The Best Negotiators Are Really Salespeople

Every good negotiator is really a good salesman
Every good negotiator is really a good salesman

Image Credit

Hmm, so what is a negotiator really? I mean when you look at a negotiator, what do you see? With a little luck you see someone who is hoping to engage in a negotiation and then walk away with a deal that will meet their needs. In order for this to happen, they had better be ready to do some selling to the other side of the table. That’s why the best negotiators are really salespeople.

The Art Of Selling A Negotiation

Here’s an important question for you: what is going through your mind when you start a negotiation? I believe that all too often, we arrive at a negotiation thinking about the wrong things – numbers. We can get confused by the negotiation styles and negotiating techniques that are being used and we show up thinking about prices, expenses, income, and a variety of monetary rewards that we can get from this negotiation. It turns out that we’re thinking about the wrong things.

What we should be thinking about when we start a negotiation is our primary objective. This needs to be how we are going to sell our ideas and our self to the other side of the table. Yes that’s right, it turns out that you are really a salesperson when you’re sitting at the negotiating table. If you can learn to do this well, then you’ll be far ahead of most negotiators.

The key to doing a good job of selling your ideas during your next negotiation is to start things off right. This means that you can’t just show up and start telling the other side what you want from them. Instead, you need to take the time before the negotiations start to come up with a strategy that will help to guide you through the negotiation process. The goal has to be to use your sales skills in order to reach the goal that you want by the end of the negotiations.

What It Takes To Be A Good Salesperson Negotiator

During a negotiation you will be selling two different things to the other side of the table: yourself and the benefits of doing a deal with you. What you are going to have to keep in mind is that you may need to do your selling to more than just the people who are on the other side of the table. All parties who will ultimately be involved in the negotiations are going to have to be willing to buy what you are offering to them.

When there are multiple parties involved in a negotiation, you are going to have to spend your time bringing the groups together while being respectful of the fact that each one of them will have their own set of interests and problems. Keep in mind that if any one of these groups can kill the deal that you are working towards if they don’t buy in to what you are selling.

The good news is that this is all possible. In order for a negotiator to be a successful salesperson during a negotiation, there are three things that you’ll need to bring to the table. These will be your personality, your enthusiasm, and your perseverance. Using these personal characteristics you’ll be able to convince the other side that what you have to offer them is what they really want to buy and that’s how deals get done.

What All Of This Means To You

When you are engaged in a principled negotiation, in essence what you are doing is trying to sell the other side of the table on your way of looking at the world. If you are successful, they’ll buy what you have to sell and you’ll be able to reach a deal with them. This is going to take some serious sales talent!

The key to your success is going to be your mindset when you enter into the negotiations. You need to show up with the right focus. Sure price is important; however, as a salesperson you realize that there’s a lot more to be discussed than just the price.

The good news is that sales skills, just like negotiating skills, can be learned. We can all develop the sales skills that are needed in order to be able to “sell” our next negotiation deal to the other side of the table. Take the time to approach your next negotiation like a salesperson would and you’ll be happy to discover just how good of a salesperson you really are!

– Dr. Jim Anderson
Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World Negotiating Skills™

Question For You: Do you think that brining a salesperson to a negotiation would help or hinder your efforts to reach a deal?

Click here to get automatic updates when The Accidental Negotiator Blog is updated.

P.S.: Free subscriptions to The Accidental Negotiator Newsletter are now available. Learn what you need to know to do the job. Subscribe now: Click Here!

What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

Whenever we go into the kitchen and decide to make a meal for ourselves, the first thing that we do is to get all of the ingredients that we’re going to need out and assembled so that we’ll be able to find them when we need them. It turns out that the strategy for conducting a successful negotiation is very similar to this. We need to have the correct ingredients if we want to be able to create a deal that both sides will be able to live with. Two of the most critical ingredients are enthusiasm and relationships.