How many times have you heard this from Your Salespeople?
If you are lucky, lots of them do so.
If you’re not lucky, probably some.
Although everyone likes to hear this sentence, have you thought about how much money your salesperson may have left on the negotiation table?
One of the most significant factors in the waste of business processes is precisely the inefficiency of the negotiation process for the salespeople.
When we work with teams on the ground during training and business coaching processes, we are sometimes “startled” by the “innocence” with which most salespeople analyze what happened in the sale.
Many of them think that the sale even went well and that the deal was pretty good.
The other day, in a conversation with a decision maker, who happens to be my friend, we were talking about our latest projects, and he was amazed by our list of Clients.
But when we came across the name of Client of ours, I saw a smile on his face.
As we have known each other for years, I felt comfortable and asked:
“Why are you smiling?”
And he told me what had happened the previous week with a salesperson of this company that was our Client.
“Last week we had one of their salespeople come over to our company to close a deal.”
As usual, and after we have had training with you for some years here in the company, we prepared the negotiation beforehand.
We stipulated where we could and could not give in, which the desired target price would be and the other concessions we wanted from them.
We defined among the ones that were going to the meeting the roles each one would play, who the “Good Cop” would be, who the “Bad Cop” would be and who the “Neutral one” would be.
And we even defined how we would conduct the negotiation and what techniques we were going to use at each stage to make it as productive and profitable as possible for our side.
After that, we scheduled the negotiation meeting to close the deal with the Salesperson.
It all went “easy as a breeze,” as my grandfather used to say.
We made a great deal, and we saved about 30% more than we had initially planned.
Upon hearing this story, I smiled.
On that day I was just about to start the coaching session dedicated to negotiation with my Client and his team, and this specific story was crucial to help them with their trading and negotiation processes.
This one is just one of many stories I come across working on the ground every day.
One of the things you have to think is that in the same way that your salespeople do sales training, your Clients also do training in negotiation and purchases.
Many of them become specialists in this area because they know that every euro saved in a deal goes directly to the company’s results spreadsheet.
We can estimate that about 20% to 30% is left on the table Europe in each deal because of the failures of the salespeople in the negotiation processes.
The list of techniques and strategies is vast, and each one is worse than the other.
Today I would like to introduce you to only one of the techniques that we usually see in our sales training.
It is called the “Eating the Cake one Slice at a Time” reinforced by “Just one more thing…”.
One of the most effective techniques in a negotiation is to structure the negotiation process into small components that do not scare the other party on their own.
Please note that this technique only works well if you take the time to prepare the negotiation, which in our opinion very few salespeople bother to do.
Preparing a negotiation map is something many of them have never heard of and when they listen to they think Clients do not bother to do it.
By negotiating small bits at a time your client is probably going to be much more successful.
A little here, another little there, plus a little there, leads to you making small concessions, without seeing that the “Negotiable Cake of the Concessions” is getting fatter and fatter.
When you wake up, if you ever do, the total value of the concessions is enormous.
But to put the cherry on top of the cake, Clients always keep a small part to negotiate to the end.
It is the “By the way…” part.
After the deal is closed and set, your Client suddenly remembers something else they had forgotten.
“Look, we agree, so let’s go ahead with the purchase. I’ll send you an email with the contract today.”
A few more minutes of conversation and suddenly:
“Look, I forgot one thing, we needed one more detail that certainly will not make a difference; it’s a small thing, it’s about…”
And when the deal has closed, the salesperson often tends to give another concession, but still maintaining the price agreed.
Now you know, “open your eyes” and see how your Clients are conducting their negotiations.
If you are not careful, you are going to have a great surprise.
Also published on Medium.