Sales Negotiation Skills Training Speaker
“What did you drive to work today?”
When I address corporations and associations, a common question I receive as a sales negotiation skills training speaker and sales negotiation consultant is: “Mike, at what point does the actual sales negotiation begin?”
Sometimes the audience chimes in when I ask for answers before my comments; they bark out “Negotiation starts before the cocktails and after the dinner,” or “As soon as they file in to room,” or “Right after they hike the price.” And, as a sales negotiation keynote speaker, I guess there’s a bit of truth to all of it.
You drove what?
To be honest, in terms of sales negotiation, the negotiation often starts before you realize it has started, before you are even aware of the person about to negotiation. Let me give you a real-life example.
I knew a highly successful sales manager, and an excellent negotiator, who used to drive around company parking lots to check out the cars the executives were driving. The sales manager was in the pet products manufacturing business. She was about to call on the EVP of a major distributor and, sure enough, she found his parking space and his brand-spanking new, high-end vehicle. The EVP was “doing well,” and when they started to negotiate, she started from a higher price-point.
“Yes but,” I can hear you say, “this is a new era. Executives mostly work from home, take Uber or they work hybrid – and by the way – who has a parking lot in Manhattan or L.A. or Chicago?”
No worries! For you would not believe what people post on social media. I could care less about what candidate an executive wants to vote for, but when we get to social media sites we can often see a lot of bragging about furnishings, vacations, expensive parties and such.
In other words
So, am I suggesting on the day of an important negotiation the executive ditches the Maserati in favor of the family mini-van? You’d better believe it. Am I suggesting in terms of an upcoming negotiation, the executive deletes or makes private the recent vacation to Lisbon or Hilton Head? Of course. What about the online fashion show with the new Armani or the closeup of the hand stitched Italian shoes or the family outing at that trendy, 4-star restaurant? All of it.
In other words, understand “the other side” is diligently doing its research. I am not suggesting that sales negotiation is always a contentious process. Most times, agreement is reached and the conversation is entirely civil. However, as a sales negotiation keynote speaker and sales negotiation consultant, I need to stress that if “you” are looking at them and studying their product or services, they are probably looking at “you.”
If your negotiating team is incredibly comfortable with the other side; so comfortable that they seem to know your people better than people seem to know their own friends and family, it may not be an accident.
Negotiate not so much from a position of unfair strength (no one likes a bully), but negotiate from a position of reason, sincerity and at least a level field.
To contact Mike Hourigan, Sales Negotiation Keynote Speaker, please call Mike today at (704) 875-3030 or fill out the form below.