Negotiation Is a Fundamental Selling Skill

Negotiation in selling is quite a complex subject matter if we decide to analyse it in any great detail. Today in this article I’m not going to reach those depths as I will attempt to break it down to the most essential elements that I believe count the most when it comes to getting results. We all want the “Perfect Sale” but this can’t really be achieved in most cases without some form of negotiation. Everybody uses negotiation in their everyday lives but some of us are better at it than others. Remember, in every negotiation there is always someone who comes out better. An expert sales negotiator can make a customer feel like they have “won” when in reality they haven’t.

1. Expected Outcome

We cannot go into a negotiation successfully without having a clear picture in our head of the outcome we expect. We need to know the exact threshold of compromise if this is indeed one of our options. On the other hand, if we are able to give concessions it would be a much better strategy to incorporate these into the plan beforehand, so they can become that “extra card up the sleeve” when needed.

2. Positive Attitude

It’s critically important to enter sales negotiation with a positive attitude in order to set the correct tone right from the outset. This can be helped by analysing all the competitive advantages and benefits beforehand which will in turn strengthen confidence in a successful outcome. Positivity is contagious and can therefore also influence the prospect’s general attitude, making it more difficult for them to be negative.

3. Reading The Situation

Reading the prospect’s state of mind and personality profile is probably one of the key factors in determining whether a sales negotiation will be successful or not. If you know how someone will react negatively or positively to certain behaviour you will be more likely to follow the flow of the surrounding energy. The one thing that you can never do in a sales negotiation is to contrast the prospect’s opinion, whether they are right or wrong. I see this a lot so it’s by no means obvious. Sales people often react instinctively when they don’t like what the customer is saying. In my mind, this is like running out of petrol while driving through a dangerous ghetto. You’ve got yourself into trouble, but how are you going to get out of it?

In an ideal scenario the best negotiator, like a good chess player, will be able to look one or two steps ahead. This will depend on “Insight” and the ability to predict behaviour from the other side of the negotiating table. Obviously we can’t always predict the outcome of the prospect’s reaction but even if we can predict 60 or 70% we already have a distinct advantage.

4. Patience

Never over-react to the reaction. In fact reacting during the negotiating phase is bad in general. It would be much wiser to “respond” with a solution rather than reply with “impulsive” or “emotive” reactions. The best poker player never shows emotions and all great sales negotiators should do the same.

One good example of this could be negotiating on price. If the customer asks for a reduction in price, any signs of a chink in the seller’s armoury could easily lead to a loss of control and a different perception of the overall value on the part of the prospective buyer.

So always remember that a little bit of brainstorming and planning before the sales negotiation will give the sales person the edge.

How to Pitch In 2 Minutes for Sales Presenters

It happens too often to ignore. You spend hours working on your elaborate presentation. You spit and polish your pitch with colorful charts, testimonials and a project plan. When you reach the meeting room, your client says, “Bob! I have to rush for an urgent meeting. Show me what you’ve got in 2 minutes.”

What do you say in those 2 minutes to create the impact of a 20 minute presentation?

There is no point searching for words at that point in time. You need to be ready with that pitch – upfront, if you want to make it big as a sales presenter.

Here is my suggestion to make your 2 minute pitch.

Take a sheet of paper and answers these three questions:

1. TANGIBLE BENEFIT: What is the one most important tangible benefit offered by your product? The benefit should be clearly measurable.

2. SIGNIFICANT DIFFERENCE: How is your offering significantly different from any other such offering? The difference should be an obvious one.

3. CLEAR PROOF: What is the proof for your claim? The proof should be credible enough for the customer to accept without question.

Your answers to these questions are the 2 minute pitch.

There is a lot of science behind those 3 questions. They directly influence the decision making process of your customers.

Here is the caveat. Though the questions are simple and direct, the answers to those questions may not be easy to find.

Take the time necessary to come up with the best answers. Call up your existing customers, visit your ‘Product’ department or interview the highest producing sales people to get the clues. The time spent on this is worth its weight in gold.

In fact, creating this pitch should be your first priority as a sales presenter. The process will give you a lot of clarity about your product or service, which in turn will reflect as conviction in your voice when you make your next sales presentation.

Happy selling!

Creative Tips to Make Your Presentation Folder Stand Out

When it comes to perfecting your business materials, first impressions are vital, and nothing is truer when preparing presentation folders for meetings with customers or clients. Taking a creative look at how you present yourself in the boardroom could propel companies of all sizes to new heights and we have a few tips to ensure you and your brand stand out, even in very crowded marketplaces and sectors.

There are so many ways that you can make your business materials memorable and many printing and packaging companies provide laser cutting, embossing, foil stamping and other services to give you the edge you need to get ahead. Laser cutting is an excellent way to put a creative stamp on materials around the office and can often provide an exciting extra to give to prospective clients. Laser cutting machines are a complex piece of machinery, these can be used to cut creative shapes in a variety of materials as well as improve edge quality.

Thermography is another service provided by printers and packaging specialists, this method adds texture to printed designs and works in unison with embossing and lithography. Foil embossing is a popular technique used to jazz up presentation folders and customised ring binders. Utilising a specialist printing method, the material is raised creating a three dimensional effect that is simple yet unique.

Foil stamping is another favourable method and tends to stick in the mind of potential clients, making it a highly recommended addition to business materials. Stamping adds a powerful, creative touch to presentation folders, business cards and other materials and tends to command the attention businesses of all sizes are looking for. Die cutting can also be used to create a customised and unique shape or design, and is an affordable but impressive option.

As well applying different textures and effects to your presentation materials, why not consider making the folder itself an unusual shape or size? Generally folders are made to a standard size to accommodate standard sizes of paper but going a little larger or smaller can really make yours stand above the rest. The contents of folder is also important, many companies don’t really go into much depth when it comes to demonstrating their assets to their target audience so make your folder more than just a logo and slogan – go into great detail and describe your business ethos, introduce your team, provide customer testimonials and more to present a well-designed product with undeniable substance.