Four Sales Negotiation Tips
In my blog posted earlier this month, I shared Three Simple Tips For Sales Negotiation. If you have not yet read that blog and sales negotiation tips 1-3, you can click here to do so. Let me now share with you sales negotiation tips 4-7.
Sales Negotiation Tip #4
Only negotiation with those who have the power and authority to buy and say yes. It's amazing to me how often I see sales professionals who are negotiating a sale with those who do not possess the power to commit or buy. Typically, sales peolple find themselves negotiating with gatekeepers-those who have the power to say no- but do not possess the power to say yes. So you need to ask some probing question and poke around to make sure the person you are communicating with has the authority to say yes abd buy from you or hire your consultant.
Sales Negotiation Tip #5
Only negotiate when the buyer can actually buy. Do NOT try to negotiation BEFORE the buyer can actually commit. Again, I see it all the time where a sales professional will try to negotiate a deal-say on bill rate or pricing-with the client at the end of the sales cycle. The sales rep offers reduced pricing or makes an unfavorable offer to the client. The client responds with "I need to think this over." Or "I need to run this by my boss." Never, ever, ever, make your final offer or try to negotiate with a IT hiring manager or buyer who is not yet ready or able to commit. Why? There are too many reasons to name but here are two simple ones. First, the client can use your rate to negotiate with another vendor or as leverage down the road. Second, the customer will almost always come back and ask for another concession from you. You want to make sure that the deal you're offering-the compromise-will be accepted there and on the spot.
Sales Negotiation Tip # 6
What concessions are you willing to give up or concede to? Just like you need to come up with a sales negotiation trade off sheet (list of things you want in return for your concessions), you also need to think through what you are willing to give up. If it is pricing such as your gross profit margin, how often and under what cicrcumstances? What else would you be willing to give up? What does the client want or value that you are willing to give up or concede? You should give yourself options before going into your negotiation.
Sales Negotiation Tip #7
You must be willing to walk away. Pure and simple. If you are not ready to walk away from an account or sales opportunity than you are simply not ready to negotiate. If you're not willing to walk away than clearly you are willing to make even more concessions than you originally had planned on and/or you are willing to accept less in return from the client. Quite frankly, I don't think enough sales people walk away from customers in this business. I know it's hard, but there are a ton of companies out there to do business with. And the beauty of the sales profession is you get to pick and choose who you do business with. Remember that!
About Dan Fisher
Dan Fisher is founder and owner of Menemsha Group, a provider of sales enablement solutions dedicated to helping IT staffing firms improve win rates, shorten their sales cycle, and increase revenue per sales rep. Since launching Menemsha Group in 2008, Dan has consulted with over 200 IT staffing firms and has invested over 5000 hours coaching IT staffing sales reps. He’s authored is his own proprietary sales methodology and has previously spoken at Staffing World, TechServe Alliance and Bullhorn Live 2012. Prior to launching Menemsha Group, Dan spent 16 years in the IT industry running local, regional and national sales teams. Dan worked for Kelly Services, Oracle Corporation and Alliance Consulting. Dan currently resides in Boston, Ma.