Most people fear negotiation, but it does not need to be a fearful experience. Each time you wish to find agreement with another, the conversation entails negotiation. You each begin the discussion with different perspectives. This is especially true for client meetings and job interviews.
By approaching the process as a meeting of the minds to find a win for all, the result usually has a happy outcome. Adopting this procedure will also have you more relaxed with a smile on your face, and the stress will fade away.
Over time, I learned there are many baby steps to be practiced to become comfortable with the art of negotiation. The first step may be as simple as inviting someone to a restaurant or a movie. Upon doing so, explain that you know they enjoy the suggested cuisine or that their favorite actor is the lead character. Next, follow up with the question, ‘when would you like to go?’ Although there may be a surprise on the other end, the simple and thoughtful ask usually works.
In all situations, it is wise to learn from the answer, ‘no.’ It’s similar to a debriefing after a lost sale. Ask the other person why they do not wish to join you with questions such as, ‘Is it the date or time, or the idea of being in the same room with you?’ A little humor goes a long way!
One of the best practices is to observe people as they sell to you. Don’t needlessly spend your money, but from now on as you have the need to purchase little items or expensive ones in person, observe how the other person behaves and treats you. Ask questions to see how the seller handles them. Last, ask if there is any wiggle room on the price of the item. Keep a confidential file on your private purchases and negotiations.
- Feel more confident
- See improvement in your ability
- Recognize you are ready to lead negotiations for business?
As you become more confident in your ability to influence a positive response, move up the value chain by speaking with real estate agents about the property they are selling. Visit different car dealerships to witness the better sales approaches and their willingness to discuss price.
Just as an athlete is relentless in practice, so must salespeople be with the negotiation steps and finalizing sales.
Apply the best of what you learn to your style of conversation. Practice every day to become more comfortable with leading the dialogue, asking questions, and having a friendly meeting of the minds. You will be well on your way to becoming very comfortable with negotiation and gaining agreement, along with earning a returning and referring clientele.
- Pinpoint where you feel least confident in the sales cycle.
- Begin observing others as to how they handle sales and negotiation.
- Practice selling and buying to improve skills.
- As you practice in private, keep a record of improvement in the business arena.
- Speak with people selling high-end products to get their perspective.
- Take your team’s top producer out to lunch to ask for advice.
- Experiment with everything you see and hear.
- Tweak strategies that work best to refine and make your own.
- Sell authentically and adhere to your personal values and priorities.
- Celebrate success!
Following these guidelines will lead you to the Smooth Sale!
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