How to negotiate like a sales superstar when it seems you can only fail…
As with all of my sales training tips and sales strategies it´s important that you know how to apply tactics in the real world. Here is a negotiation question that has been asked of me several times and in several different guises:-
Gavin. I´ve got a client who is already using us. He is using one product list value 3000 and another worth 2000. Total value 5000. He has only been paying 1500! He now wants to drop the 3000 product and continue with the 2000 product but is expecting a discount from his current investment of 1500. What can I do?
Great question and one which is not at all uncommon. The first problem here is that this client has obviously been seriously under sold in the past and this has set his expectations. Whilst there is not a lot you can do about this situation now it´s important that you learn this and do not fall into this trap yourself when signing up new clients yourself…
For this case, here are some negotiating strategies you may be able to use:-
Work out your walk away price.
What is the least that you will be happy doing this deal for? You need to decide before you ever go anywhere near your client. In the heat of the moment salespeople often sign deals that shouldn´t be signed. If you are certain about your walk away then at least you can´t make this mistake.
Work out what you think the client is going to want.
You should have a good idea about this. Based on past conversations and history – what deal do you think the client will be going for?
Work out what the client will settle for.
What´s the most you think the client will pay? This is crucial because this is what you are going to be negotiating up to.
Now you have 4 possible deals:-
1. Your opening price 1500
2. Your walk away
3. The client´s opening stance and,
4. The client´s walk away
Hopefully, there is some overlap!
Work out your concessions
What variables can you add or remove from this deal that you can negotiate with? In all of the sales cases and with all of the sales people I spoke with in similar scenarios we managed to find several…
Work out how much the client needs you
It may be that this client is about to play hard ball but that really they need you and they know that they have been getting the deal of a lifetime in the past.
Now you need to consider how you are going to run the client negotiation meeting itself. Some planning on the steps of the negotiation could well be rewarded with a successful negotiation here.
Set client expectations
You have to tell this client that they have been getting a great deal and help them to understand that you may not be able to continue with it but that you do want to walk away with a win win if at all possible. Try and get them to agree that they need you and link it to their business. Don´t discount the possibility that you might be able to upsell them on the full package again.
After resetting client expectations try and get them to commit first on price. It doesn´t matter how low they go really, it´s a starting point and one from which you can only go up. This will allow you to start to judge the likelihood of a positive outcome. If the first offer is really low don´t be scared of shrugging it off and asking for another more realistic one.
Once you have a starting figure you can make your first offer. Make it as high as you "reasonably" can. Only now can you start to trade concessions and variables whilst using all of your negotiation skills.
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