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Essential negotiation skills

Negotiating is an art - and can take many forms. Of course the way you negotiate a sale will depend on a lot of different factors - your own personality, your sales technique, or different customers you’re dealing with. Different situations call for different skills, but it’s fair to say that there a few key techniques you can employ in most cases to make sure you get the deal you - and your company - are after.

Top tactics

We’ll be looking at some great tactics for closing the deal in next week’s blog, so our concern here is really about how you reach that end point - the techniques that will serve you well as you negotiate with your potential customer. Number one - know your bottom line. This is your ‘worst case scenario’ and obviously isn’t something you should share - but you need to have it clear in your head before you start to negotiate. Number two - know what you’re prepared to concede. Obviously linked to the above, this is all about being very clear what you will give away to get the deal. It’s critical that you clarify this before you start negotiating, to avoid any rash ‘heat of the moment’ concessions to a potential customer that could harm you and your business financially. Number three - only negotiate with the decision maker. There’s no point in cutting a deal with someone who then has to check the hard won points you’ve agreed with someone else - so make sure you’re negotiating with someone who can deliver what they promise. Number four - always getting something back for any concession you make. It seems obvious, but a good negotiation should feel like a win-win for everyone - so don’t let an opportunity to get something back get away from you.

Don’t go to far

Finally, don’t be afraid to say no. As a salesperson, your business will thank you for turning down a customer who has demanded everything but given nothing in return - a customer who demands a deal that is unprofitable for you and your company is potentially a much big problem further down the line.