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There are times when you’ve invested a lot of time and money to develop a strong relationship with a customer, just to end up in a situation where the customer suddenly starts demanding a better deal that completely eliminates your margin and reduces your profits. You realise you’ve reached an impasse that you can only tackle with the right strategies and effective negotiation skills.
Within this article, we will discuss a few key strategies that can be leveraged by salespeople while negotiating with buyers to help arrive at a mutually-beneficial deal. Additionally, we will also go over a few approaches that can be taken when dealing with customers that use emotionally manipulative tactics in negotiations.
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Here are five useful strategies businesses can use while negotiating with a customer so as to arrive at a mutually beneficial deal:
When under attack by the customer, one of the best things you could do is listen. Gather as much information as you can from your customer as this will give you invaluable insights that will help you devise a more persuasive argument that will help steer the negotiation in your favour.
Effective salespeople have a thorough understanding of the buyer’s wants and needs. However, in order to effectively negotiate with a customer, salespeople require a dual focus and must therefore have a thorough understanding of not just the customers’ needs but the company’s needs as well. The goal is to best satisfy the needs of both sides; the customer and the company.
Sometimes negotiations with customers can get confusing. If you fail to keep track of all the problems and agreements made, customers may get frustrated and feel like there’s a lack of progress being made. This will make it harder to convince them of your stance. This is why it is important to summarize all that has been accomplished and also outline the points that need to be discussed. Short but frequent recaps will make customers feel heard and provide the discussion with maintained momentum.
Whenever a negotiation is taking place, it is essential to have a walkaway in mind. A walkaway can be defined as the terms, price, deliverables, or a combination of the three that represents the least you will accept in the negotiation. Without a walkway, the negotiation may go drastically against your favour and may cause you to make a deal that will negatively affect your company.
It is also important to have a wide number of variables as this will give you more flexibility while providing the customer with more options, making it more likely that you will close the deal.
You are less likely to close a deal if the customer feels as though you aren’t budging from your current position. A more effective approach would be to listen to the customers proposal from which you can draw a counterproposal. This ensures that both parties are coming together to shape a deal that is mutually beneficial.
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Sometimes, in a negotiation with a customer, you may find yourself in a situation where the customer is using emotion as a tool to manipulate the deal in their favour. These are a few techniques sales people can use when they find themselves in such a situation:
One way to react would be to tell the customer that getting angry is counterproductive and will make it harder to arrive at a mutually beneficial deal. This technique requires you to take an assertive approach by making it clear that the use of manipulative tactics will not work with you.
Another way to approach this situation would be to listen silently as the customer rants. Without encouraging the customer’s behaviour, maintain eye contact and a neutral expression. Once they are done, you can suggest a constructive agenda.
The third technique is a withdrawal; ask for a recess and try to reschedule the meeting for another time and place. This change can redirect the entire course of the negotiation.
These are a few strategies that salespeople can leverage when negotiating with a customer:
A few effective techniques to combat emotional blackmail in a negotiation are;