Sales negotiation is a large part of being a successful salesperson, and yet 90% of sales executives have never had any formal negotiation training. Tony Perzow, interviewed by John Golden, gives concrete advice on to best utilize potent sales negotiation skills.
This expert sales interview explores sales negotiation, including:
- How to plan for your sales negotiations
- The importance of saying no
- The “if you” rule
Planning the Sales Negotiation:
Another problematic situation that salespeople find themselves in is that they know they have to sell their value first, so they begin pitching, but don’t plan for the negotiation phase. “If they planned for their negotiation, they would realize that they have a lot more power and leverage than they think they do,” said Perzow. “Many salespeople will jump from sales to bargaining without doing homework. They get to bargaining, and they think the buyer holds all the cards. Salespeople go in thinking they don’t have any power, they become very insecure, and then they give in easily.”
Learn to Say No:
Successful sales negotiation comes down to three things. The first is learning how to listen. The second is learning to shut up. And most importantly, the third thing is learning to say no. There is an inability of salespeople to say no. Many are so eager to make the sale that they are willing to budge on standards and end up shortchanging themselves. What happens is, buyers will meet a salesperson, and they start the negotiating immediately. The buyer aims to get the salesperson talking price and numbers before the salesperson is even able to pitch value. “Salespeople fall for this all the time,” said Perzow. “They negotiate before they sell, and they wind up giving in and discounting and making poor choices. A lot of people give in very easily.”
The If-You Rule:
The “if you” rule is a way to reach a middle ground with your clients, but not sell yourself short and lose revenue. It’s a great tactic for salespeople who are hesitant to say no. It’s compromising, not conceding. Perzow uses the example of a candy bowl at the cash register of a restaurant. If the candies are free, you might take a few of them, even if you don’t really want them, because they’re free. However, if you charge 25 cents for each piece of candy, only patrons who want the candy will purchase one. “Most salespeople, when they negotiate, are exactly like that bowl of free candy, said Perzow. “They give away concessions for free. Without asking for anything in return, they give away 5% discounts or free shipping.”
Instead, utilize the “if you” rule to create a situation where you can offer a concession, but get something in return, you are only giving away something when it’s mutually beneficial for you as well. “If you do this, I will do that. You should never concede in a negotiation without attaching those two little words,” said Perzow. This starts to train the buyer on how to treat the seller, as well. If you are always giving away little concessions, they will take as many as they want, just like the candy bowl. “If you start attaching strings, now you’re teaching your buyer to only start asking for things if they really want it. they learn that if they ask for it, they’re going to have to pay for it.”
To learn more about sales negotiation, watch the expert sales interview!
About Our Host
John is the Amazon bestselling author of Winning the Battle for Sales: Lessons on Closing Every Deal from the World’s Greatest Military Victories and Social Upheaval: How to Win at Social Selling. A globally acknowledged Sales & Marketing thought leader, speaker, and strategist. He is CSMO at Pipeliner CRM. In his spare time, John is an avid Martial Artist.
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