The single most important factor in determining how a negotiation is going to turn out centers on a single question: who has the most power? The big problem that most of us have is that we don’t think that we have enough of it. Turns out, we’re generally wrong about this…
The Secret Of Negotiating Power
What is power in a sales negotiation? Simple – it’s the ability of one side of the table to control both the resources that are available to the other side as well as the benefits that they can get.
At all times during a sales negotiation it is your responsibility to be looking for ways to build up your power base while at the same time working to prevent the other side of the table from gaining leverage over you (and thereby causing you power loss).
Where Does Your Power Come From?
All too often when I’m talking with sales negotiators, they’ll tell me that they don’t feel as though they have enough negotiating power to be successful in an upcoming bargaining session. When we talk a bit more, it quickly becomes apparent that they are only seeing half the story. Specifically, they are only thinking about “positive power“.
Positive negotiating power comes from all of the things that put you in a good position to negotiate. Having plenty of time to make a deal, having attractive alternatives, having plenty of funding, etc. – these are all sources of positive power for you.
What my clients always seem to overlook is that they also have “negative power” working for them. Negative negotiating power comes from limitations and restrictions that the other side of the table is working under. These can include the need to reach a deal quickly, not having a good alternative to dealing with you, or even limited availability of funds.
The power that you have during a sales negotiation isn’t something that sits on the table next to you. Instead, it’s more like a feeling of confidence that you have when you sit down at the table.
Not only do you have the easily recognizable sources of positive power working for you, you also have the hidden sources of negative power on your side also. If you can learn to spot both of these power sources before you enter into your next negotiation, then you will be able to close better deals and close them quicker.
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What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time
All sales negotiations are driven by both public and private needs. If you can understand and deal with the other side’s hidden needs, then you’ll have more power during the negotiation.