If your negotiations with a prospect becomes a battle then you are missing the purpose. Negotiations only begins when you and the prospect agree to work out the problems because they want to buy. When trust and rapport are strong negotiations become a partnership to work out the prospects concerns.
During negotiations there are four areas that when approached with the prospects best interest in mind will be easy to move through and will bring you a higher success rate.
- Discover what concerns and problems are still in the way.
- Welcome them and understand from the prospects perspective.
- Identify and isolate specific problems.
- Discuss possible solutions and ask their opinion for the best solution.
You only move into negotiations when you and the prospect have agreed that they have a problem and desire a solution for the problem. They indicated they liked your solutions and thought it would fill their needs. And they expressed some concerns and problems and agreed that they wanted to work through them. Unless and until you have progressed to this stage it is not appropriate to begin negotiating.
To determine if you are at this point ask “What” questions.
- “What other questions do you have.”
- “What other information do you need.”
- “What else do we need to discuss.”
Questions similiar to these help you to understand their position and helps them clarify their thinking.
The next step is welcoming their objections. This is really against our natural response, as most of us don’t want to hear any negative responses. We have to remember that a negative response is simply the prospect letting us know they don’t completely understand something. If you are afraid to go here you will most likely walk away from what could have been a sale if you had faced your fear and asked the tough questions. On the other hand understanding their concerns actually builds rapport. Be willing to face your fear and ask.
Isolating their specific concerns allows you and the prospect to deal with them directly.
- Ask questions to help you understand their concerns.
- Listen without interrupting (most of us want to jump in and solve the problem from our perspective).
- Repeat back to them your understanding of their concerns and get agreement that you have understood them correctly.
At this point a great question to ask is “Would you like to see if we can find a solution?” If they are open to finding a solution then don’t just jump in and try to solve on your own. Ask for their opinion about the best solution and solve it together. Always, always focus on the solution and not the problem. “Okay, let’s problem solve! What are some possible solutions?”
Making negotiations easy and successful isn’t a strategy but a win-win attitude focused on the prospect and helping them make a good, informed decision. Once again making the sales process safe and easy for you both.