Negotiators tend to get stuck when it comes time to close a deal when they keep hearing "no". There are some simple tricks you can learn to help increase your closing rate. Here are three tips that will turn that "no" into a "yes".
Start with a Close, end with a Close
From the moment you meet your potential customer think about how you are going to close the deal. Always greet them with a smile and form a relationship. People will rarely sign a deal with someone they don't like or respect. Ask as many questions as possible about the problems they are having that your product or service may resolve. This is not when you start selling, it’s simply asking questions and listening to the answers. Gather as much information as possible so that during your presentation you can sell directly to the problems they’re experiencing.
Your presentation is where the selling takes place and it should be the only time you’re in sales mode. Your presentation should be a little different every time, since you want it to be tailored to each individual client's problems. During your presentation, point out every resolution to the problems they explained earlier. The presentation should be enthusiastic and hold their attention. If there is more than one person in the room, talk to everyone as a group.
Once the presentation is done, your selling is done. This is where you sit back as calmly as possible and listen to reactions. You should become very consultative when answering any additional questions or concerns at this time.
The Mini Pre-Close
During your presentation, as you’re selling to the customer’s concerns, squeeze in as many mini pre-closes as possible. The more times they say yes to a small question the more likely they will say yes to the big question. This puts them in a habit of saying "yes" instead of that dreaded "no". The best way to do this is after you make a point about one of the problems that your product or service can resolve simply ask, "This solves your problem, right?" As you ask this question nod your head and chances are they will agree with you.
After completing your presentation repeat this process one more time before you sit back and listen to responses. Do this by simply asking all of the same questions again. This may seem repetitive, but this is just giving the customer time to realise how wonderful your product or service is.
Get them emotional
Once your presentation is complete and you’ve answered any additional questions or concerns now it is time to “ask” for the deal. This is the most common mistake ever made - people don't ask for the deal. Be assertive and ask as if you assume they will say "yes" (commonly known as an assumptive close).
You might have to do a little more work at this point. This is where you need to get them back into the emotional state of mind. People buy for emotional reasons, not logical reasons. Studies show that pictures help to put people into an emotional state. You can achieve this by drawing a simple picture, maybe a graph showing statistics or a picture of your product – it doesn't have to be fancy.
Another easy way to get someone in the emotional state of mind is to talk into their left ear. This triggers the right side of the brain, which is the emotional side. So be sure to be seated on the left hand side of the decision-maker in the room.
Supplied by negotiation experts The Gap Partnership US.
While many people like to think of themselves as good negotiators, many do not understand some of the simple rules, which can quickly label you as inexperienced, which of course is not a position you wish to be in, especially when pitting yourself against a skilled and seasoned negotiator. By steering clear of the following five pitfalls, you should be able to navigate your way through any negotiation with ease.
1. Don’t negotiate blindly
Before beginning any negotiation, you must determine two things: your desired outcome and your bottom-line tolerance level. If not, you will have no direction and will likely be dissatisfied with the outcome of the negotiation.
2. Don’t start the negotiations
If at all possible, have the other person put the first number on the table. The reason for this is simple, as illustrated through a hypothetical example. X is willing to sell his widget for £100. X asks Y what he is willing to pay for the widget and he says £150. By Y bidding first, X earned an extra £50 even before the negotiations were underway.
3. Don’t avoid the process
Negotiating is a back and forth process that takes time. Many people who are uncomfortable negotiating try to avoid the process by being upfront with their real bottom-line number. This causes negotiations to break down, because the other side simply will not believe you. The expectation is that your opening number will be high/low and move from there. In fact, if you are responding to an opening bid, it is assumed that your target number is the number exactly between the two currently on the table. If you step up to the negotiation table, be prepared to play the game.
4. Don’t bid against yourself
A skilled negotiator will try to get you to bid against yourself and a rookie negotiator will fall for it. This happens when the skilled negotiator gets the rookie negotiator to increase his bid without moving himself. To gain respect, say: “I’m not going to bid against myself. I’ve put a number on the table. It’s your move.”
5. Don’t be afraid to walk away
When people are negotiating, they can easily become caught up in the moment. When this happens, there is a very real possibility of committing to a position one later regrets. The way to avoid this trap is to be prepared to walk away when you reach your predetermined tolerance. It is important to do this for another reason. The other side may be bluffing. By walking away, you clearly indicate your position to the opposing party. Understand that many negotiations are completed after several sessions. This will allow you to walk away with the confidence of knowing that if the deal happens, it will be on your terms.