What are you really “negotiating” and why?

“Jeffrey, teach me about negotiations!”
“Well, because my prospects always want to negotiate the deal.”
No, they want to negotiate your price.
“Well, yes.”

REALITY: People that want to negotiate your price are, in reality, negotiating your profit. Any time the word “negotiate” appears in a sales situation, it means both your price and your profit are going down.
RETHINK NEGOTIATION: Where’s “value negotiation?” Where’s “customer profitability negotiation?” Where’s “customer productivity negotiation?” Where’s “customer improved morale negotiation?” Uh, they’re nowhere. That’s because negotiations in sales have “lower price and loss of profit to the seller” at their core.
Negotiation “tactics” are something every weak salesperson must learn.
“Negotiate” means you…
• have failed to reach the real decision maker
• have failed to prove value
• have failed to differentiate yourself from the competition
• don’t have any relationship built
• don’t have a past history of success or testimonials of other customers who paid the price and reaped the rewards of ownership and must negotiate (aka: lower) your price.
And you’re usually negotiating with purchasing, or procurement, or some third-party buying group that does not care about quality or value.
Would you rather “hammer out a deal” where no one really wins, or provide value such that the customer will pay your price and both parties win?
What do you think the CEO of your prospect or customer wants? HINT: They want value, productivity, morale, and profit. And why aren’t you calling on the CEO in the first place? Why are you calling on some price-driven jackleg in purchasing?
If you want to make the argument that there must be something to the course, look at how many salespeople have taken it. Easy answer – lemmings. Still want to take the “How to negotiate like a pro” course?
Here are the “means” of negotiation:
• Negotiation means you have failed as a salesperson to prove value beyond price
• Negotiation means you are calling on a non-decision maker
• Negotiation means you failed to get to the real decision maker
• Negotiation means loss of profit
• Negotiation means you failed to create a buying atmosphere
• Negotiation means you failed to differentiate yourself from competition
• Negotiation means you failed to establish a relationship that is not based on price or bidding
Negotiation is about price, losing something, or giving up something of value so you can make the sale.
ANSWER: If you want to negotiate, do it before the selling or bidding process. Set criteria for the qualifications of bidders. Change the terms of the RFP so that you become a favored vendor. Or better, eliminate the competition. that’s negotiation.
BETTER ANSWER: Use testimonials to eliminate negotiation. Back up all claims and value offerings with customer video testimonials.
THINK ABOUT THIS: Every dime you take off of your price comes right off your bottom line.
If you must negotiate, I have a few guidelines to help you. Go to www.gitomer.com, register if you’re a first-time visitor, and enter the word NEGOTIATE in the GitBit box.

Jeffrey Gitomer is the author of The Little Red Book of Selling. President of Charlotte-based Buy Gitomer, he gives seminars, runs annual sales meetings, and conducts Internet training programs on selling and customer service at www.trainone.com. He can be reached at 704-333-1112 or e-mail to salesman@gitomer.com. ©2010 All Rights Reserved – Don’t even think about reproducing this document without written permission from Jeffrey H. Gitomer and Buy Gitomer.

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