A sales negotiation is a strategic discussion (or series of discussions) between buyer and seller that ideally leads to a deal being closed. The main goal of the negotiation process is to reach an agreement that's acceptable to everyone. Successful negotiation outcomes often start with the sales professional having and demonstrating the right mindset – one focused on a building a long-term partnership whereby both parties (buyer and seller) benefit more by working together than if the partnership did not exist.
In his book Closing Time, Ron Hubsher highlights the 7 immutable laws of sales negotiation:
Preparing for a negotiation starts as early as your first conversation, and successful negotiation outcomes begin with embracing a value-based sales methodology like Command of the Message from the very onset of the sales process.
In this video, VP of Enterprise Sales - Mike Pyle, gives tips for how to approach price-lock negotiations at GitLab while protecting the value of our product during these negotiations. The key to doing this well is consistently and proactively having this conversation. This guidance is useful no matter the size of your prospect or customer. Watch below or go directly to GitLab Unfiltered to view: 5 1/2 Tips for Getting Ahead of Price-lock Negotiations (YouTube, 10 minutes).
In addition to these tips, the below critical sales skills will also help you achieve a successful negotiation:
Conduct effective, ongoing discovery to:
Don't start a negotiation if you are not the buyer's first choice. With a thorough understanding of your customer's needs, be sure to:
The Command Plan provides a framework to maximize your likelihood of winning and securing the customer's business for a defined purchase initiative. Before even attempting to move to Close, be sure you have compelling answers to every component of the Opportunity Overview section of the Command Plan.
While there are numerous closing techniques out there, the LinkedIn Learning course referenced below recommends four common closing techniques (these need not be mutually exclusive):