3 Barriers to Successful Negotiations

September 29, 2014  |  Posted by in Communication Skills, Negotiations

3 Barriers to Successful Negotiations

Negotiating is among the most feared and stress-inducing functions for a sales professional, and also among the most important. Having a repertoire of sales negotiation strategies in your tool belt can help you to successfully navigate a range of sales situations. If you struggle with negotiations, there may be bad habits undermining your success in this role. Some of the bad habits that could be hindering your sales negotiation skills include:

  1. Viewing Negotiations as a Battle
    Negotiation should not be about winning or losing. As soon as we view the customer as the opponent, we compromise our ability to empathize and get into their “Odds Are” to identify mutually beneficial outcomes.
  2. Failing to Ask Enough Questions
    A major pitfall in sales negotiations is assuming you already know what your customer wants. When you do this, you are limiting your discussion and creating a huge barrier to success.
  3. Focusing on Price in Your Negotiations
    Sales professionals identify price as the number one objection in the sales process and the most significant barrier in negotiations. Don’t assume that price is the only thing your customer cares about or give price more weight than it deserves!

The three sales negotiation strategies below will help you to overcome the common barriers above:

3 Sales Negotiation Strategies for Breaking Those Barriers

  1. Quantify the Intrinsic Value of the Offer
    Negotiations should be about finding solutions and adding value for all parties. View negotiations as an exchange of value between you and your counterpart instead of a battle. The negotiation tactic of value-exchange places both parties in an interdependent relationship which will then set up the negotiation for success.
  2. Get to Know Your Customer and Their Needs
    To prevent a faulty assumption from taking your negotiations off course, you need to ask questions! Nowhere is the power of the Exploratory Process™ more evident than when negotiating. Your responsibility is to ask the right questions to find out what your customer really values. Skilled use of the Exploratory Process as a sales negotiation tactic will help you guide the discussion and potentially uncover value points that the customer had not even considered. It is nearly impossible to reach a mutually beneficial solution if neither party shares what they truly hope to get out of the negotiation. The Exploratory Process provides a means by which to accomplish this.
  3. Build Rapport to Become a Trusted Partner
    Instead of focusing on price, be sure your Exploratory Process and discussion encompass all value considerations, including consultation, quality, service, delivery, customization, response time and payment terms. By utilizing the Exploratory Process and taking the time to have a two-way discussion with your customer, you are positioning yourself as a trusted resource. Averting price from becoming the main topic of conversation in this way is a powerful sales negotiation tactic that not only prevents unnecessary price concessions, but also improves the overall satisfaction of customers via a comprehensive value solution.

It is impossible to overstate the importance of your relationship with customers during negotiations. Avoiding these barriers to negotiation and incorporating some of the sales negotiation strategies mentioned above will cultivate a high level of trust, facilitate openness and idea sharing, and pave the way for a productive discussion centered on mutually beneficial outcomes.

Updated on 9/26/2019

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