Your first step is preparation – If you work diligently to deliver value to the person you are meeting with, you are more likely to get them on side with you. Preparations include speaking to your contact’s receptionist for insight into your contact’s personality, and to research the company via the internet. If you have some history of past purchases – look for patterns –speak to others who have dealt with the account to find out what has worked – or not worked in the past.
Know exactly what you’d like the outcome of the meeting to be.
If you know what it is you want, you can be clear about your purpose and make it easier for people to give you what you want.
It is also important to set limits – Determine your bottom line, or your walk away point before entering discussions. Make a list of other options if this deal doesn’t work out for you.
If you go in knowing what your other choices are in terms of other deals you can go after, you are in a better position to walk away from the deal if necessary.
Listening is also critical to good negotiation - in fact it is the most important skill – If you ask questions and really listen to your prospect/client, you can understand a lot about them. Pay close attention to body language as well.
Learn how to take a moment and think about your next move. If you can "pause" you are more likely to remain in control. People with well developed "hold buttons" have better success in negotiating because they are in control. They don’t get swayed to go below their limits.
Remember – that negotiation is not always about price – in the end know all the value points you have and most importantly – what you know or think the client values – you can concede other things except price.
While you are negotiating you shouldn’t be ashamed to take notes. In fact, you should even share your notes with the person you are meeting with. Highlight something that you have given up for the other person. Highlight something you have gained. Together, you can come to a conclusion.
Remember to Close the Deal you have to keep asking for it!
You are always trying for a win-win!
Infinity Communications Inc.