By Alan Graner
The following is excerpted from “Winning Negotiating Strategies” by Ron Karr. The complete whitepaper can be downloaded as a free PDF here.
Disclosure: Daly-Swartz Public Relations has no association with Kerr Associates, Inc.
In any negotiation there are only four possible outcomes:
This is the best possible result. Both sides feel they have gotten something valuable from the deal. The normal outcome: new business from prospects, additional business from existing customers, referrals for new business.
The concept is winning the best short-term deal. This either shortchanges the customer in the process or makes the customer feel he/she has been shortchanged. This is the classic bad outcome negotiation that creates unflattering stereotypes about shifty salespeople who try to pull a fast one. As a result, the “win” is really a loss. Outcome: loss of trust, loss of future business.
A classic example is a customer who asks for a huge discount and, in return, he’ll give you his next three orders. Of course the order never materializes. Solution: Don’t offer a discount unless the current deal warrants it. Don’t make sacrifices on the promise of future business. A deal is only truly valid if both sides win.
This is the result of two incompetent negotiators. Both should look for new jobs.
The only acceptable outcome is win/win. To achieve this, you must incorporate four elements into the negotiation process
The 4 elements of the negotiation process
There’s no such thing as a successful negotiation without trust.
Building trust doesn’t mean giving away the store. It means trying to attain specific goals and making sure the other person has the money, authority and need to deliver on your objectives.
A key to building and maintaining trust is a mutual understanding of each party’s expectations, needs, fears and desires. Understanding what’s important on both sides forms the foundation of a mutually acceptable agreement.
The offer is the broad outline of the negotiation that forms the basis for the serious horse-trading to come. Unless the deal is signed or otherwise formalized, the deal has only been accepted in the abstract.
This is the “real” negotiation. Even after you’ve closed the deal in principle there may be much work left to do. Until both sides sign on the dotted line, there is no deal. As Sam Goldwyn is purported to have said, “A verbal agreement isn’t worth the paper it’s written on.”
There are many tactics salespeople use to attain a win/win agreement. Among them are the cringe, the nibble, good cop/bad cop, silence, the trial balloon and many more.
For an in-depth discussion of these tactics, download “Winning Negotiating Strategies” by Ron Karr at http://www.ronkarr.com/how-do-titans-negotiate-the-deal/.
What are some of your successful sales negotiation tactics?
Image: Wayne Short
Alan Graner is Chief Creative Officer at Daly-Swartz Public Relations, an Orange County, CA marketing communications firm. For a winning public relations campaign, email Jeffrey Swartz at firstname.lastname@example.org.