be nice to have. The nice-to-have may be given up for obtaining the must-haves.

2.   Know your walk-away and alternatives. This gives you power in negotiations, because at some point you may be better off pursuing your alternative than settling for a sub-optimal agreement. Know your walk-away point so that if you need to, you can abandon the negotiation.

3.   Show that you want to negotiate. Look at the prospect’s problems and try to make sure that your proposal effectively resolves key issues. This will give you a reputation for empathy and fairness.

4.   Promote long-term benefits. Point out that there can be an ongoing relationship between the parties (if this is true). One benefit of a successful compromise is that, at best, the future is not put in jeopardy, and the possibility of doing future business together remains viable. A compromise now might lay the ground work for future collaboration.

5.   Remember: All deals are not always winnable. Sometimes a compromise is the best you can do in a bad situation, when neither side can completely get what it wants for improving the relationship between them.

Adapted from Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreements Without Giving In (Penguin Books, NY) by William Ury. Mr. Ury is a sales consultant and trainer.

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