Managing the Sales Negotiation Process

How many times have you heard:

  • “You’ve got to drop your price by 10% or we will have no choice but to go with your competition.”
  • “You will have to make an exception to your policy if you want our business.”
  • “I know that you have good quality and service, but so do your competitors. What we need to focus on here is your pricing.”
  • “I agree that those special services you keep bringing up would be nice, but we simply don’t have the funds to purchase them. Could you include them at no additional cost?”

Every time you hear statements like these, you’re in the middle of a difficult sales negotiation. How you handle that negotiation will determine whether or not you close the sale and how profitable that sale will be. In order to give you a real edge every time, I have listed below some key points taken from my sales negotiation training seminar.

Don’t Believe Everything You See and Hear

Part of a good salesperson’s skill is to learn to read people and situations very quickly. However, when it gets down to negotiating, you have to take everything you see and hear with a grain of salt. Buyers are good negotiators, and thus they are good actors. You may be the only person who has what she needs, but everything she does and says, from body language to the words she uses, will be designed to lead you to believe that unless she gets an extra 10% off, she’s going with the competition. Be skeptical. Be suspicious. Test, probe, and see what happens.

Don’t Offer Your Bottom Line Early in the Negotiation

How many times have you been asked to “give me your best price”? Have you ever given your best price only to discover that the buyer still wanted more? You have to play the game. It’s expected. If you could drop your price by 10%, start out with 0%, or 2%, or 4%. Leave yourself room to negotiate some more. Who knows – you may get it for a 2% reduction. You might have to go all the way to 10%, but often you won’t. A little stubbornness pays big dividends.

Get Something in Return for Your Added Value

What if you discover that the buyer wants to be able to track his expenditures for your products or services in a way that is far more detailed and complex than is standard for your industry? What if your account tracking system is set up in a way that you can provide that information at essentially no cost to you? Often the salesperson’s overwhelming temptation is to jump in and say, “Oh, we can do that. That’s no problem.” Before you do, however, think about your options. You could throw it in as part of the package and try to build good will. Or you could take a deep breath and try something like, “That’s a difficult problem that will require some effort on our part, but it’s doable.”

In the second case, without committing, you’ve told the buyer it is possible. You may not be able to get him to pay extra for it but you may be able to use it as a bargaining chip in resisting price concessions. Which way you choose to go will depend on who your customer is and on the situation. However, you do have options.

Sell and Negotiate Simultaneously

Think of selling and negotiating as two sides of the same coin. Sometimes one side is face up, and sometimes the other side, but they are always both there. This is particularly true in your earliest contacts with the buyer. The face the buyer sees is that of a salesperson demonstrating features and benefits. The hidden face is that of a negotiator probing and seeking out information that may be invaluable later should issues like price, terms, quality, delivery, etc. have to be negotiated.

Be Patient

Finally, and most important, be patient. Sales is a high energy, fast moving business. Patience is one commodity that is in relatively short supply, but if you’re impatient in a negotiation, you’ll lose your shirt. If I’m negotiating with you and I know that you’re impatient, I will hold out just a little longer, no matter how desperate I am to make a deal with you. As long as I know you’re in a hurry, I’ll wait.

So be patient. Take the time that you need, don’t rush to give in, don’t show your anxiety, stay cool and don’t panic. Negotiation is a process and a game. Use the process and play the game. You’ll be astonished at the difference that it makes!

(c) Michael Schatzki – 2004. All rights reserved.

5 Tips for Disclosing Your Past to Your Present Lover

If you’re a single adult in the dating world, chances are that you have a dating past. Regardless of how plain or colorful your dating history is, disclosing it to your current lover can be a sensitive issue. Here are some simple tips and guidelines to make the process easier.

Tip #1 – Timing is Everything

When it comes to disclosing your past to your current lover timing can play a very large role. At MatchEdge, one of the most popular online dating sites, they’ve found that certain things are more import to disclose sooner than others.

For example, if you’re divorced or separated that’s something you want to bring up early on. It doesn’t have to be the first date, but a good rule of thumb would be to disclose that sort of information by the third date.

On the other hand, if you’ve never been married but have had several sexual partners, that’s probably something you want to discuss only after you get to know your lover a little better. As they say, “It’s not usually appropriate first date conversation.”

