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10 Essential Negotiation Skills of the Best Negotiators

10 Essential Negotiation Skills, sales negotiation skills, sales negotiation, essential skills, negotiation training

Sales negotiation skills are invaluable in achieving your resource and profitability goals. With these essential skills in your repertoire, you are in the best position to achieve success in your contracts and deals.

John F. Kennedy’s assertion,

“Let us never negotiate out of fear. But let us never fear to negotiate,”

is a reminder that confidence is important when it comes to negotiating. A skilled negotiator arrives at the boardroom prepared, confident in the knowledge they possess the required skills to succeed in the process of securing a deal.

Invest in yourself and achieve more win-win outcomes by employing these 10 powerful skills from the Chicago sales negotiation training course.

1. Listening

Listening is one of the most powerful sales negotiation skills you can hone. Sellers that listen are able to learn indispensable details about their buyers. A study by Dr. Albert Mehrabian, Professor Emeritus of Psychology at UCLA, found that when there’s incongruency, 93% of a conversation is non-verbal. Listening, therefore, not only includes verbal language, but also qualities of voice and body language.

Training yourself to notice whether your buyer is showing interest in your deal, uncomfortable, or potentially ready to pull out, gives you the advantage in the boardroom.

2. Planning

Walking into a meeting prepared is a skill you can’t do without, according to Forbes. In fact, a survey by Negotiator Magazine found that 40% of the negotiation process is an internal one, taking place in the mind.

Develop a plan that focuses on the key elements of the discussion to come. Breaking down broader points into small, actionable steps enables you to think of the negotiation as a process towards meeting a tangible goal.

“Everyone has an idea, but it’s taking those first steps toward turning that idea into a reality that [is] always the toughest,” said Daymond John from Shark Tank.

3. Let Your Buyer Speak

Ensure you give your buyer a chance to finish speaking first before you begin adding things on to the deal. Turn-taking is an essential skill to train in. A negotiator who takes turns shows they are confident enough to not need to try to dominate the discussion. Turn-taking also enables you to get more from the deals you close by ensuring both buyer and seller are able to convey their goals.

However, knowing when to stay quiet altogether can also prove a useful technique.

“Count to 10. By then, the other person usually will start talking and may very well make a higher offer,” said Bill Coleman.

4. Be Patient and Stay Focused

Patience and focus are essential skills that can save sellers valuable time. One example is avoiding the temptation to draw up a contract before the deal is done. It can be easy to get ahead of yourself, but focusing more on the deal and less on the paperwork allows you to give the necessary focus to the meeting ahead of you.

5. Keep Discussions Light

Conversations can swing in a variety of directions during the span of a negotiation. However, keeping the discussion light and friendly gives the chance for more long-term success and building powerful relationships.

Light and enjoyable conversation helps strengthen personal bonds and make interactions memorable. As Anne Spencer Lindbergh, American aviator and author, once said,

“Good communication is as stimulating as black coffee and just as hard to sleep after.”

6. Steer Negotiations Toward Value, Not Simply Money

Successful sales mean getting a profitable deal. However, the bottom line is often connected to value. Using value to leverage success is a skill that allows you to add on to a deal without decreasing the bottom line you want. As John Steinbeck once said,

“Anything that just costs money is cheap.”

7. Reach the Decision-Makers

It is not uncommon for sellers to mistakenly try to initiate discussions with gatekeepers. To strive for the best outcome, ensure you are across the table from the decision-makers. Speaking to the right people is a skill that’s often overlooked when it comes to negotiations, so it pays to remember that your words can only be effective if being heard by the right person.

8. No Place for Ranges in Negotiation

Another important skill is knowing to stay away from ranges. It is usually not advisable for discussions to pivot around ranges since clients often choose the percentage more ideal to their goals. Stick with your one ideal number and negotiate towards it to keep discussions in your favor.

9. Know the Concessions You’re Willing to Accept

Things can heat up quickly during negotiations. So, tied in with planning, it’s important to know in advance the concessions you’re willing to accept. A percentage may seem acceptable at the table, but you may find serious problems after crunching numbers. Doing the math prior to your meeting means the percentage you accept is the one that truly works for your company.

10. Know When to Walk

Walking away may be difficult, but knowing when it’s in your best interests to walk is a useful skill to have. Ultimately, walking away from a deal that’s not going well can save you from potential financial issues. Despite months of preparation and countless meetings, some deals simply don’t align.

Training yourself to know when to walk from the negotiation is a powerful skill to embrace. It’s like hitting a reset button, according to The Huffington Post.

To Sum Up

Through learning, training, and practice, these essential skills from sales negotiation training can help guide your sales career to success. More deals closed equates to success for your company and contribution to your professional growth. Make the most of your sales acumen and move your life forward in a powerful way.

More on this topic: Apple Sales Teaches Us To Expect The Unexpected


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