Sales Negotiation Defined
Negotiation is a discussion aimed at getting an agreement. When you add “sales” to the mix, the interaction becomes one where the parties hope to agree while at the same time they focus on optimizing their individual outcomes. The more you know about sales negotiation mistakes, the more successful a negotiator you will be.

Business sales training experts know that it is a delicate balance as you work toward getting something you want while the other party is also satisfied. And the win-win outcome really matters if you are looking to build a long-term relationship, especially in a sales situation where long-term customer loyalty is crucial.

Three Major Sales Negotiation Mistakes and How to Avoid Them
The art of sales negotiation has been studied from all angles. But there are basic sales negotiation strategies that emerge as common but valuable advice.  Based upon data from thousands of sales reps who have attended our sales negotiation training programs, the most successful sales negotiators avoid these four common and avoidable sales negotiation mistakes.

  1. Lack of Preparation
    Preparation is key to any successful sales negotiation. Do your homework and look at similar transactions for a sense of what works. Top sales negotiators always know what matters most to their buyer and their key stakeholders.  They are crystal clear about the value of an offer and create a clear sales negotiation plan prepared for all of the most likely scenarios. 

    In essence, you need to know what you want, what they want, and what interests you have in common. Then you are far more likely to close a deal that suits both you and the other party. 

  2. Self-Focus
    Too many sales negotiators spend too much time focused on their own objectives and outcomes versus how to help their client be successful. Customer-centric sales negotiators build trust and advance deals by helping their buyers be successful in a way that suits both parties.

    Putting your clients first does not mean putting yourself last at all costs.  Of course, you must know what is worth doing and not doing from your perspective, but your intent should be on helping your client get to where they want to go in a way that makes sense. This builds trust, buyer receptivity, and opens up greater possibilities for mutual benefit.

  3. Inflexibility
    Savvy negotiators have a clear idea of the best outcome for both parties. But even they cannot fully predict results. Sales negotiations are dynamic. Be ready to change your mindset from action to at least temporary inaction.

    Delaying the sales negotiation process can often help provide the time required to re-think the deal on the table. There may be something more beneficial as the negotiation unfolds.

    Do not assume you know what the other side truly wants and values.  Finding out what matters most is the art of a successful sales negotiation.

The Bottom Line
When a sales negotiation results in an uneven outcome or, worse, a clear loser, it has failed. The result will eventually have negative consequences for both the buyer and the seller. Avoid those negative consequences by being prepared, focusing on helping your client to succeed, and remaining flexible.

If you would like to further decrease sales negotiation mistakes for you and your team, download The 2 Most Common Sales Negotiation Tactics to Prepare For


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