When we are in the final stages of a negotiation, sometimes there is a need to say “no.”
The problem is how to do it without bringing the negotiation down.
Both parties want to get the best they can out of the deal.
The negotiation often focuses on price, but many times there are other conditions that we can use, for example, contractual conditions, delivery dates, product or service options, etc.
Many of our clients are excellent negotiators, and if we are not attentive focused on all the details of the negotiation, we are often “eaten.”
Sometimes it is necessary to say no to something our customer asks.
The simplest way to do this is to “not” do it right away.
Instead of saying “no” right away, we should first ask questions to understand the customer’s real need: why he needs what he is asking.
Some of the requests that will come to us will be derived from real needs.
Real needs represent real value (money) to our customers.
Others represent strategies to get a better negotiating position or to keep the negotiation game moving.
When we understand the actual value of what they are asking for, we can easily decide which strategy we will use.
Such questions like:
“Mr. Client, it is indeed an important issue, but while you’re at it, help me understand why it is so important to your company.”
“By the way, how would it help you…”
These are valuable for understanding the client’s strategy and sometimes disarming his true intent. (getting the “his” out).
When we better understand the client’s actual need, we can sometimes say “no” in a much smoother and more diplomatic way.
The key to effective negotiation:
- Listening before responding
- Clarity of thought
- Having and following a strategy
- All of these represent the core of a top negotiator.
A top negotiator knows that every sale is a never-ending negotiation.
Sometimes we start negotiating from the first contact with our customer, even if we are not aware of this.
Also published on Medium.