Closing the deal might be the most difficult task in any business, especially when it has a B2B business model.
Sales are not easy. It takes time, energy, and effort to create and implement a “working sales strategy”. Sometimes it can cause sleepless nights to prepare the strategy for a partner or your own company but for sure it takes years to create your style and gain experience in negotiations.
In this article, we tried to highlight 7 tips and tricks that can help you to improve your negotiation skills.
Before we get to them, let’s announce probably the most important period in any sales – Homework.
Our advice is to do detailed and thorough research about other party or parties of the negotiations. Understand their needs and wants, learn about their strengths and weaknesses, and see what value you actually can bring to them.
Once it’s done, try to define your advantages and disadvantages during the negotiations.
All this will help you to find the right doorway to start the negotiations.
OK, now let’s assume you’ve done all this, what’s next?
Here are our 7 tips for better sales results!
1. Set Goals
By setting goals we don’t mean setting the general outcome of the negotiations. We mean the exact result!
If you’re selling your product or service set the desired price which can be lower than the first offered price.
This price may be not the best result if the higher offered price is accepted but if it’s not than this is what you want to achieve.
But this is not the worst possible price. You also need to set that. The bottom line, the price which is the lowest acceptable for you.
All this set up will help you to understand the direction of negotiations and you’ll make all your further steps according to set goals.
2. Plan The Negotiations
Well done homework will help you with this. Basically “plan” is the outcome of the “homework”. This means that when you understand and analyze the information collected during homework, you create a plan, plan of approach, plan of tactics, and strategy of the negotiations.
What you also need to take into consideration is that your plan not necessarily will work. Anything can go the way you don’t want. So, try include in your plan also some “unpredictable” situations.
For example, you can create a strategy and outreach a person and it will come out that this person is on vacation. This is just one example but everything is possible and you need to be as prepared as you can.
3. Define Your BATNA
Best Alternative To a Negotiated Agreement or BATNA is your alternative step when negotiations are failed and you can’t have the agreement. This can be anything advantageous for you and the other party. Something that you both agree on.
Sometimes when failing the agreement negotiations or when the future parent delays the agreement we sign a Memorandum of Understanding or the Letter of Intent with them. Or you can try to ask them for another service of yours.
4. Find Something Mutual
So, we did the homework, set the goals, created the plan, and understood the BATNA. What’s next?
The next step is starting actual negotiations.
One thing to remember is that at any negotiations you’re speaking with a person. And if you evoke the right emotions in that person, you’ll close the deal!
Our advice is to find something mutual from the starting point between you and the other party. The same hobbies, same interests, same points of view at different topics can eventually help you to “break the ice” which will lead to closing the deal.
5. Body Language
If you meet face to face maybe this is one of the most important aspects of your pitch. You need to make the impression of the calm but confident person who came to close the deal. But don’t be strict, be friendly, and smiley. Don’t be nervous, your body will show that.
6. Be Flexible
Even after you created the plan something can go terribly wrong. Being flexible gives you a huge advantage and when something unexpected comes out you should act fast. Any force major can be a new opportunity.
7. Create Your Style
This can be something that you’ll do during years. It’s not easy and sometimes it’s happening intuitively.
Your style defines everything written above. It defines your approach to the partner, to the process of negotiations. It even defines your body language.
Try to work on it. Analyze all closed and failed deals and see what and why went wrong or was a key point for success. All this will help you to sharpen your style and in a few years, you’ll see the difference.