RESULTS. RESULTS. RESULTS. How to get them!
Before closing any deal or walking into any negotiation, here are a few "key" elements to keep in mind.
Define the result you are looking for.
This is the first step before meeting with the client or prospect. You should always have a clear vision as to what you want out of every deal.
In many negotiations or presentations discussions can get serious and emotion sets in and tension can run high, you can easily loose sight on what your result was. I have always trained my sales teams to write down what there end result, key points they want to hit and deal-breakers, this could be a client looking to gauge you on price or want something for free. You need to make sure your RESULT is met, also remember to have some flexibility. I train my sales teams to write everything down, create a scaled price point so you know what you want and what you can live with and remember it’s okay to walk away if the numbers don’t add up.
Know your client or prospect.
Know who your client is, do the research. How do they buy, when do they buy, are they a price driven buyer or product driven. What values are they looking for, do they have a budget, hows the product being used. You need to know if your the only player in the game, if they are out to bid on this project then “defining the result you want” becomes very important.
I trained my sales teams to know their clients or prospects before walking through the door… In a lot of cases new sales people, I have instructed them to shop the prospect first. What are they currently buying, how much are they currently spending, or are they spending to much. You may want to talk to their sales team, are they happy with the products currently being supplied, could they be better, are they severing a purpose? Before any presentation if you already know the prospect or client and can bring a better picture to the table… You maybe able to get YOUR result!
Know the client or prospects concerns or value needed.
Part of the success is either already knowing the value needed or concerns the client/prospect has, or if not show an understanding when the concern comes up. Learn how to acknowledge their pain and frustration, it’s not important to always have the answer and don’t guess at it. Your success rate will increase with answers like “ I need sometime to look into this” or “I understand your concern and believe we can make a difference” You also want to validate their concerns, now you know the value of the client or prospect and you understand their concerns and by validating them you can come up with a winning solution.
Remember to remind them you are their partner.
To many sales people in the market are all about “selling a product” or “ the profit they put in their pocket” Most sales people have loss the program before they present because they open with “ let me show you all we have to offer” How about “we want you to think of us as your marketing partner” we will work together to find the value you are looking for and create a relationship built on service and quality of product. We want know what’s important to you and how can we add value to your program.
At this point you are already a winner, your prospect or client looks at you as part of the team, as a result you become more confident once they validate you. Moving forward all negotiations are much easier.
The negotiation plan.
Before entering into any negotiation have your plan created. Just as setting your goals and results and writing them out, its vital to create your negotiation plan.The plan is based on your perfect result and levels of acceptance you are willing to work with. You are in a stronger position when you give prices or layout a program and have a back up or a level of acceptance plan so to actually negotiate if needed. Knowing your product and the product they are currently purchasing along with any competitors products or service puts you i the drivers seat.
I have coached to many sales people who have told me stories of walking in with one plan and becoming defensive when the plan is not received as they had hoped. Once you are there and the ‘perfect result” is not approved you have to be able to negotiate otherwise you are dead in the water.
Every team I have work with, trained, coached whatever… During discussions the same question or statement comes up. “I believe you go in the door with, THIS IS OUR BEST DEAL or THIS IS THE BEST PRICE BASED ON YOUR NEED. Well I hope you already know these two statements are sales killers.
You must always has to be OPTIONS – this is what we call the "Level of Acceptance” you must always be in a position to give options. I personally in my sales days would create a sliding scale of options, if I was in a negotiation I knew was about price then I always had 3-4 price points I could live with and normally found ground somewhere in the middle. If the negotiation was based on product and price, then i always had a 3 level process and I made sure I had all three samples in my hands during the presentation or negotiation. In most cases the prospect or client opted for the better or more expensive item once faced with the options.
You have heard the term – location, location, location?? In sales – Options, Options, Options – the result is a winner!