When starting or growing your business, practically all businesses need to attract and sell to new clients. Changing up your client base can seem daunting, but with the right attitude and expert negotiation training, the strategies below can help you scale up.
Research and Prepare
Acquiring new clients requires more time and effort than selling to your current clients. You will be exposing yourself and your business to new opportunities, new people to work with, and new challenges. Do yourself a favor and get into the sale discussion fully prepared. Sales negotiation training can expertly guide you through the buyer acquisition cycle.
With each new prospective client, find out in advance as much as you can about your prospective buyers. Find out the buyer’s:
- Business model and possible areas of collaboration
- Business pain points that can be solved by your products and services
- Decision-making process
- Past experience with your competitors
- Market rates and market segment your buyers operate in (high end or mass market)
- Production and purchase capabilities (how much the buyer needs from you now and in future)
Negotiate With Decision Maker
A key negotiation training seminar strategy is to negotiate only with the key decision maker. Negotiation workshops suggest that negotiating with anyone else rarely works and most often results in lost sales and lost time.
At times, you may begin discussions only to later find out your contact isn’t the decision maker. Realizing the contact isn’t the decision maker doesn’t signal a lost cause, and you don’t necessarily have to terminate the discussions. Instead, use the conversation to find out more about your prospect company and who the real decision maker is.
Quite often, your non-decision making contact may turn out to be a key influencer. Help the contact to see your confidence, your optimism in a mutually beneficial relationship, and the value you can bring to the it’’s business.
Sell On Value and Benefits
A common mistake made in the real world and on sales negotiation courses is to aggressively sell on price. It’s important to remember that people don’t buy products. What your clients are really purchasing are the results your products give the buyer’s business.
Value-based selling leverages the client’s anticipation of acquiring and enjoying the benefits of your offer. When you sell on value and benefits, the client shifts focus from what your products/services costs to how the prospect’s life is improved with the asset in hand. Do your products:
- Help the prospect increase profit margins?
- Increase the client’s product quality?
- Make the client’s production process easier/cheaper?
- Help the client satisfy certain industry and regulatory standards?
- Increase the buyer’s satisfaction?
Teach prospects how much benefit your product delivers and the prospect will give less importance to your prices.
Negotiate Non-Monetary Value
Prospective clients commonly negotiate for lower prices. A seasoned negotiator will only offer a price discount when necessary. A better negotiation seminar tactic is to provide valuable extras in the contract terms.
Maybe you can increase warranty periods or shorten delivery times. Offering non-monetary extras ensures you provide better value for your clients without majorly impacting your margins.
In the adrenaline-filled negotiation environment, a negotiator may feel pressured to make big concessions to close a lucrative deal. A 6-month warranty extension may seem perfectly acceptable during negotiations, only later when drafting the agreement do you realize how expensive the deal is.
During preparations, outline the types of concessions you are willing to give your new clients. Clearly define parameters such as price discounts, add-ons, upgrades, and freebies which you can reasonably offer to sweeten a deal without compromising your profitability and effectiveness.
Make Walking Away an Option
Expert sales people shouldn’t be willing to accommodate unreasonable terms just to make a sale. If the prospect’s demands go beyond what’s profitable, viable, reasonable, or ethical, maybe it’s time to walk away from the deal and seek new partnerships.
A prospect who only agrees to your deal after drastic discounts or radical amendments to terms may likely cause more problems once signed up. By walking away from negotiations with a new client, you send a message on what is acceptable. The class of terms you set out forms the precedence on your future relationship.
However, if you walk away simply to push prices up, the tactic may backfire on you if the prospective buyer doesn’t call you back. If you return with an amended offer later, the act of coming back shifts the negotiation power to the buyer. Use the walk away option only when circumstances demand.
Many sales negotiators end up settling for average results when selling to new clients. Effective negotiators rely on relationship-building to get great deals and form long-term partnerships.
Research on your prospects to know the buyer’s needs and create offers which solve the client’s needs.
Negotiate with the right people to get the deal signed and implemented. Be ready to walk away from unreasonable terms, but also be ready to make reasonable discounts and concessions.