4 Ways to Negotiate Better in Q2
l work in a world like Inception: I’m a salesperson selling sales software to sales people. It’s difficult and rewarding at the same time, and I absolutely love it.
As we wrapped up Q1 last week, I had the challenge of negotiate end-of-quarter deals with a variety of senior leaders — VP Sales, CFOs, and CEOs.
These are folks with a solid 10+ years of sales insight, executive power, and field knowledge on me. No book or online sales guru is going to tell me anything that will help me jump that knowledge gap in one bound. It simply doesn’t exist. So it’s on me (and you) to generate tactics that are reliable in making us effective.
As you reflect on Q1, and are either counting your wins or licking your wounds, keep these tips in mind:
Did you win the deal?
We’re hunters after all, so the win is what matters most. Negotiating is give/get, and the amount of each will vary prospect to prospect, customer to customer. Ask the tough questions, find the middle ground, and secure a solution that works for both parties.
If you won the deal, give yourself the deserved credit and celebrate accordingly.
There’s always a caveat — the budget that just doesn’t exist, or the unreasonable DM that won’t budge. But this is about revenue, not caveats. This leads us to...
Did you stand your ground?
Mike Tyson said it best, “Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face." I’m not going to lie to you and say don’t get punched in the face. Like boxing, you take some damage when negotiating, and that’s okay and expected. A black eye is a war wound, nothing to be embarrassed about.
Negotiating is give-get, so losing a bit on price or terms is part of the equation. The key is knowing your floor, your bottom line, your “I can’t even get that approved if I tried” and sticking to it. Every time you give some ground, make a request. Each round of requests gets you closer to the finish line. If necessary, be ready to walk away. Not only will you keep your integrity, but sometimes taking a deal off the table makes the offer all the more desirable.
Go the Distance
Ok, it’s round 8, and you’re getting tired, annoyed, and frankly, a little pissed. The back and forth is wearing you down, but don’t let it throw you off course, because it’s a known fact that “Fatigue makes wimps of us all” (Vince Lombardi). And a truly skilled negotiator knows it.
There’s a difference between caving in and meeting someone halfway. Don’t let the long or drawn-out circumstances hinder your decision making. If you feel yourself wearing down, regroup yourself. Remind yourself to stand your ground, know your worth, and execute the game plan – win the deal.
Did You End it Win-Win?
The relationship isn’t ending after the signature, it’s starting. I stole this concept from my boy, Stephen Covey. Ending a negotiation on win-win terms means both parties feels positive in the outcome, and both parties end the discussion amicably. Letting emotion deter your business decisions and relationships is a rookie move. Maneuver with poise, empathy and control, and your buyer will respect you for it.
Some deals are layups with easy-going DMs, and others take pride in grinding you down before reaching an end results. Such is life.
Keep these tips in mind as you look to close your next month and/or quarter, and see if you can't take that punch to the face and still secure your deal.