Negotiations.  

Sometimes, what they really are is a big pain in the **s!   But, like everything else in life, it's all in how you look at it.

Ok…we know you cannot "physically" change someone's mind.  If we could, selling would be a walk in the park.   But since we can't, think about this.  Think about some of the deals and negotiations that you are involved in.  What do you have up your sleeve – after all of your years of experience in sales and business, that seem to help you encourage and persuade others to come over to the other side?

People, in general, have very strong opinions during negotiations.  And the thing about opinions, it that the person who has one holds onto it so strongly, that it often prevents them from open to hearing someone else's.  In order to change someone's mind, you need to understand what they think – to understand their beliefs, Once you accomplish this, you can interject your ideas with minimal resistance.

I personally enjoy the negotiations that take place during the sales process.  

This is like being able to write out essay answers on a test versus just choosing the right multiple choice answer.  It allows you to showcase your "finesse" and creativity – everything that will make you stand out and show what YOU are bringing to the deal in addition to the facts at it's core.    

In the sales world, and during negotiations, part of our job is to get our clients to "open their eyes" to different options – to break them free of the "same old, same old" way of doing business.  I say that so matter-of factly, but I think we all know just how difficult that one little statement can be.

How, then, can we break our customers and prospects free from their pre-conceived notions –  not by forcing our opinions or information on them, or by making them feel "wrong" about their ideas, but by taking off their blinders, so to speak, and giving them a "breath of fresh air" approach on how to take their business further?.  How can we do this without "turning up the heat" too high?

You first need to realize that customers are hesitant to give a quick "yes" often out of fear.  Not a fear of making decisions, but a fear of knowing that you ARE the best company for them, and the fear that they will get a better deal if they go elsewhere.   Some of the best sales leaders will always attempt to be  "one step ahead" of the customer. Great salespeople do not wait for the problem to come up before finding a solution.  Rather, THEY ANTICIPATE THE PROBLEM BY HAVING SOLUTIONS READY BEFORE A PROBLEM EVEN SURFACES.  

To do this, you need to train yourself by having solutions ready when a customer says "no" or is hesitant to sign a deal.  Put yourself in the customer's shoes – looking at things from the other side of the table will add a different dimension to the picture.  Feel what they are feeling – their anxiety, fears and concerns. If you were them, does your company appear to be bringing value to the table?   Are you approachable and really capable of LISTENING?  Also, do you have an edge over the competition?

Here's another important point to keep in mind during negotiations:   PERCEPTION IS REALITY.

 Make sure that the way you want others to see you is really the way you are coming across.  

These are some of the critical components of establishing a deeper, trusting relationship with your client, all of which will help you maintain a healthy "give and take" relationship throughout negotiations.  

Once again, COMMUNICATION IS FOREMOST IN THE SALES SEQUENCE, as all negotiations involve many conversations.  

Learn how to ENGAGE THEIR MINDS.  Ask them, "What would be your perfect outcome?", for example.  Be curious and enthusiastic about their business.

YOU NEED TO GET PAST THEIR RESISTANCE.  Words are important in negotiations- learn when to say the right thing at the right time is critical in keeping a deal moving forward 

Second, you need to have an INTENSE KNOWLEDGE of your service or product.  Not just knowing about it at a superficial level, but rather, a knowledge as if it was your first born.  The more you know, the more you will be seen as an expert in your field, and the more open the clients' minds will be to listen to you – a trusted valuable source of information.  

Corporations just don't have the time to research their business needs.  They already have so much going on as it is.   This is where your level of experience and expertise will come into play,  enabling you to take your business relationship to the next level, and ultimately "seal the deal".  

READ…NETWORK…TALK WITH YOUR PEERS.  The only way to grow with a client, is to never stop growing and learning about yourself and others.   And, the better you understand the mind of your client or prospect, the easier the negotiation process will be.  

Negotiations.

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