Don’t Believe What Anyone Says Is What Sales Negotiators Need To Learn To Do

by drjim on July 7, 2009

Sales Negotiators Need To Know When To Hold The Truth - And When To Fold

Sales Negotiators Need To Know When To Hold The Truth - And When To Fold

People are either honest or they aren’t right? Umm, well not exactly. Look, in a sales negotiation everything is not as it seems. I hate to use strong words like “lying” or anything like that, but let’s just say that a healthy dose of skepticism is often a sales negotiator’s best friend.

What’s Going On Here – Can’t Anyone Tell The Truth?

The older a sales negotiator gets, the more he / she is less likely to believe just about ANYTHING that they are told. There is a reason for this! In the end, sales negotiating is all about power – who has it and who doesn’t. However, just like in the game of poker bluffing is not only allowed, it is often encouraged.

If you don’t believe me (or you don’t WANT to believe me), then think about how a buyer and a seller interact when they are trying to complete a deal to buy a house – talk about some serious poker playing!

Where Do The LInes Get Drawn?

We are in a very murky area here and it’s very easy for a sales negotiator to stumble over the line and fall into the dark side – becoming a flat-out lier. It’s necessary that you operate here, but you’ve got to watch your step.

Our house buyer / seller are going to be presenting information that may not quite be the complete truth. The house seller is going to be talking about all of the things that make the house a fantastic house – and leaving out any discussion about the leaky pipes in the basement and the squirrels that have set up a home in the attic.

Likewise the buyer is going to be trying to mask any real interest that he / she may have in buying this particular house. Additionally, the buyer will be working hard to NOT communicate how much funding he / she has to complete the purchase. Is anyone lying here? No – but they are also not telling the complete truth.

One Word – Be Skeptical

A good sales negotiator is ALWAYS skeptical about anything that he / she is told by the other side. This includes when the other side uses facts & figures (where did they come from?), experts (what makes them an expert?), and handsome bound color documents (Kinko’s can turn out great stuff overnight).

As a sales negotiator your job is to always be asking questions. Take nothing at face value and always assume that the other side is probably not giving you the complete story. This is how you are are going to transfer power from the other side to you.

Final Thoughts

Being a “doubting Thomas” is a great skill for a sales negotiator to have. One important rule of life has been give to us by the Las Vegas board of tourism: “What happens during a Sales Negotiation, stays in the negotiation.” This means that you can’t have any hard feelings about what information the other side revealed (or didn’t) during the negotiation after it is all over and done. Having a healthy dose of doubt while negotiating will allow you to close better deals and close them quicker.

Questions For You

Have you ever accepted anything that the other side has told you at face value during a  sales negotiation? Did it turn out to be completely true? Have you ever been fooled by the other side? Have you ever stretched the truth during a sales negotiation? How did the other side use the information that you gave them? Leave me a comment and let me know what you are thinking.

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What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

We all hear so much about the smooth Donald Trumps of the world that we can fall in to the belief that everyone shows up for a sales negotiation better prepared than we are. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, there are four common sales negotiation mistakes that even really smart people make all the time. Are you making any of them?

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