Traits of Top Salespeople

"Top salespeople are proactive: they take the initiative rather than waiting for things to happen."

Don’t Negotiate With Yourself! It’s Not Personal, It’s Business

Don’t Negotiate With Yourself! It’s Not Personal, It’s Business

Congratulations! You are approaching the end of your sales campaign with a new prospect. Now you need to put the final deal together.

In many companies, the salesperson will have to go through extreme hurdles to allow any special concessions to the prospect. However, in some companies (especially in smaller companies), you only have to work with your immediate manager and maybe someone in legal. In either case, the salesperson will be advocating for concessions that make it easier to win the customer and have them sign the order.

Most companies that you sell to understand that the first offer is not the final offer. There is no reason to make an offer that is your “walk away – take it or leave it” offer on the first written proposal to the customer. As a salesperson trying to bring in the commission to increase your W2, it is natural to be a bit apprehensive if you have to make multiple offers.

First, be comfortable with this process. It is a process that people have done every day for as long as two people have been exchanging goods or services. As the book/movie by Mario Puzo, The Godfather, frequently said, “It’s not personal, it’s business.”

Second, if you have followed my advice in my book Eliminate Your Competition, you have virtually eliminated your prospects other choices. If you are dealing with someone in the purchasing department, they may not acknowledge that reality to you, but your Coach and your Champion have already told you that you have won the deal.

If you don’t know how to enter into the negotiations after beating all of your competition and eliminating them from consideration, I suggest that you read my book. You may purchase my book, Eliminate Your Competition, from your favorite book retailer. The ebook version is available at the most popular retailers such as Apple, Amazon, Barnes & Noble. The paperback version is also widely available at such retailers as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Books A Million.

Your Coach probably told you, “You’ve won, so don’t blow it with Purchasing.” This advice is nagging at you. If you work for a big company with lots of approvals, you have probably nicknamed that black hole of deal approval “The Order Prevention Department.” You don’t want to lose the deal at this point.

If you work for a small or a large company, always remember that your company wants the order, but they need to make sure that the order doesn’t violate internal processes (some you may not fully understand). There is no one on the Executive Committee trying to get LESS money into the company by walking away from deals.

It is tempting to pitch to your management a series of concessions so that the prospect buys at first sight.

Don’t Do It!

You cannot negotiate with yourself. You will always lose. You cannot say that if you give this discount or concede this term or condition, you will get credit for it in the customer’s eyes. The customer will never give you credit for something that they do not know about.

Think of it this way. Quite a while ago, there was a popular movie titled Pay It Forward. The film’s premise is that you pay for a favor by doing a favor for someone else. After that movie, some people would pay for the drive-thru order of someone in line behind them. The goal was that someone who really could not afford that meal but was quite hungry and had to eat would get a free meal.

What if you received such a gift, but the teller did not inform you who paid your bill. The teller didn’t say the car in front of you paid your fee, but instead, said there was no charge? Would you return that favor by paying for the car behind you? Of course not. You would assume that the restaurant manager granted you that favor and not by another good-willed person in your community. The person that did you that favor did not receive the credit; therefore, the ‘pay it forward’ chain breaks.

Even the book and movie by Mario Puzo, The Godfather, was famous for offering to do a favor in advance with the understanding that at some time in the future, a return favor will be requested.

By giving a concession to a buyer that they are not aware of, you are not getting credit for that concession. This favor works against you even more as corporate buyers frequently have to report to their superiors how much money they saved during the purchase process. By giving a concession without the buyer’s knowledge, you are not giving him that credit, and he will work hard to get further discounts (and these will be harder to grant on top of the original discounted offer).

Don’t ever give a customer a discount that the customer didn’t request or is not aware of receiving. Even “standard discounts” shown in the initial offer are assumed to be available to every customer and are accommodations of a list price that is not in keeping with the street price. The discount or concession is much more appreciated if the buyer is aware of a great deal and assumes you worked hard to get the approval.

Be confident in the process. Don’t negotiate with yourself as you will always lose – you will give without getting anything valuable in return.

Header photo The Godfather – 1 by komersreal

Leave a Reply