Negotiating For Results

Negotiation doesn’t need to be the ‘necessary evil’ in the sales process. Leaders and teams can boost sales by embracing negotiation conversations. But how? Blair Wagner shares five plays for next level negotiation.

1. Use Perceived Fairness

Appealing to the other party’s notion of perceived fairness
can be useful and help understand what they’re thinking. There are three fairness norms: equality (an even split), equity (a split in proportion to input), and need (a split based on who requires more). Tapping into these norms can give us the basis to present a deal that’s equal for both parties, sell an offering that provides equity to a particular team within the company, or highlight a need that warrants investment.

2. Utilise Price Anchoring

Everything is relative. A purchase can only be expensive or cheap compared to other purchases. A sale can only ever be “too much” compared to a budget, another seller’s pricing or an expectation of cost. If negotiating on price, try price anchoring. Price anchoring uses a higher price point or range to show the relative value of a lower price point. Consider giving price options or a pricing range for the product or service—that includes an ideal price point. Customers get great value and sellers win the deals at a price that works for all parties. 

3. Leverage the BATNA

For any potential sale, consider the Best Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement (or BATNA). This is the fallback option if things don’t go to plan. That way, we know when to walk away. This framing for the negotiation, even if only ever hypothetical, can completely change the seller’s mindset and attitude in negotiation conversations. Maybe the BATNA is that the seller will be seeing the prospect at an event next week. Plus, we can continue to strengthen our BATNA while negotiation conversations are happening.

4. Frame it Positively

People feel loss more keenly than they feel gains. Framing our offering with what they might stand to lose by not proceeding with the project has far more weight than going over the features of our offer again and again. If discounts or special offers are being negotiated, positive framing keeps us talking about what we can do, rather than what we can’t. 

5. Create a Win-Win Situation

Instead of either side giving in and compromising, try creating a new, mutually beneficial solution that gives both the seller and the other party something of value. This avoids the pitfall of a tug of war negotiation where neither party will ever truly be satisfied. It’s okay to admit that we could start again. Whilst bold and maybe even a bit radical, this approach can end up with something even better than the original proposition on the table. A win-win situation.