5 tips on negotiating a sales deal successfully

Selling in B2B space has never been easy. It requires great skill on the part of the salesperson since the customer, among other things, is usually very knowledgeable, is usually looking for a solution to some specific problem, will carefully evaluate the value proposition in any sales attempt and will try to measure and be convinced about the return on investment before closing a deal. Consequently, closing deals in B2B space almost invariably requires an ability to successfully negotiate a deal. This article provides 5 tips on how you can do that in B2B space.

Research done at sales performance consultancy major “Miller Heiman”:http://www.millerheiman.com/ has shown that while there are a number of approaches used by salespeople, successful negotiators know the power of a collaborative approach, with gains for everyone. They know they need to see things from the other person’s perspective and to work jointly with the client to create agreements that truly satisfy the critical interests of everyone involved.

They recommend that you follow a five-step approach to achieve success routinely in sales negotiations. Here they are:
*1. Do Your Homework:*
Successful sales negotiators have a learning mindset – they are continually curious and open to new insight. They continually strive to understand the client company and the people involved in approving the deal. Successful negotiators know the pertinent facts and relevant data. They have a good sense of the customers business, and what they need to fix, accomplish and avoid.

*2. Never Forget The Needs:*
Good sales negotiators focus on their own and their client’s interests, as well as diligently maintaining relevant standards and benchmarks. They are especially attuned to the common ground issues among the parties and to the needs that could potentially derail the negotiation. These negotiators never lose sight of the organizational and individual needs of their customer.

*3. Know When To Walk:*
Effective negotiators are prepared to walk away from a negotiation if necessary. They realize they do not have to be held hostage by the other side. In order to be prepared, they spend time understanding and developing the point at which they’d walk away.

*4. Brainstorm Solutions Continually:*
Negotiators constantly come up with ideas that satisfy all parties because they provide high value to them. This perspective is very much about creative problem solving rather than an “us vs. them” mindset.

*5. Leverage a Collaborative Approach:*
Rather than trying to force an agreement on the customer, successful negotiators work jointly with their accounts to look at the constructs of wise agreements. Too many agreements fall apart due to ambiguity or confusion in the written agreement. Excellent negotiations ensure that the contract reflects what was actually agreed upon, which helps rather than hinders implementation.

While following the above steps the sales person must realize that the main objective is to be perceived as a trusted advisor who continues to create real value for your client. Therefore, as salespeople, it’s important to recognize that simply signing an agreement is not the goal. The actual goal is to produce results from the agreement that are critical to building long-lasting customer relationships.

Finally, always keep in mind that just closing a deal isn’t enough. Always make every effort to ensure that the client gets what you promised. That will build the trust that will get you repeat orders and, of course, excellent recommendations which are the key to close more deals!