with anyone who is not qualified to negotiate. If in doubt, ask your contact how they’ve handled a similar type of
negotiating in the past. Listen for names, dates and other
details that will provide clues as to their level of
things into writing unless you’re prepared to live with them. Once an item is put into writing, it becomes an anchor
either for you or the customer. This is especially critical when
negotiating with a professional buyer who will use anything put
into writing as leverage.
room to give something the other person will deem as a perceived
This is why it is so important to sell first and negotiate
second. By selling first, you have the opportunity to ask
questions and validate the key benefits for which the customer
is looking. During the negotiation phase, a customer will
attempt to mask the benefits they desire, making it harder to
determine exactly what the customer wants.
Know when to
walk away and be confident in doing so. To execute this requires the walk away point being shared in advance
with others to ensure accountability is in place if and when
this tactic has to be used.
Know at least 5
things the other person wants that you can offer. Again, this is why it is so important to sell first and
negotiate second. By doing so, it will be possible to know in
advance of the negotiation phase what can be offered.
Know at least 5
things you can say that will discount what the other person is
offering (price not included).
Never negotiate on price. Negotiate using other items, such as
technical performance, operational efficiencies, etc. that will
provide the leverage needed to avoid a price-oriented
the other person with respect and dignity.
Negotiate over things and services, not personal matters. Never
allow the negotiation to become personal in nature. This even
applies to those situations where a close personal relationship
may exist. A quick rule to keep in mind: If the relationship
is so good, then why is anything being negotiated anyway? If a
negotiation does become personal in nature, do not hesitate to
step away and arrange a follow-up time to resume negotiating.
Never enter a
negotiating process until both sides are clear on what is being
At the start of a negotiation session, it is appropriate to
state exactly what is up for discussion. By doing this up front,
it’s possible to avoid a waste of time and, more importantly,
inadvertently negotiate things that don’t need to be discussed.
sell/buy approach first.
Only move to a negotiating phase if you are unsuccessful closing
the sale first. Minimally, no negotiating should begin until
the customer has rejected the close at least twice and the
customer has provided you with at least one buying signal.
Never offer up
options until after you’re deadlocked on price and the customer
has provided you with additional information.
This includes providing you with a buying signal and credible
benefits as to what the customer is looking for.
Always put the
negotiated outcome in writing immediately.
Do not leave issues open for further discussion. The person who
puts the outcomes in writing first wins by being able to
position things in the manner they want them to be. Putting
things into writing first also provides the opportunity to make
one final modification with minimal risk.
an agreement, thank the other party, but do not celebrate! Celebrating the outcome of a negotiation sends the signal
to the other party that they have been taken advantage of.
Sending this signal will jeopardize the long-term potential of