Sales negotiations work in two ways. In the external real world, and in the customer's internal world where they make pictures, listen to self talk, and create feelings and emotions. Most sales people know how to negotiate in the real world, but how many can use powerful NLP sales techniques from negotiations skills training to negotiate in the internal world of the buyer's mind.
Negotiation techniques are used when there is a discussion between two or more people with separate objectives for a common situation. This happens all the time as you try and close a sale. Imagine what an advantage you would have if you focused on what the buyer's real objectives are, and how they arrived at them. Negotiations skills training can help you do it.
Internal and external negotiation techniques
There are two negotiations going on at the same time. One is in the real world. The other is in the internal world of the buyer's mind.
Your objective is for you and the customer to see the sale from the same viewpoint. For example the customer won't agree to the price you are asking. If you drop your price you have moved to where they are in the external world. This is using external negotiating techniques, and it's cost you money.
In the same situation you might stick to your sales price but build the value of your product by changing the internal viewpoint the customer has on the value of the product. What the benefits of the product are worth to them. Nothing has happened in the external world. It's the same product at the same price. This is sales negotiation techniques used in the internal world, and it hasn't cost you a penny. External negotiation moves usually cost you money or time. Internal negotiations skills training help you avoid giving discounts and making concessions. So which do you want to use?
Sales negotiation starting points
The buyer enters the negotiation stage of the sale with a viewpoint, and a set of beliefs and ideas. To negotiate in their world you want to find out where and how this starting point was formed. This will lead to you understanding their motivators and drivers. You will be able to relate to the reference points they are using to form their starting position on their map of reality.
For example, when a buyer says the price is expensive, you should first ask how they arrived at that belief. Are they comparing your price to a competitor's offer? They may not see the value they will get from the benefits you have presented. The buyer could be comparing your price against a price they presumed they would be paying. What evidence have they used to create that belief? This is one simple viewpoint that the buyer has. It has been formed by taking in information. That information could be correct or false. They could have distorted it, made generalizations, or misunderstood parts of it.
During the sales process use negotiations skills training to enter their map of the world. Question their beliefs. Find out what they think they know about the product, your competitors, the cost, the value, the market. Are they basing their ideas of what the cost should be on a purchase they made five years ago? As early as the introduction and questioning stage of the sales process you can start to change their viewpoint, and stop sales objections coming up in the negotiation stage.
Now you can start negotiating
You understand the starting point and what's going on in the internal world of your customer. Now you can use internal sales negotiation techniques to move the buyer closer to agreeing a sale with you. This is where many sales people make the most common mistake and need negotiations skills training. They focus on the differences between their position and the buyer's. This just highlights the obstacles and does nothing to build a relationship on which agreements can be formed.
If you want to know how to negotiate to get the best possible outcome, start by confirming with the customer on what you agree on. What do the two starting points have in common? This is solid ground to build upon. Then move to the areas of the negotiation where you are close to an agreement. Question the buyer's position and how they formed it internally. When you know how a belief was formed you can change it.
For example, the buyer wants the product delivering this month and you can't get it to them for 2 months. Question why they want it this month. What is their motivator for wanting the delivery this month? What beliefs do they hold that make this a need on their map of the world? Now take the motivators and the beliefs, and the other information you have, and use it to negotiate on their map of reality. Find alternative ways to fit with their beliefs, or change them. Look at how you can satisfy their motivators and still get what you want from the negotiation. Is there a way to pacify the needs the buyer believes he has? Can you change their reasons behind their needs so they fit closer to what you can provide? If the buyer wants an early delivery date because they have been let down in the past, then you can change their belief about your promise rather than a physical concession in the real world.
Overcoming the major differences
When you have moved positions on the points you and the buyer were close to agreeing, but had some differences, you can work on negotiating the points you are farthest away from agreeing.
Look at what you've achieved up to this point with your negotiation techniques. You've confirmed what you had in common at the start of the negotiations. Using negotiating skills you have moved the buyer's position on some points. This has built a solid relationship that will help you with the next stages of the negotiation. You have also created a pathway for agreement, a process that has worked towards closing the deal, and will continue to work. When you summarize how much you and the buyer have come together it will make the remaining points to be discussed look small in comparison. You have made good use of your negotiations skills training. You have achieved so much that neither you nor the buyer wants to lose what you have.
Use the same process of finding where the buyer's beliefs have come from. How they were formed, what evidence they are based on, and what the buyer really needs from them. Change the beliefs that you can, and find alternative ways to achieve the same objective for the buyer with the others. When you have used all the internal negotiation techniques you may still be left with differences that prevent the sale going ahead. This is when you start negotiating in the real world. You achieve your objectives by giving to the buyer, but always getting something in return. Each discount or concession you make should result in a step closer to closing the deal.
The sales negotiation process
You begin by understanding the buyer's starting position and how it was formed. You question their beliefs and their viewpoints. You understand their motivators, what they want from the negotiation.
The next stage is to confirm the common ground. Agree what you agree on. This forms the foundation of the negotiation relationship, and gives you both something that is worth building upon.
Now work on the negotiation points where your differences are smallest. This creates an agreement habit. It helps form a process that will be useful when you face the points of major difference. The more you agree upon, the more your customer will not want to waste what they have achieved so far.
All that remains are the points on which you have the most distance apart. But by now you have agreed so much that these points will look small on the buyer's internal map of the discussions. This is where you can start using negotiation techniques in the real external world. If you had made the common mistake of starting with these major challenges you would be facing a huge obstacle.