Negotiation and the art of winning

Perhaps we will learn some good negotiation techniques from Brexit – but I doubt it. Whatever the outcome, the politicians will spin the result as a success. Things aren’t that easy in real life! It is rare that there is anything other than a binary outcome in a negotiation process. Hero or zero.

Good negotiations start in the backroom. Everyone in your company who is a stakeholder in the deal needs to be aware of and agree on the key negotiating points as well as the walk away positions that the negotiating team will take.

In our experience both parties need to feel that they have got something out of the closing the sale in order for a strong relationship to be built further downstream. Merely agreeing to all the walk away positions does not constitute a good deal either. If that were the case you could walk in, put the position on the table and just say “take it or leave it”. Not really a negotiation at all.

As in all aspects of sales, good sales training is essential to drive the best negotiation results. It is important to really understand your customer.  What is most important to the customer may not be the most important to your company. As Harvey Robbins said “Place a higher priority on discovering what a win looks like for the other person”.

Of course, closing a sale is not just about what you agree but how you agree it. One of the most powerful tools at your disposal is silence. To quote Lance Morrow “ Never forget the power of silence, that massively disconcerting pause which goes on and on and may at last induce an opponent to babble and backtrack.”  Heed this! Your customer may not babble and backtrack but at least it stops you from doing so.

Winning is at the core of negotiation and at the core of sales success. At Cloud 9 Solutions, winning (and hence good negotiation skills) is one of the three core pillars of our Disruptive Selling Program. We provide negotiation skills training to sales teams and sales management.  You need every edge you can get to win. We are here to provide that edge.