The Gives/Gets of Negotiation

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This session is titled The Gives/Gets of Negotiation by John Barrows, CEO of JBarrows Training.

I am a sales guy who trains, delivers and sells to many companies. Today I will talk about sales and negotiation techniques to manage the sales process and some key fundamentals of sales.

Sales is the number one profession on the planet, but only in 4,132 colleges in America can get a degree and a Masters at only 11. Sales is tough industry and based on pure effort alone. With marketing automation coming upstream and becoming more prevalent, salespeople need to evolve and be more analytical. We must focus on adding value, and bringing something new to the table.

What does it mean to negotiate?

  • Negotiation does not start when the pricing conversation comes up. It starts from the minute a conversation is initiated. This process needs to be a win/win relationship.

A good method to follow is outlined in the book The Rule of Reciprocity, by Robert B. Cialdini. This method firmly states that we are all bound, even driven, to repay debts of all kinds. If someone does something for you, you then feel obligated to repay. Its an almost automatic reaction.

Here is how I teach sales teams to outline their gives and gets:

  • What does it mean when you give something and don’t get much in return?

    • If you keep giving, people keep asking for things. Whether it be free trials, discounts, add-ons, or other requests, If you continue to give the client what they are asking for, there is no respect in the relationship. The more equal you can keep the relationship, generally the more healthy it is.

  • On the flip side, if we get everything we want and don’t give much in return, the customer may not be asking for anything. This disengagement can also be a cause for concern, as your customer may be looking at other vendors.

  • Use this example for a response to a prospect request:

    • I am happy to do that. In order to get you exactly what you want, we are going to need __________.

      • Example, I can give you the proposal, but can I get 10-15 on your calendars to make sure we get you exactly what you need?

      • Or, When can I schedule a call to go over the proposal  to make sure I give you exactly what you need?

Another great method is to build a score-card. This provides an easy way to map out the gives and gets. Brainstorm what your client has asked of you during the sales process whether it has been discounts, proposals, trails, etc. Prioritize them from 1-20 depending on the level of difficulty to provide those items. The next step is to correspond them with what you want out of the process, and prioritize that list as well.  

  • Keep track as you go through the sales process.

  • As you give something to your customer, add that into your score-card, and vis-a-vis for when they provide you something that is on your priority list.

There are a couple methods I use when implementing the score-card:

  • The most important thing to get in the sales process is a defined next step. Dont wait to get it, ask for it.

  • Send a summary email after all conversation where you summarize what you gained from the conversation. When you send it, ask the customer if they can take a look at it and let you know if it looks accurate or if you missed anything.

  • When they say they will make a final decision on Friday, schedule a call for Friday.

In summary, use this list for a quick reference of your sales process:

  • Rule of Reciprocity: People have a natural inclination to repay debts.

  • Conditioning: Nothing comes for free. Make sure to give, and get.

  • Know what to ask and when.

  • Follow good protocol for pre and post conversation: Nail down a time prior to conversations and make sure all decision makers are able to join. Be sure to send summaries to follow.

  • Objective Health Measurement: Stay aware of the health of your accounts so you know which ones need nurturing, and which are ready to close.

  • Time Mangement: Know what accounts to focus on first.

  • Common Language: Make sure you relate conversation to who you are working with.

  • Story time: Know what stories to share, and when it is appropriate.

  • Know when to walk away: Know when a deal has died and to walk way.


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