4 Ways To Win A Sales Negotiation Before You Even Start

by drjim on June 18, 2010

The Secret To Winning Is To Cross The Finish Line Before You Sit Down

The Secret To Winning Is To Cross The Finish Line Before You Sit Down

Have you ever wished for three wishes? Maybe you’d keep one of these wishes in you back pocket and then someday when you found yourself in the middle of a sales negotiation that just wasn’t going your way, you could whip it out and come out a winner? Well, I don’t have any wishes to share with you, but I’ve got some ways for you to come out of your next negotiation feeling like you won it before you even started…

Plan On Getting To Win-Win

When we talk about the fabled “win-win” state in sales negotiations, what we’re really talking about is reaching a point in which both sides of the table feel as though they’ve gotten what they need and that they haven’t given up too much.
Getting to win-win doesn’t just happen. Instead, you have to plan on getting there. Taking the time before you start a negotiation to give some thought to just exactly what a win-win situation would look in the upcoming negotiation and then writing down how you might get there will make achieving this state that much more possible.

Divert Power To Your Defensive Shields

Anyone who has spent time watching old science fiction movies knows that before you take your starcruiser into battle you first activate and fully charge the defensive shields. It turns out that the same is true for sales negotiations.
It’s entirely possible that you may find yourself getting forced into a corner at some point during a negotiation. If this happens, then you need a defensive shield that you can activate. Two classic shields are the “I need time to think about this” ploy and the “appeal to a higher authority” ploy.
If you want to use these defenses correctly, then you need to take the time before the negotiations start to set things up so that you can use them: talk about your control-freak of a boss or how you ALWAYS need to spend time by yourself before making a big decision.

Clone Yourself

Remember back in school when the kids used to call the kid who wore glasses “4 eyes” (maybe it was you)? Well it turns out that having four eyes is actually better than having just two – in fact another set of ears can sure help out also.
Since we haven’t quite got that cloning thing squared away just yet, your best bet is to bring a colleague along with you to your next sales negotiation. There’s no way that you can possibly see everything, hear everything, or remember everything so having another person there who’s on your side can be a big help.

Find The Other Side’s Kryptonite

More often than not, you may feel as though you are getting ready to negotiate with Superman. They seem to have everything: more people, more resources, and a better starting position for the negotiation.
In reality, it turns out that their greatest strength is that you think that they are in a strong position. Before the negotiation starts, take some time to consider the world from their position. They really don’t have Superman’s powers – there has got to be some limits to what they can do. If you can identify these limits, then you will have taken away some of their power and boosted yours.

What All Of This Means For You

Everyone wants to walk away from their next sales negotiation feeling like they came out ahead. Sure you can just dive right in and hope for the best, or you boost your odds and take some steps to position yourself to succeed before the negotiation starts.
We’ve covered four steps that you can take in order to prepare for success. They all require you to find a quiet place and then mentally think though the upcoming negotiation and plan your moves. If you think about it, it’s really like getting ready for a chess match.
It is possible to position yourself to be successful in your next negotiation. All it takes is just a little bit of advanced planning and you can be a winner before you even start the race…

– Dr. Jim Anderson
Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World Negotiating Help For Technical Staff

Question For You: Do you think that the person that you bring along should work for your company or be an outsider?

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What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

I’m pretty sure that any sales negotiator who was given a choice would always choose to close a deal quicker rather than slower. Sure, there are probably some masochists out there, but let’s assume that everyone else would choose the quicker option. Great, now just exactly how do we go about doing this?

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