What happens when a salesperson isn’t an effective negotiator? Often, they simply write a proposal. I’ve observed it happen many times. Somehow the salesperson thinks that if they put the information in writing the prospect will buy.
The truth is that a proposal should really be a confirmation of what has already been agreed to, or has been determined that the prospect wants, needs, and is interested in buying. These factors must first be understood before creating a proposal.
So how can a salesperson become an effective negotiator and understand these factors? Well, an effective negotiator is really just a skilled communicator. A salesperson must be prepared to thoroughly communicate and discuss the potential disagreeable components of the sale with a client or prospect before committing it all to writing.
Of course, this means discussing money, the motherload of discomfort creation for a majority of salespeople. How hard is it to discuss money? Fully 60% of salespeople* are not comfortable doing it. Kind of weird for people who are supposed to extract money from others for goods and services.
If we delve into this problem further, we understand that it isn’t necessarily the individual seller’s fault. It is likely either the way they were raised or is based in their past beliefs about money.
Let me tell you what I mean. Many families believe that it is impolite to discuss money. As parents, details about earning and other money matters aren’t shared with the children. This implants the belief in them that money is not something to be talked about. So then when the grown-up salesperson is told to discuss money and budgets, it causes a conflict.
Salespeople need to learn and be able to discuss the cost of failure from the client’s perspective.
Additionally, some people from families with limited financial resources may be impacted by that as well and bring a mentality of scarcity to their work life. They therefore may have difficulty discussing with the price tag associated with higher-priced items and may struggle getting paid for the value that is truly delivered.
Help your team close more business, more quickly, at higher profits, by first addressing the likelihood that sellers on your team have apprehension about money discussions. Follow the three-step process outlined and watch the team’s confidence grow.
* Data courtesy of Objective Management Group
Gretchen Gordon is the founder of Braveheart Sales Performance, a consulting firm specializing in sales team transformation. A self-proclaimed “Sales Nerd” with over 27 years of sales, sales leadership and sales team transformation experience, she spends most of her time working directly with client companies and helping them improve their sales effectiveness and exceed their sales goals. Gretchen is also a frequent guest speaker for industry events and webcasts, and has been featured on the radio talk shows “Meet the Sales Experts” and "Sales Coaching over Coffee." She is also an accomplished writer, having been featured on industry-leading sites like SellingPower.com and SecurityInfoWatch.com. She authors a “Top 50 Sales Management Blog,” according to Docurated.com, and has published sales-focused eBooks, including “The 5 Essentials of Effective Sales Management” and “Cold Calling in the 21st Century.”
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