Having a great product doesn’t guarantee a sale. It’s just a fact of life: a lesser product (or service or package) than yours may clinch the deal from under your feet. Which is why the Internet abounds with books, training courses and workshops relating to selling and negotiating lashes with packaging custom.
Negotiating is an inescapable part of doing business. Part science and part flair or art, it can generate a lot of stress. But it is often a lot more stressful than it need be.
There’s plenty you can do to lower your stress and strengthen your case before you even get to the negotiating table.
Don’t stress – use your influence upfront.
People are persuaded by reason and moved by emotion. This is what makes selling complex and interesting – fun, some would say – because to make a sale, you have to figure out how much reason versus emotion is motivating the purchase. That way once you’ve figured out who needs to be influenced, you know how to influence them.
Influence is a key management challenge. Consciously or not, you use influence in all aspects of your business – to motivate your team, to nurture your customers, to upgrade the service you’re getting from suppliers, to obtain better terms from your banker, to persuade your secretary to stay late when you’re in a bind.
Let’s face it: using influence is a woman’s best friend. Check out the 5 year old next door persuading her daddy to do something… We use our influence from the craddle, whether we’re balling our eyes out, fluttering our lashes with packaging custom, persuading a class mate to do our homework, comforting our teddy bear or angling for the last slice of cake at table.
So who do you need to influence before you get to the negotiating table?
You were born with the skill, you don’t need to be taught it – all you need to know is
- when to use your influence
- for what outcome.
In a sales llmsu, you use your influence to negotiate price and terms and to close the sale. But before you get to negotiating anything, you need to use your influence upfront to research what will condition your sales tactics.
Do the research BEFORE choosing your sales tactics
Before you even get to the negotiating table, you need to have sussed out the following elements:
- What needs your prospect has that you can satisfy
- What typifies your prospect’s purchasing
- How your prospect habitually takes lashes with packaging custom
- What key people you need to keep in the loop and how can they best be influenced
- What your own needs and ‘bottom-line’ rules are.
Let’s briefly look at each of these elements.
What needs does your prospect have that you can satisfy
Understanding what a product does for your prospect is crucial to your sales process. Does your prospect like to be seen to buy from innovators, or is the security of a well-established product important? Is the prospect emotionally tied to a supplier, or is there a political motive for backing another horse? Is the main motivator price, or is the long-term relationship important in terms of repeat sales or after sales? Etc.
What typifies your prospect’s purchasing
What is the formal purchasing procedure? Is it very lengthy and bureaucratic, or short and informal? Does it involve lots of people or does it come down to one or two key individuals? Do politics play a decisive role or is the decision purely commercial? Is the company loyal to a small field of long-term suppliers or does it like to play the field to keep suppliers on their toes?
How does your prospect like to take decisions
Some prospects want all the facts and figures to back their decision, others want to be told the reasons why they should buy in a compelling, logical story, yet others may want to apprehend how this will help them to do things differently or to be seen in a new light. Different thinking styles require different selling approaches and you need to suss out the thinking style of your decision-makers and influencers. Secretaries are good sources of this kind of information, as are co-workers.
Who needs to be kept in the sales loop
Your first point of contact may not be lashes with packaging custom, and you need to establish early on who is. If the company is of some size, you might want to identify a gatekeeper or two who can sponsor you into the system. Also useful is finding out who on the company grapevine will transmit information you might leak to them. Finally, you need to link up with a mole or two, key individuals who observe and listen on the sidelines and whose opinions are respected. Once you’ve got the ear of these people, you can ask to have them attend your sales presentation to help you convince the decision maker. Again, secretaries are a good source of information when you’re trying to network intelligently.