Every sale is a negotiation. Some are short and simple, others are long and complex. But one thing all negotiations have in common is that they’re more than just haggling back and forth about price. Your prospect has a number of physical and emotional needs, and the better you can fill them, the faster you can close the deal.
What are those needs? Well, every buyer wants to:
1. Save money
This is the obvious one. And it’s the one that gets salespeople in trouble, because we tend to focus too much on it. It’s important to remember two things, however:
A) Saving money means more than just the purchase price. It also includes accessories, supplies, maintenance, financing, and more. How can you help your buyer save money on the things related to the purchase.
B) The other items on this list are just as important—if not more important—than money. How can you satisfy these other needs?
2. Get the best terms
Fast delivery. Staggered delivery over a longer period of time so they don’t have to store items. Being able to finance rather than pay up front. Priority service. Regular maintenance. Upgrades. Consulting or training. There are lots of things that can add value to a deal. What can you provide that your buyer values?
3. Save time
Negotiating takes time and time is money. Also, the longer the negotiation takes, the longer the prospect has to wait before seeing the benefits of your product or service. How can you speed things along?
4. Reduce risk
Every purchase is a commitment and every commitment carries risk. We all hate risk and want to avoid it whenever possible. Warranties, guarantees, free trials, testimonials, case studies, contracts, and training can all reduce risk for your buyer. Which can you use?
5. Look good
Most buyers have someone they need to report to, whether it’s a spouse, a boss, or shareholders. And they need to be able to make the case to those people that they made a good decision. They’re being judged on the deal they made, and they dread being berated like Jack’s mother yelling at him for trading the family cow for some magic beans. How can you make your prospect look good in the eyes of the people they have to account to?
6. Feel good
You relationship with your customer depends largely on how they feel after the negotiation is finished. Everyone wants to feel like they got a good deal. But people also want to feel important, special, cared about, valued, appreciated. The more they feel that way, the more likely they are to refer you to others. And future negotiations become faster and easier. How can you make your buyers feel good about the company, the buying process, and the deal they got?
Negotiating—like everything else in the sales process—is about people more than products. Understand that buyers have a variety of needs and wants, and that you can fulfill many of them with little effort and little to no cost. When you address both your prospect’s physical and emotional needs, you pave the way to a faster, smoother, more successful negotiation. That means more sales and happier customers. Which is exactly what you want.