Having some bargaining power when you are involved in a sales negotiation is a good thing. Have super bargaining power is much, much better. Most of us do a few things to prepare for a negotiating session, but are we doing enough? The answer in most cases is no. Let me tell you what you can do to fix this…
The following tips for how to gain more power for your side of the table during a negotiation come from the professional negotiators who do this for a full time living and who have been doing it for many years. Read on and learn from their experiences.
Prepare To Hear A “Yes”
All too often as sales negotiators we can spend all of our time focused on the deal being negotiated. Since any agreement that we’ll be able to reach will be between two people, we need to spend some time focusing on making the other side of the table comfortable enough to say “yes”.
This has nothing to do with what’s being negotiated and has everything to do with the negotiating environment: is there plenty of food and drink? Have you taken the time to get to personally know the other side of the table? These things may seem small, but they can play a big role in making the other side more comfortable in saying “yes” to you.
Take Many Notes
If you’ve ever seen an expert negotiator working, you’ve seen a pen in their hand and a notepad in front of them. The reason for this is because they know that one of the unspoken secrets to doing a good job of negotiating is simply remembering what has already been discussed. Writing everything down will allow you to remember what concessions have been made by both sides and will allow you to move forward instead of just spending time chasing your tail.
One point that is easily overlooked by most negotiators we prepare for a negotiation session, but not by the great negotiators, is that how we look will play a big role in determining how much power the other side will be willing to give us. Normally this means that we should try to dress like the people who are two or three levels higher in our organization than we are. However, if you are trying to convince the other side that your funding is limited, then “dressing down” would send the appropriate message.
Bring A Friend
Being the only person on your side of the table can not only be lonely, it can also be dangerous. Having another set of eyes and ears is invaluable in collecting information about how the other side is reacting and how things are going. Negotiations can move so fast at times that there is no way that a single person can stay on top of everything that is going on.
Fortify Yourself With Published Material
This is almost a variation of the “defer to a higher authority” tactic, but if you have well accepted external material that you can refer to during the negotiation, then issues that pop up can be quickly resolved (hopefully in your favor).
What All Of This Means For You
The difference between a good negotiator and a great negotiator is not that the great negotiators have access to some secret powers. Instead, it comes down to the simple fact that through experience they’ve learned lots of small details that when taken together serve to strengthen their bargaining position.
What this means for you is that you can move from being a good sales negotiator to being a great sales negotiator simply by taking the time to learn what these details are. Once you’ve mastered them, you’ll be that much closer to being unstoppable!
What is the one thing that you could do that would have the greatest impact on your bargaining power during your next negotiation?
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What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time
At the end of the day, negotiating is all about power , who has it, who wants it, and what to do with it. You can read every book out there, you can attend every training class offered, you can even do your own field research, but ultimately what you will be trying to find out is how you can boost your power when you are in a negotiation.