Well, neither do we!
Have you thought about how much discount you have given your Clients in the latest deals you made?
In most of the companies we work with, one of the things we look at first is the type of concessions if any.
Many of the companies have no strategy to deal with the concessions that Clients demand.
The maximum you usually find is a discount grid based on the quantity sold, or something similar to that.
But do the concessions you make to your Clients have to be only financial discounts?
Of course not.
One of the things we teach in our negotiation training is how to change the trend that salespeople have to focus only on discounts.
But, why does this situation occur so often? Because there is usually no proper preparation for a negotiation conducted by the salesperson.
You don’t need something very complicated, make a negotiation map.
Well, but what is this negotiation map?
It’s a simple sheet of paper where you should try to determine all the items that can be “exchanged.”
Most people focus only on “Euros,” basically, on how much discount they can give.
So where do you think they are going to “feel the pain”?
On the Euros as well, of course!
But making a negotiation map will make the salesperson think of everything they have to offer to the client, apart from discounts, something that the Client values.
- Payment terms
- Free product training
- Additional product units
- Additional service
Anyway, the list could be quite extensive and would depend on the type of business you work. This matters because in doing so you gain the flexibility to be able to propose alternative concessions to the discount that is they requested.
For example, let’s imagine the following interaction.
“Can’t you give us a 10% discount?”
“Mr. Client, 10% is a bit hard to get, but if I got you 4% and offered training in the use of equipment, would that be acceptable to you?”
With this alternative, you will be exchanging “Euros” for training, which in most cases is cheaper than the discount you would be willing to offer.
None of this would have been possible if the salesperson had not bothered to prepare the negotiation and make his negotiation map.
Another component that is essential when asking for a concession, be it price or something else, is the whip technique.
Don’t laugh, I’ll explain it right away.
Surely you are thinking the salesperson with a whip in their hand, ready to use it as soon as the Client asks for a discount.
And the truth is this would feel good sometimes!…
What you should do is something close to that, but that does not involve violence.
One of the most important rules in a negotiation is that when the Client asks for a concession, you must immediately ask for something in return.
There are at least two reasons for this:
The first is that you educate your Client.
When using this technique, your Client will experience that when they ask for something, you will also ask for something in return.
So next time they will think twice before asking for a concession.
The second reason is that you often get capital gains in the business that you were not expecting to get.
Imagine the following scenario: your product delivery schedule is 15 to 30 days, but if you provide it within 30 days you are much more likely to place a more significant order to your supplier and get a higher discount for yourself.
So the dialogue would be something like this.
“And can I get a 5% discount?”
“Mr. Client, if I could get you 5% off, would you agree to have the product delivered in 30 days instead of the usual 15?”
Whenever they ask you for something, you should immediately ask for something in return.
It’s as if you had an open the door to get something or even close the deal.
Taking the example above:
“Mr. Client, assuming that I would get you that discount, would you sign the order today?”
The whip principle is simple but very effective.
Next time, don’t forget:
- Make your negotiation map
- Use your whip
Also published on Medium.