Is it ever too early to talk about planning on what negotiating skills you should working on next? Hopefully not because that’s what I’d like to have chat with you about. In order to be a world-class sales negotiator, you have to master literally 100’s of different skills from learning how to mange your negotiating power, how to prepare for a negotiation, etc. On top of all that, there are five areas that most sales negotiators overlook and yet, they may be the most important negotiating skills that you need to be working on…
The Big Five
You’re not going to find this list of negotiating skills written down in a book or learn them in a class. They come from that school that we all eventually end up graduating from called the school of hard knocks. Read the list and be thankful that you’re learning them now instead of having to realize what you should have known after a negotiation has gone South:
- Good Judgement: we would all like to have the ability to make sound decisions. The challenge here is that all too often the only way to develop this skill is by experience and we gain that by making poor judgements. The secret here is to become a careful observer of others: watch the decision that they make and learn from them.
- Patience: in our 21st Century world this is an amazingly powerful negotiating skill that all too few of us seem to have enough of. I hate to say it, but it seems that the younger the negotiator, the less of this skill there is. If you can develop this skill, then you’ll have the willingness to let any negotiating situation take its time and evolve. Not moving too soon can be a very powerful negotiating tactic.
- Persistence: people who don’t do a great deal of negotiating often are too willing to give up when they run into resistance. Good sales negotiators realize that opposition from the other side is simply another means of communication and as long as you are talking, there is still hope that an agreement can be reached. Never give up!
- Stamina: nobody ever gets into the field of sales negotiation because they think that it’s going to be easy. It’s not easy. However, the ability to keep at it and put in the hard work that any negotiation requires is what separates the successful negotiators from the unsuccessful ones.
- Involvement: at its lowest level, any negotiation is simply a conversation between two people. If you want to have this conversation result in a successful deal, then you’re going to have to go the extra mile and connect with the other side of the table on a personal level. It’s this kind of involvement that makes people feel comfortable saying “yes” to your proposal.
What All Of This Means For You
Nobody is a perfect negotiator. We all have a lot still to learn. You should always be trying to find out what you don’t know so that you’ll know where you need to be spending your time working to become better.
We’ve identified five negotiating skill areas that are all too often overlooked by negotiators. We have a bad habit of always looking for the magic “silver bullet” skill that will allow us to become more successful in our negotiations. It turns out that no such thing exists.
Rather, there’s a whole collection of skills that can provide us with what we need to become better than we are today. Take some time and review this list — now you know what you need to be working on.
Do you think that you are a patient person and do you think that this is a skill that you can only develop as you become older?
What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time
How can you become a better sales negotiator? I believe that the right way to reach a higher 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…