Recently, we had a client in Phoenix, AZ who wanted us to provide negotiating skills training for his sales team. The expressed purpose was the sales team had difficulty articulating a value proposition, thus had no fallback position and caved in consistently on price and margins suffered.
Much to the chagrin of the client and gurus who sell books/seminars on 1001 ways to close deals; there is no scientific data that indicates any quick negotiating gimmicks, or cute gotcha tactics that win the day with any degree of consistency.
For this client, as well as most Business to Business selling situations, negotiating is ubiquitous throughout the entire sales process.
· Negotiate the first meaningful appointment
· Negotiate obtaining meaningful information
· Negotiate a return visit to bring in a proposal
· Negotiate entertainment to build the relationship
· Negotiate handling objections
Generally speaking, it is not the inability to negotiate a better price that weakens the deal, but rather the lack of clarity negotiating the many mini agreements that need to be managed up and down the sales process.
Sales professionals frequently go for the quick deal and forget the discipline to manage each step of the sales process, due to the overwhelming pressure to close NOW. In Business to Business selling this principle is simply axiomatic!
Copyright © 2014 Dave Neal
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