The world of business is becoming more and more competitive. New products that are increasingly innovative and technical are being developed on a daily basis. And, in the face of this fierce competition, salespeople in SMEs have had to learn how to master negotiation techniques of with potential buyers if they want to sign more advantageous and profitable deals.
In this article we offer you five tips on negotiation techniques to master this process and succeed in convincing your potential customers to choose your product over the competition.
Here are the five negotiation techniques to use with potential buyers:
- Be prepared
Before you meet with your potential buyer, do your homework. It’s imperative to obtain key information: what is the objective that he is looking to achieve by buying your product? What is the budget? Are there limitations? By having a better idea of the situation, you will be able to take a better position and come up with arguments that will certainly convince him. Of course, you can also use the features of CRM software such as Teamgate, which allows you to encode a lot of data on your leads and track the evolution of your relationship with them. Monday.com and Airtable are other CRM software that have proven their worth.
- Give importance to emotions
Far from the cliché of merciless negotiations in companies, you need to pay attention to your interlocutor. Emotions can have a significant impact on the conversation and can quickly change the situation. Actively listen: take into account apprehensions, concerns or questions. Negotiating does not mean forcing the other to adhere to his or her own point of view. In the face of your receptivity, your potential buyer will be more likely to confide in you about his expectations and blockages and be less defensive.
The position adopted during the discussions and how they talk can reveal a lot – which can sometimes be the opposite to what is suggesting. Is he crossing his arms or is he leaning towards you, looking friendly? Knowing what these gestures mean can be a real asset, as it gives you a head start over the negotiator – and it’s up to you to use it to your advantage.
Finally, put yourself in the buyer’s shoes. It can be very rewarding to see the situation from a different perspective. You will be able to understand the answers of your interlocutor, but also analyse them to better adapt to them. What would you do if you were on the other side of the table? How would you react to this or that proposal? In all communication, empathy is your ally but especially during trade negotiations.
- Build trust and confidence
This is what any salesperson is looking for: the trust of his prospects and customers. No one buys a product from a brand or company they don’t trust.
Encourage mimicry as this will make potential buys feel comfortable. Choose the same dress code, the same gestures and they will have the impression of entering a friendly rather than hostile territory.
Show your customers that you are reliable by sharing your experience. Prove that you have the necessary skills to help them, mentioning customers who have already trusted your company and are satisfied with the service provided.
- Be persuasive and master influencing techniques
Persuasion is about presenting the advantages of one purchase without manipulating the other. There are a number of techniques to influence the other person to agree with your point of view. The use of universal truth is, for example, a good way to support one’s argument. Even more suspicious negotiators will have more difficulty challenging widely accepted facts.
Take a step towards your interlocutor. Faced with this gratuitous act, the potential buyer will feel indebted to you and will immediately want to restore the balance of the situation by doing the same. This is called the reciprocity rule. The bottom line is that it is all about finding a common ground that works for everyone.
- Overcome price-related bottlenecks
Price can often be the most annoying subject in negotiations: your potential buyer is not ready to exceed a certain budget for your product or what he thinks it will bring him.
To go beyond price, a different approach is needed. Highlight the added value associated with what you are selling. Imagine that you are marketing a time management platform. Your prospect is interested in your solution because it centralises several features that are currently spread through the company. By proving that the platform will also help them save time, discover the most time-consuming tasks and optimise their organisation, you are providing them with new information that they may not have thought of, but that will perhaps push them to make a decision.
As a last resort, be prepared to make concessions (while being aware of your limitations, as mentioned above). This is the essence of negotiation: each party wants to obtain the most value possible with the least sacrifice.
Negotiation cannot be improvised, and to successfully negotiate with your potential buyer, you must be well prepared, focus on the emotions of your negotiator, find the right arguments to build trust and influence decisions, beyond price concerns. A clever mix of skills that will set you apart from the competition, combined with a good dose of patience!
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