Why You Need To Get Negotiation Right At The Start Of The Relationship

If you’re going to be a success in sales, you need to be good with negotiations. That doesn’t mean being a shark who tries to squeeze every possible pound from a deal. It means working with your customers to establish reasonable terms that make both sides happy.

It means working towards a win-win.

How to keep dialogue going

At Natural Training, we believe good negotiations should start as soon as possible. Not because you want to fly through the contact and move on to the next client, but because getting negotiations right from the beginning helps you better serve your customers and maintain great relationships. 

Establish Expectations for Your Customers

Unless you’re offering a free holiday, customers hate surprises. One of the first things you can do to eliminate surprises it to negotiate clearly and directly from the very beginning. If you avoid negotiations, get it wrong, or push them off until another day, a few different things can happen in your customer’s mind.

Firstly, they could create their own expectations. Maybe they assume the price will be lower or the product will be delivered earlier; once you finally get to proper negotiations, they could be upset because the expectations they thought were coming are now implausible.

Next, they could assume you have something to hide. Sales people don’t always have the best reputations. (A 2014 Gallup poll found car salespeople have the 2nd-worst reputation among 11 different professions. You might not sell cars, but that stat is worth remembering.) Getting straight to the negotiation, in a polite, respectful, and honest manner, will show your customers that you are here to help, not here to bait-and-switch.

Increase Chances of a Long Relationship

Bain & Company, a global management consulting firm, says that finding new customers costs six to seven times more than retaining existing clients. Based on that concept, you want to do everything you can to nurture long-lasting, rewarding relationships between you and your customers. Establishing the parameters of negotiation early will help you keep customers happy, increasing the chances that they stick around for years.

It’s not just one study that backs the customer-retention idea. Marketing Metrics, a major research firm, found that the chances of selling to an existing customer hovers around 60-70%, while selling to a new customer is down at 5-20%. Keeping your customers is important, and good negotiations from the very start helps achieve this goal.

Help Eliminate Prospects That Aren’t the Right Fit

In general, there are two broad reasons why a customer will not purchase from you. Either they are not interested, or they are not the right fit. While it may be easy to eliminate people who are not interested, it can be harder to eliminate prospects who are not the right fit.

Maybe their budget it too low for your product; maybe you can’t fill their order in a certain time-frame; maybe your product or service doesn’t meet their exact needs. Either way, getting clear, correct negotiations from the beginning can help you eliminate those prospects who may not be the right fit, which will save you, and your prospect, a lot of wasted time.

At Natural we can help you serve your customers and improve your skills through techniques that are right for your team, your company, and your individuals – give us a call today to learn more.

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