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We have opportunities to negotiate at every stage of the sales process

How to schedule a follow-up meeting to review your draft proposals through negotiation - Wednesday 6 September

Hello Subscriber,

Some people in selling roles believe that negotiation only happens towards the end of the selling process. This is how they see where negotiation fits:

  1. Start a conversation with a potential customer

  2. Learn about the customer’s unique needs

  3. Develop proposals

  4. And now, as they head towards final conclusions, it’s time to negotiate the commercial terms.

But as you’ve already guessed, today’s email is a reminder that we can negotiate with customers at EVERY stage of our contact with customers!

Remember, the key to negotiation is this: “IF you give me some of what I want, THEN I’ll give you some of what you want.”

This process is at the centre of effective negotiation: trading, bargaining or exchanging. A key phrase of the trading/bargaining/exchanging is indicated by “IF-THEN”.

Here are some examples:

  • Prospecting - IF you, as a busy customer, give me some time to meet, THEN I’ll give you some valuable industry insight I’ve learned in conversation with my other customers.

  • Involving More Stakeholders - IF you can introduce me to your colleagues in this other area of the business, THEN I’ll involve my technical support colleagues to look in more detail at your specific needs in more detail.

  • Developing Detailed Business Case - IF you can work with me to clarify the measurable outcomes you’re seeking from this proposed investment, THEN I’ll be happy to develop the first draft of the business case for these proposals.

Exchanging Proposal for Follow-Up Meeting

Here’s an example of negotiation as part of the sales process in a bit more detail.

If you’ve been following Sales Reset for any time, you’ll know that we’re huge fans of high-quality proposals. Specifically, we’re strong advocates of co-creating proposals through a process of continual improvement. The goal is to continue to work on the proposals we have chosen to win and to develop them until they become sufficiently compelling.

Somebody in a selling role might choose to negotiate with their customer to trade the proposal's value in exchange for accepting a meeting invitation to review the proposal.

Remember, your customer wants to see the specifics of what you’re proposing. They’re keen to see things confirmed in writing.

Your proposal document has value to your customer. Why not seek to get something in return instead of simply giving it away?!

Here’s how your conversation might go. “Thanks for all of this information. IF we can agree a time to meet, THEN I will pull together all of the areas of our discussion into a first draft proposal. After we meet again, I will revise the first draft proposals to include the most significant things we develop further in this review meeting.”

Instead of “giving away” your proposal document, you might seek to negotiate an agreement to schedule the next meeting.

Do I recommend doing this all the time? No, of course not. But it’s a good example of how to use negotiation skills at every stage of your sales process.

Here’s one area of practice to emphasise today

Instead of simply “giving away” your proposal document, you might seek to negotiate an agreement to schedule the next meeting.

Coaching Focus

  1. Meet up with your sales coach or sales team leader to review how you might seek to negotiate Win-Win in a wider range of selling situations.

  2. Role-play in preparation for key meetings.

If you have questions or comments, it would be great to hear from you. Just hit reply and send me an email.

Have a great day!

Founder & Leader

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