Written by Andy Trainer– Tue 25 Nov 2014
You've been here before, the last time you and the client spoke you didn't exactly see eye to eye. Now months of negotiations are at risk and potentially big figures in profit too.
Don't make that call. Re-evaluate where you are in negotiations and see what you can take from these killer tips to close that deal.
Negotiations are all about your relationship with the client. If you're seeing your role in negotiations as an opportunity to make money at the expense of the client then you're looking at it all the wrong way. Negotiations are professional relationships. Benefits should and can be mutually profitable whilst retaining a relationship with a client that will last years.
Our Negotiation Skills training will give you the knowledge and tools necessary to be able to conduct any negotiation as a competitive and collaborative negotiation.
A good deal might not revive a bad relationship, but a good relationship can revive a bad deal.
If you fail to prepare, you are preparing to fail.
The planning of your negotiations is undeniably the most important stage in key account management.
Outline your opening moves - go through terms you both agree on and build common ground.
Have a number of options thought through for each potential twist in negotiations.
Role-play the negotiations from their point of view. Establish which terms they are likely to argue and how you will respond to them.
Outline your walk away price and stick to it. (This is the minimum you are prepared to leave with to secure a deal).
A breakdown in negotiations can commonly be attributed to parties refusing to listen to what the other has to say. Politeness and assertiveness are not mutually exclusive, use this to your advantage and try to adapt your techniques to evoke desired responses.
Using your now greater understanding of the relationship based on overall client response (tone, body language - if in person, understanding of information) try and include either factual or emotive questions.
You've gone into negotiations with a clear strategy and ideal outcome. But it's looking like any deal is at risk unless you make a decision.
Although one should never aim to compromise, it is often preferable to continue proceedings with a client at the expense of an ideal conclusion.
I cannot highlight enough the importance of setting a 'walk away price' before negotiating.
Never be the first to suggest a compromise. Outline yourself as a business partner, not a supplier.
'Pick the low hanging fruit’. Go for the easy to resolve issues. People like saying yes, the more they say yes, the harder it will be for them to eventually say no. By resolving a number of low-key issues then you are already creating a pattern for success.
Create a deal that leaves no party disadvantaged, meeting as many of each persons interests as possible. Outline an agreement that will leave both parties willing to do business again.
Stressing over those key accounts? Our Key Account Management training will give you the edge in crucial negotiations and help you secure those essential business partnerships.