In Part 1 of this two-part article, we have been preparing to play the sales negotiation game. We have gotten ourselves ready. We identified our negotiating partners and did some preliminaries in their style. We also did all the homework required to give us a solid background on the account. Now, let the sales negotiation games begin!
Whether you or your sales rep are sitting across a desk from one decision maker or presenting in a meeting room to a full committee – or the presentation is being delivered online – every aspect must be carefully planned and executed. Fortunately, many of your competitors won’t both to plan their sales presentations as well as you will learn to do, so you are sure to stand out as the best choice.
Many of our prospects seem interested at first but then move on to other matters without making a buying decision. Or they go on temporarily with their current vendor. Are these prospects a lost cause, or is the timing just not right for them to consider? Could NO turn into YES in the future? It pays to keep them in your CRM/SFA system and stay in touch with prospects who don’t buy today.
For those of us who truly care about our customers and make that care apparent to them, the good news is that so many other salespeople just focus on the deal, and do not demonstrate this same caring. Customers are, after all, just people like the rest of us. They need to feel good about themselves, and they prefer to do business with people who make them feel special.
Most of us have multiple names: Our legal name on our driver’s license and passport, what family members call us, nicknames among our closest friends, and perhaps others for various business situations. People are offended when we don’t use their names the way they prefer, so you need to listen carefully to get this detail right.
Buyer’s remorse can make customers regret a purchase right after it is made. It can sometimes lead to their cancelling the order or returning the goods after delivery. That’s why, even when you perfectly meet the needs of customers, you must take extra steps to help them feel good about their buying decisions.
Flip a fair coin 100 times, and it should come up “heads” close to 50 times. But during those 100 flips, there may be several heads or tails in a row. The same is true in sales; we may experience a series of failures or successes in a row, and it’s no more than a statistical anomaly.
Whether in work, sports, friendships or family matters, the best outcomes always come from teamwork. Each individual has needs they must express and ideas on how to achieve the best outcomes; this is a well-understood truth. But achieving real collaboration this way can be difficult. Here are ideas on how you can achieve greater results when you collaborate with your customers.
We are all stressed out by the increasingly complex requirements of our work. So we tend to be impatient. We talk too much when we should be listening. We form rapid judgements. But as salespeople, we operate in a world where more dollars are generated by the quality of our customer interactions rather than by the quantity. So it is time to take a look at our bad sales habits.
In most careers, and in life in general, success tends to be measured over long spans of time. Selling is unique in that we have the long-term goals to achieve, but we also measure our success on every lead, every sales call, every attempted close and every sales period. We need to define our own measure of sales career success.