Negotiation is a key factor in the sales process. It is not enough for a seller to grant discounts or benefits to reach the close; the task is to fix the client problem. You must first assess whether you can solve it. If so, move on to the negotiation to convince the customer that their product or service is not just one more solution, but the best solution. Randall Castillo Ortega, a longtime business owner from Costa Rica, provides insight into becoming a better negotiator when dealing with potential clients.
Negotiation is a stage of the sales process where the seller and buyer dialogue to reach an agreement. The customer focuses on what they need, value and hurt; the seller analyzes this information and shows the benefits that your product or service can offer. Evaluate and demonstrate how you can meet customer needs. According to some studies, 47% of customers want a seller to be able to “solve problems.”
Trading strategies are the approaches with which the seller manages trading. The “how” can solve the problem and determine whether or not the sale is closed. And it also influences how profitable the deal will be. Says Castillo, “To negotiate a sale, it is crucial to pay attention to the volume of the order, the rice or risk and if there are several people involved in the purchase decision.” A successful negotiation is the one that seeks a favorable agreement for both parties. It doesn’t matter if it takes longer. The seller cares more about solving the customer’s need than winning a sale. This gives you a better chance of loyalty.
An essential part of the sales process is eliminating customer fears and doubts. To achieve this and perform well, sellers must develop social and emotional skills, and combine them with their professional skills. These competencies are known as cross-cutting skills. These are skills that are gained from practice. Reading manuals on trading strategies is not enough.
A good sales negotiator compares your goals with the information you have about each customer. This chooses what relevant information it will give you. In addition, you must anticipate what priorities the customer has and the objections they will raise. A negotiation is a dialogue. The seller should study when to tell the key information to convince the customer without being overly pushy.
Active listening means paying attention to what the customer says. Observe the feelings, ideas and concerns you hide. This is one of the most important soft skills of a good seller. The more a customer explains their need or problem, the more signs there are of their limitations or fears. Listening and trust lay the foundation for what negotiation is. Sellers who clearly understand their customers’ needs manage to build valuable long-term relationships. For sales leaders, “adapting” means dealing with changing consumer expectations. And train the vendors to solve problems. Creating a good list of questions to ask in the negotiation is a good resource. It helps to know the real interests of the client to “adapt” the offer.
During the negotiation process, it is common for nerves, doubts and even burden, to cloud judgment. Explains Castillo, “To manage these emotional responses, create a list of goals you’re looking to achieve and what you can give in or not. In addition to speaking clearly and simply, it is important to take care of nonverbal communication and analyze how the client communicates beyond words.”
If the negotiation is with an SME, the seller is likely to speak to the owner or CEO. In the case of large companies, with the manager or representative of a specific area. Knowing who makes the final decision allows the seller not to waste time and direct their communication to the right person.
In the competitive trading style, there is no interest in the common good. One side shows the power of his will over another. The negotiator has a rigid stance and does not value building a long-term relationship. Building trust is not the most important thing. Its goal is to earn and add profits. It doesn’t add value to customer relationships.
The seller seeks to know the customer’s concerns, their greatest fears and their goals. The seller helps the customer achieve their goals without sacrificing their own. It demands a lot of empathy and honesty to come to a win-win agreement.
Transparency creates trust and security. In this negotiating tactic, sellers who share relevant content when negotiating manage to build lasting relationships. A good negotiator provides clear and useful information such as competitive offers, sales history, scientific research studies and customer testimonials. These are crucial today because buyers have access to a lot of information. It’s easy to compare suppliers and detect misleading offers.
“Selling or convincing someone is basically an exercise in trust. When someone stays on the no, they just don’t trust you. Taking these meetings out of the context of seriousness helps get to know each other,” adds Castillo. If this is not possible, he suggests observing the client’s habits. Discover through exploration whether the client has family or practices any sport or outdoor activity.