Believe it or not, but doing business is about customers. You may create the best product or service ever, but if no one wants it or buys it, this product is useless, and your venture is a failure. So one of the main challenges in business is to attract and retain customers (retaining is even more preferable), and pitching the product and negotiating the deal is the key in this process. This is why great sales negotiations skills are a must for your employees, if you plan to make profits and stand out as a great company that cares about its clients. Hence, splurge on the truly efficient and professional negotiation training workshops to equip your employees for their job properly.
Meanwhile, what does sales negotiations include? Are they about cold calls, following the scripts, traveling door to door and annoying people, or is there something else at work here?
Customers Come First
Negotiations are about what the other party, that is, customers, want, and your whole business strategy, applied negotiation tactics and additional skills of your employees should focus on this matter.
#1. Business strategy is the goal that unites the efforts of the whole company, from manufacturers to salespeople. The whole team should be on the same page about what they do and how they do it. If your aim is to attract new customers to boost sales, the team should know it. If you want to retain old customers, it is another thing, and your team should know it as well. Having a strategy is OK, but making it known to people is even better.
#2. Applied negotiation tactics depends on your business strategy, actually. Negotiations can be hard or soft, and each kind fits a particular purpose.
Hard negotiations (pushing the product actively) are great for making a first sale to a customer. This approach is good when you plan to make a one-time sale and move on to another customer. If a customer does not know for sure what they want, the confident pitching can help them decide and buy.
Soft negotiations are for situations when you want to attract customers who will be loyal and spend some money for your product time after time. Think software with monthly plans, products that can get updated or need new accessories, etc. Soft selling is unaggressive, subtle, and makes the impression that it is the customer who controls the deal, and not you. Soft selling includes options of free trials, explanatory or review videos from your team members, customers and people who got free samples, for example. Blogs and Q&A sessions on social media also belong to soft sales.
Both modes of negotiations can be taught, and this is probably the biggest takeaway you should get from this article.
To be successful in hard negotiations, your employees need to acquire the following skills (or capacities):
– Honesty (not cheating the customer into sales);
– Focusing on the customer’s needs (not overwhelming a person with information but offering the points that answer the particular question the customer has);
– Offering value to the customer (learning to balance the possible discount with making profit for the company);
– Etiquette (being pushy is not equal to being rude. Maintaining positive attitude even in the face of controversy is a skill that can be learned).
Accordingly, to success in soft sales, your employees will have to learn to offer reasonable product trials, use social media wisely and probably create interesting videos (in conjunction with technicians of your company, of course).
#3. Additional skills that your people will require to improve their sales performance are active listening, empathy, patience and self-control. Such skills can also be explicated and mastered in sales negotiations trainings. So while deciding what training or workshop to book for your team, keep our tips in mind to get the best deal for your money.