How to negotiate

By: MBrenton Hartley | Posted: 08th September 2010

First one is to identify who the decision maker is. I've lost count of the occasions at every level, from first-line salesman through to board director, board to board negotiations, where I've seen fantastic presentations, superb dialogue and the person that's been sitting across the table, so to speak, is not the decision maker. So that's the fist tip, make sure you know who you're talking to.
The second one is that all salesmen, if they're good salesmen, tend to be very enthusiastic about what they're selling. That could be a product or a service, or even a social occasion, but it's all selling at the end of the day. And in their enthusiasm, they focus on their need, rather than the buyer's need. So, for example, in our own case I've seen on many, many occasions people basically go straight to the point - we're here to sell you Coca-Cola, it's the world's number one brand, you must want it. What they haven't done is establish the buyer's need. So, for example, the buyer's need may be in a grocery store that they want to supply the world's number one brand to encourage consumers to come in and purchase their range of products. The manager of a ball bearing factory might want a vending machine because if he supplies a free, or discounted refreshment service it keeps his union employees happy. So the important thing is to understand the buyer's need. Now, it's not impossible to sell without establishing that need. But it tends to mean you'll never have a long-term relationship. So, for example, again the workplace example, I could come in, bang, sell you a Coca-Cola vending machine, pay you maybe a small royalty. Because I never established your need, if another soft drinks supplier walks through the door and just offers you more money, you will probably switch. Whereas if we'd established the fact that all you were interested in was offering a service and-you wanted it to be as hassle free as possible, we could have tailored our offering. So I think that's very important. My favorite one, and I'm probably in danger of doing it myself now, is once you've made the sale, shut up. I think it's very important: close the sale, reinforce the buyer's decision - everybody likes to feel they've made a good decision — and then leave.
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Tags: negotiations, coca cola, long term relationship, hassle, straight to the point, royalty, salesmen, soft drinks, favorite one, ball bearing, grocery store, fist, vending machine, decision maker, social occasion