How can you become a better sales negotiator? For such a simple question, there seems to be no corresponding simple answer. I guess that we all know that the best sales negotiators seem to always know what to do and when to do it. Now if there was only some way that we could pick up those same skills! I believe that the right way to reach this level of sales negotiating skill is to develop the same set of skills that the really good negotiators have. I’ve got five of them for you to learn right here…
Things That You Need To Know
Today’s modern cars are wonders of invention. However, they all seem to be so complex with wires, computers, and whatnot. Sales negotiations today are pretty much the same way: they have become much more complex in part because we all have access to so much more information.
In order to deal with the new challenges of today’s sales negotiations, you’re going to need some more tools. Here are five tools that you should have in your toolbox:
- Two Ears: It’s too bad that these things don’t come with an owner’s guide. Your ears are your single best tool for determining what’s going on with the other side of the table. The best sales negotiators have the ability to listen very carefully and to then focus all of their senses on just what the other side of the table is really trying to say.
- A Really Big Calendar: All too often I’ve seen sales negotiations go off track because one or more of the teams was too focused only on the short term. The best sales negotiators have the ability to see time for what it really is: the sum of the past, the present, the future, and the really far out future. If you have the ability to see time as one big continuous sliding scale and to understand where the deal that is being negotiated fits on that scale, then you’ll be able to make better decisions.
- Deal Knowledge: No matter how good of a sales negotiator you are, you still cannot just show up at a negotiation, sit down, and then strike a good deal. You need to have a good understanding of what you have to offer the other side, what they have that you want, as well as the environment in which you are trying to strike a deal. .
- A Sense Of Humor: As we work hard to improve our sales negotiating skills, this is the one thing that we too easily overlook. It turns out that when the negotiations reach a roadblock, or when tempers flare up, having the skill that allows you to take a step back and say something that gets everyone to laugh is invaluable. Sometimes this is the only thing that can restart a negotiation.
- The Christmas Spirit: Well, maybe not Christmas itself but at least the ability to both give and take at the negotiating table. If you show up thinking only about what you will be able to squeeze out of the other side of the table, you are in for a long an fruitless negotiation. Likewise, if you are too focused on keeping the other side of the table happy, then you’ll walk away feeling like you did not get a good deal.
- A Risky Personality: The world that we live in contains risk. Every deal that we negotiate increases the amount of risk in our lives. If we have the type of personality that allows us to deal with this kind of risk, then we can deal with all of the uncertainty that it takes to strike a deal with the other side of the table.
What All Of This Means For You
As they like to say in sales negotiating circles, if you’re not getting better, then you must be getting worse. This really applies to your sales negotiating skills — what have you done lately to acquire the skills that the really good negotiators have?
We’ve discussed five tools that if they aren’t already there, need to be added to your sales negotiating toolbox. Once you have mastered these skills, you’ll be ready to close more deals and close them quicker!
How important do you think a sense of humor is to a sales negotiation: critical, nice to have, or don’t need it?
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What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time
Don’t you just love movies? Whenever there is a negotiation going on in a movie, be it with hostage takers or closing a big business deal, there is always the picture of the noble solitary sales negotiator doing his / her best to close the deal against almost impossible odds. Can you tell me what is wrong with this picture?