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July 03, 2023

Negotiation in Sales: Starting on the Right Foot

One of the most important things you need to know when you're in sales is how to start a negotiation. It's easy to get started, but harder to do it well.

Here's how it works: You want to achieve a desirable outcome for yourself, which usually means achieving the sale—but it could also relate to accomplishing other goals.

The issue I see with many salespeople is that they negotiate from the standpoint of achieving what they want. That means they make no effort to understand what the client wants. But that's not how negotiations work! The only way you can win is if you understand what it is that your client wants, and then deliver on those needs before they even have time to ask for them themselves.

So, here's my advice: Ask a simple question of the client at the start of a negotiation:

"What do you want?"

How you phrase this will depend on who you're talking to—for example, if you're trying to sell a property investment opportunity, you may say something like:

"What do you look for in an investment property?"

That will prompt them to give you a few details about what they're looking for, which can then be used to identify the most important needs in their mind. Then you can start figuring out what those needs are—and how you can fulfill them.