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Negotiation Skills for Sales Professionals

Updated: Dec 8, 2021

You have tasted success in getting the prospect client to sign the contract and close the deal in near future. When everything was running as you expected, the client wants to discuss certain points before finalizing the deal. This calls for critical negotiation skills on your part. The job of a salesperson is tricky even when he has earned a qualified prospect. Even after managing the sales deal efficiently a deal may end in negotiation, which requires you to focus on being a negotiator and not a consultant. The following skills help a salesperson clinch the deal when applied correctly in necessary situations.

Have a clear idea of the concessions that is acceptable to the company.

Before holding discussions with the prospect client it is necessary that the salesperson has reports presenting the concession rates that the company finds feasible and the rates which are unacceptable. It is important because during a discussion a deal for providing 30% discount may seem fine, but during the contract drafting period the folly comes out.

Let the prospect client speak first

Always listen to the negotiation terms from the other side before presenting a discounted deal. A salesperson need not be too accommodative in order to clinch the deal. It is important to know what the prospect client expects from the company. Also, allowing the client to go first builds a good rapport.

Avoid providing the range for concession

In case the client wants a reduction in the product price, do not proceed to give a range of discounts applicable. It is foolishness to expect the client to accept for the minima of the range. No client would want to accept a 15% discount when you are ready to agree to 20% reduction. Provide a single figure and negotiate around it.

Do not split the difference

Sales expert Art Sobczak opines that providing split difference harms a good deal. If the client requests 50% discount on a product priced at $100, do not counter it with $75, even though it seems so clever a tactic. Offer a small discount so that the price is in the vicinity of its original value. The client is likely to accept it willingly.

Negotiate a return concession

As a salesperson, you need not be very accommodative. In return for the concessions provided, you should request a return concession for the benefit of the company.

Hold negotiation discussion with the decision maker

It is important to hold discussions with the right person. Convincing a decision maker during a negotiation closes the deal while doing the same with a wrong person only leads to another round of critical negotiation or loss of the client.

Do not hurry to get the terms in written

Terms may go through a lot of revisions before being finalised in the contract. Hence, it is good that a salesman does not hurry to revise a contract before the meeting has come to an end.

Maintain casual attitude when required

Let the discussion be in a friendly and jovial tone during the negotiation.

Attach freebies other than money

Although the pivotal point of discussion during a negotiation is the price value, attaching add-ons instead of the lower price which are tied to the customer satisfaction and value may be helpful. The freebies may vary according to the product, situation and company compliance.

Check if it’s time to walk out

A sales representative need not be accommodating and compliant with anything the prospect client tosses at him. There is no harm in walking away from a deal. Working with a client who gets his/her way in reducing a price is far too difficult once the deal is closed as he/she may become dissatisfied after some time.

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