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Negotiation Strategy and Tactics « Tack

August 18, 2009

Negotiation Skills Training – 8 ways customers will help themselves to your profits if you let them

Buyers with budgets (or even without budgets) feel in a strong negotiating position in many markets right now. In this Blog we explore some of the negotiation strategies and tactics they are trained to use.

1. The budget bluff
That is all I have in my budget and so that is all I can afford to pay.”

2. The squeeze
“Your competitor(s) are much less than you.”

3. The reverse auction (online)
“OK suppliers – here is a list of all your prices on screen. Would you like to submit a better offer?”

4. The gentle touch
“You are a really nice company and I would like to give you the business so I will be absolutely honest with you. Here is what you need to beat…”

5. The trawl
“There is a ton of business to be done. Give me a really good initial deal and you will be in line for all the rest of it.”

6. The slow boat
“There are lots of things to be discussed with you and I have to consult many of my colleagues about them all. Let’s line up some more meetings over the next few weeks. There’s no hurry is there?”

7. Buy now bargain later
“Let’s get started straight away. We can always sort out the contract and the details later.”

8. Good guy/bad guy
“My colleague isn’t really as unreasonable as he sounds – he just always demands a good deal and speaks his mind forcefully! Let’s you and me sort out a good deal and I will try and sell it to him.”

So how many of these do you recognise?

Expert buyers are trained to do them to you without you even noticing! So first learn to identify the negotiating tactics and strategies that are being used on you and then learn your own negotiating tactics and strategies for responding to them and achieving a win/win negotiated result.

If you or a member of your team would like to develop your negotiation strategies and tactics and learn how to protect your profits take a look at our Profitable Negotiation course.

August 13, 2009

Sales Negotiation Strategy – the 7 most common mistakes to avoid

In this Blog we take a look at sales negotiation strategy in the business environment. Negotiation is a unique activity which is made up of three elements – part science, part art and part technique. Life can be a series of negotiations with customers, suppliers, managers, partners, parents, friends, builders and bank managers. Therefore negotiation is not only a skill needed for professional success, it’s a life skill.

In TACK’s experience the 7 most common mistakes to avoid when devising your sales negotiation strategy are:

1. Not preparing - thorough preparation for meetings and discussions is the absolute key to success! It’s important to conduct your research before attending meetings or discussions. It is vital that you do this so that you feel confident and in a good position to negotiate your request.

2. Having no structure - apply a clear structure, know the ‘stages of negotiation’ and when to move on to the next phase. It’s useful to understand this so that you are clear on how the discussion is progressing and when to ‘change gears’ in a meeting to obtain the result you want.

3. Not planning your ‘negotiation sequence’ -  if take the right initial stance you can retain control throughout. It’s vital that you enter and begin the meeting in the right frame of mind. Starting too defensively or too enthusiastically could hinder your position and the control you wish to have in the discussion.

4. Not asking the right questions - by listening to your colleagues or customers you can obtain and use information to best effect. Combining this with good listening skills will enable you to make informed decisions and continue to move the discussion in a positive direction.

5. Not recognising the strategies and tactics used by professional buyers and/or salespeople - apply psychological and logical countermeasures to their response. Watch and observe colleagues, especially salespeople in their meetings and discussions. This will enable you to see how others use their skills to win negotiation situations.

6. Not assessing the impact of concessions - will the end result still be commercially and financially viable for your company? As part of your preparation for the discussion, explore the impact of conceding some of your requests with your manager. It’s important to understand the impact this will make on the goals you are trying to reach.

7. Not understanding your ‘strength of position’ or recognising sources of power - no matter what your level within the organisation, everyone has power. For example, if a sales team is unhappy with set targets, together they can negotiate new terms. Without the sales team in operation, the management team’s power is limited.

Research, learning and training can help you build the qualities required to be a successful negotiator and develop a winning sales negotiation strategy. Regular practice and feedback will help you build your experience and confidence to negotiate in different situations at home or work.

For more on this please take a look at our sales negotiation strategy course Profitable Negotiation