Providing effective sales negotiation training to your sales staff needs to be a priority for your business. In fact, the entire sales process needs to be considered a negotiation: a win/win for all stakeholders.
Effective sales techniques, including negotiation, are an important element in the success of each sale. Often, a sales training consultant can provide specialized sales development training for your staff.
Sales negotiation training focuses not only on the negotiation of price but also on the negotiation of the terms and conditions of the sale.
In fact, from the seller's perspective, often price is the one element of the sale that has little room for negotiation.
While negotiation usually occurs throughout the sales process, it takes a skilled negotiator to successfully close the sale.
All sales people can benefit from a focus on improving their negotiation skills. The desired result of good negotiations is that all parties are satisfied, and even better if they're delighted, with the outcome.
The process of negotiation, the tactics to be used, the parties involved in the process;
The relationships and communication between the parties involved;
And the negotiation issues, potential options and solutions, and agreement.
Managing a group of sales people requires a strong coaching ability and great communication skills to get the best out of your sales people.
Maximizing value for both the buyer and the seller is a key goal for good sales negotiators. Negotiation typically happens at various points in the sales process.
A strong negotiator is looking for a win/win for both buyer and seller. A good sales negotiation leaves both the buyer and the seller satisfied and builds your business brand and reputation.
If you need assistance in providing this training, consider the advantages of outsourcing your sales training needs; hire a sales training consultant.
Before negotiating with customers, ensure that your sales people understand that they need to:
Present the best solution to the buyer and ensure that the buyer clearly understands your service or product differentiation and your unique value proposition or differentiation;
Understand the importance of pre-qualifying the buyer;
Know how to get the buyer(s) to raise all their objections; before entering the negotiation stage, your sales person needs to know the reasons why the buyer wants to (or isn't ready to) buy;
Know how to communicate and quantify the value the buyer will receive from the sale;
Know to deal with the decision maker; the buyer
Know at what point they need to walk away from the deal ... and be prepared to do so;
Use open ended questions during the negotiations to confirm understanding of both the problem and the solution; by asking these questions, the sales person can steer the negotiation in the direction he/she wants to go;
Allow silences and pauses; maybe the buyer is simply reflecting, or maybe it's a tactic to put pressure on you - and to actively listen to what the buyer is saying;
Be prepared to handle resistance and objections; don't get diverted by these tactics, listen and respond with additional questions.
Always trying to move the conversation in the direction your sales person wants to go;
Be prepared to deal with price concessions; by changing the value proposition (part of the give and take of negotiations), such as payment terms, production times, and so on;
Get agreement first on the small items to move the negotiations forward; for example, get agreement on delivery turn-around times;
Keep a clear record of the discussion and agreement; and prior to the end of the negotiation, to review that record with the buyer;
Ensure that the sales person thanks the buyer for their time; and for the order, if the negotiation concludes successfully; and
Ensure that if the negotiation does not result in an order, that the sales person leaves the door open for the next time, or in case the buyer changes his/her mind.
Don't burn your bridges! There have been numerous times where one of my clients thought they lost the order, only to find that the competitive proposal couldn't deliver on a required element of the order and therefore the sale went to my client.
Good negotiations can result in orders; patience (and, in this example, following a good RFP template that addressed all the customer's needs)can result in the sale.
After the negotiation concludes, whether the buyer buys, or not, ensure that your sales person does a 'lessons learned' review; including what moved the negotiations forward and what stalled negotiations.
Sales negotiation training can help your sales team increase their sales effectiveness, which, in turn, will help you to achieve your sales plan and business growth.
Train and develop your sales staff on how to be more effective, how to sell in a way that both the customer and you win, and how to build your business' reputation and credibility.
With well trained sales people working for your organization, you can focus your energy and attention to growing your business.
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Successful selling experiences require using more than one technique.
Yes, face-to-face selling (particularly through relationship building) is often one of the more successful tactics.
But other techniques and strategies include building touch points and sharing information.
In other words, educating your customer or prospect on your products and services and also providing information that will help your customer in their business; making sure that your products or services are highly differentiated from competitors' offerings and communicating that differentiation effectively; and clearly understanding what your customers need in terms of value and delivering it.
Communicate with your customers and prospects in person; over the phone; through the mail (yes, letters, cards, coupons and order forms have high response rates if well designed and well executed); over the Internet through blogs, emails, social media, webinars, and your website; through print materials such as catalogues, coupon books, brochures, business cards, flyers and more.
Build your sales approach as a campaign:
Plan to make contact on a regular and frequent basis (not too frequently to the point of irritating customers or too infrequently to the point of being forgotten) and align your campaign with a strong identity program that is consistent with your brand.
Customer loyalty is built by giving value first in all aspects of your business. As a small business owner or manager, you need to commit to offering the best products and/or services.
Ensure that you regularly ask your customers for input and feedback (and both listen to it and act on it) to continuously improve your processes.
Your customers will respond to the value that you add, not only to the solution you propose but also to the relationship you build together.
What do customers want? Market research says that customers have an expectation of good quality, good price and good service; that is the minimum requirement for doing business today.
What more do you need to provide?
Knowledge. Reliability. Consistency. Communication. Discover what your customers value, and provide it.
Note: customers have unique and individual needs; they do not all value the same things. Make sure you clearly understand what each individual customer or market segment wants or needs.
In a business to business selling environment, it used to be that it would take between seven or eight touches to make a sale (or not, since not all contact means that a prospect will buy).
In this Internet age, it takes more touches.
Why? Because we have become both 'ad blind' and somewhat 'insensitive' to touches.
What this means to the small business owner is that your communication (and touches) need to be different from others (not imitations or copies of what everyone else is doing), it needs to be believable and sincere, and it needs to be memorable.
In a business to business sales environment, the selling cycle takes longer to close (and is often more complex) than ever before.
To effectively grow your sales, you need build a plan that will help you to optimize your efforts.
Focus your planning efforts on a lean sales process that: will solve your customer's problem or challenge; has value (i.e. reduces time and/or cost); provides not only what the customer wants but more than has been identified (over-delivering); and that provides a solution that offers convenience, high quality, a price that is acceptable, competitive and covers the business' costs, and exceptional service.