Tip #2 – The Devil is in the Details

Once you have decided that you are ready to disclose your past to your present lover, it’s probably a good idea to spear him/her the details. Usually people don’t really care to hear a detailed explanation of your sexual escapades. A good rule of thumb is to skip all the details unless if you are specifically asked for them.

Tip #3 – A Sensitive Issue

Chances are that if you’re nervous about disclosing your sexual past to your current lover, they are just as anxious to hear about it. It’s important to remember that your current lover may experience feelings of insecurity or jealousy. To help ease your current lover through this, try not to show too much emotion during the discussion. You should probably steer clear of discussing how you felt. Instead, try simply stating what you’ve done.

Tip #4 – Don’t Fall for Traps

If you’re having these types of discussions with your current lover, you should know if they are the jealous type or not. To ward off the green eyed monster, you may want to tread carefully. Once you are done disclosing the information, you want to steer clear of what I call traps. Traps are questions that are innocently disguised but may lead to hurt, anger or jealousy on your partners end. You’ll recognize these traps because the questions will usually be about feelings or thoughts and they will be linked to a person. For example, “Have you done xyz” is a very different question from, “Do you still think about xyz with so-and-so?”

Tip #5 -Reap the Rewards

If you are serious about your current lover, sharing this information will allow them to know you better, while giving you and your lover a stronger bond. At MatchEdge, they’ve found that the relationships that have less secrets between them tend to be stronger than those who keep secrets.

Remember, no one can ever fault you for being honest with them. Regardless of what your sexual past holds, it’s a part of who you are. If your current lover is a keeper, they will be glad that you had enough faith and confidence in them to share such an intimate part of yourself. Good luck and happy sharing!

Fire Damage Restoration Service Providers: The Best Way to Get the Job Done Right and On Time

When fire devastates a building or business, its effects loom far below the surface damage that is first visually noted. Not only can the clean-up be overwhelming in terms of labor, time, and expense, but it is also often downright dangerous. The remaining ash, soot, smoke, chemicals, and lingering water damage from exterminating the flames can continue to do further damage to the building itself and any other surfaces, appliances, furniture, and more that are left untreated. There’s the structure’s stability to be concerned about, including walls and floors, but there are also the effects of fire-induced toxic fumes and other chemical reactions that are often tough to identify. These effects often continue to work their way into the building’s entire HVAC system, vents, and ducts as well.

Fire damage requires immediate attention

This will help you avoid further damage that drives up the expense of repairs, cleanup, and the business’s downtime. It’s also best left to certified and trained fire damage restoration professionals who can safely assess the dangers, clean up all the damage, and get your business up and running effectively as soon as possible.

Top advantages of a fire damage restoration service

One of the top advantages the best fire damage restoration service providers offer is that their trained technicians arrive at the building prepared for everything they might possibly encounter.

Their equipment will be certified and will include the latest technologies for cleaning and repairing all the building’s surfaces and structures. This will include safe chemical washes that clean the surfaces and remove the odors from all of the smoke damage. They will also have the proper industrial drying fans and methods to dry out the building from the water and chemicals that are used to exterminate the flames.

Once dried out, fire damage restoration service providers also have the training and expertise to safely treat all mold, mildew, and other residual odors, including professional decontamination and deodorization practices. These fire damage technicians can also expertly assess the situation and provide trustworthy advice on what can be restored and what will need to be replaced. It takes the guesswork out of the equation and avoids any further time loss to get the business back up and running.

When hiring fire damage restoration service providers who are certified professionals, it ensures all the proper processes, including paperwork and documentation, are conducted to the highest standards. This can pay off big time when it comes to dealing with insurance providers and health inspectors down the road.

Look for certifications

Should asbestos abatement, a structural demo, preventative fireproofing, or anything in between be required, choose a company with proof of certification so you know that they adhere to all regulations set forth by OSHA, the Department of Transportation, and the California Department of Public Health (CDPH). They should also take the time to answer any questions that may come up before and throughout the process.

Fire’s harmful effects can bring up excessive stress and emotional response. The best professionals not only get the job done right and on time, but they’re also there to support you through the process of getting back to business.