Negotiation Sales Training: Master Negotiation Skills [Pro Tips]

Shawn Casemore • No Comment
Posted: October 2, 2023

This negotiation sales training guide will help you assume a proactive, professional approach to your role in sales negotiations. Let’s get started.

You’ve put in the work to find your prospects. You’ve spent some time pre-qualifying them, you’ve gone through all of the steps, and all of a sudden they’ve got some objections. Now, you’re not going to panic because you’ve watched my videos on how to respond to a wide array of objections.

But what if they want to negotiate? What if they are actually interested, but they want to change the price, they want to change the terms, they want to change delivery. Now what?

That’s what we’re going to cover in this guide.

I find a lot of the sales professionals I deal with are a little bit unclear on how to deal with negotiations. Unfortunately, in many cases, they jump to price.

If you go back and watch some of my videos on how to deal with different objections, you’ll find the odd time I mentioned price, but it’s rare. You see, negotiation is something that we need to be prepared for, but we don’t want to default to lowering the price even if a prospect is asking for a reduction in price.

We’re going to talk about some steps that you can take in order to be more effective when negotiation comes up. Or, at least when it seems like your prospect wants to negotiate.

Let’s jump into number one.

Negotiation Sales Training: 4 Pro Tips for Successful Sales Negotiations

First off, I don’t want you to think about negotiation as a step. I want you to think about the entire sales process as negotiation. 

1. Think about the entire sales process as a negotiation

negotiation sales training - how to handle negotiations
Think about it. The very first time you connect with or talk to a prospect, the negotiations begin.

You’re negotiating about when you’ll want to meet, and how long that meeting will be. You’re asking questions and clarifying what you understand and aligning that understanding with what you’re able to offer, right?
So there’s a negotiation that’s happening all the time in the sales process.

Change your mindset around negotiation. Look at negotiation as the sales process itself.

I say that because it tends to reduce the uncertainty or uneasiness or anxiety we get when we’re thinking, “Okay, I’ve given them the proposal, I gave them a quote. Now they’re going to want to negotiate.”

We want to get out of that mindset. Think of the entire process as negotiation, and what you’ll find is it reduces that anxiety about the negotiation that might come, but it also helps us to have the mindset around setting ourselves up for success when it comes to reaching that point where there may be a request or an ask.

Here’s the second tip when it comes to negotiation:

2. Uncover and reiterate your buyer’s objectives

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When you start your initial discussions or conversations with your prospect, the first thing I want you to do is understand their objectives.

Now, here’s what I mean by that. Whether they’re buying a piece of equipment, maybe they’re buying an engineering service, maybe they’re buying a financial service, whatever the case might be that you are selling, maybe they’re buying banking services for all I know.

But the point is, why?

  • Why are they doing this?
  • Why are they talking to you?
  • Why are they talking to you right now?

And really the way we get to that is by asking about their objectives.

When I used to sell cars years ago, somebody would start looking at a red pickup truck. I wouldn’t assume they wanted to buy a red pickup truck. I would start with some small talk and I’d say, “Well, what brings you to the dealership today anyway?” 

Of course, they would say, “Oh, we’re looking at pickup trucks.” And I’d say, “Oh, really? Why is a pickup truck important to you?”

Now, that might seem like an odd question, but you’d be shocked at the responses I get.

What it would tell me is that if a pickup truck is something they currently have and they might want to trade in, they didn’t bring it that day, or it might tell me they’ve never had a pickup truck and they’re currently driving a compact car, which means stepping into a big pickup truck might actually not happen, right?

Uncovering objectives tells us why this is important to our prospect and really allows us to set up or position what it is we’re going to share with them.

When it comes to their desire to negotiate, we just simply circle back to their objectives.

uncover buyer's objectives to use later in sales negotiations

Here’s a perfect negotiation sales training example using the pickup truck scenario:

  • Somebody comes in, I say to them, “Nice to meet you. How are things?” And then I ask them, “Well, what brings you by today?”
  • They say, “Well, we’re looking at pickup trucks.”
  • “Oh, really? Why is a pickup truck something that’s important to you?” Or “Why are you looking for a pickup truck right now?”
  • They say, “Well, we need one because ours is broken down. The mechanic can’t fix it.”
  • And I say, “Oh, okay.”
  • So now I get a chance to follow up, but I’m setting up the positioning. I say, “Okay, so are you thinking of trading that in?”
  • They say, “No, no, we’re just going to keep it.”
  • “Okay, that’s fair.”
  • Later on, in the price negotiation or in some sort of negotiation, they say, “I need the truck tomorrow”, or “I need a better price”, or “I want a different color”.
  • Now, I can go back to say, “Well, I understand from our first conversation your current truck broke down and you said you really need one. So I know this is important, but going back to what you told me at the very beginning having a truck is critical to you. And this is a truck we have ready to go right now.”

Do you notice what I’m doing? I’m going back to their objectives. So, one of the ways that you downplay or minimize negotiations is by going back to objectives. But first, you have to find out what those objectives are when it comes to the sales process and preparing for negotiations.

Always make sure you get the buyer’s objectives, what’s important to them. Why are they doing this? Get that information up front. So, when they start to negotiate with you, you can bring that back and reinforce that and deflate the negotiation.

3. Provide options to assist your buyer’s decision-making

provide options to create a positive sales negotiation environment for your buyer
Alright, this third point I want you to consider is providing options.

There’s something out there called the rule of three. And in psychology, the rule of three really suggests that when we give three options to people, it tends to create a more positive environment.

From a sales perspective, if I tell you, “Here’s the thing I’m selling you and there’s the price.” It kind of creates a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer, doesn’t it? It’s black and white, it’s this or it’s not.

I’m really forcing my buyer, my prospect, into making that decision: “Do I go with this, or do I go with something else?”

So instead, I want you to think about providing options.

  • If you’re providing services, can you add additional services to create bigger, better options?
  • If you’re selling products, can you add more volume, faster delivery, or different features that add more options?

If you think about providing options, it moves us from a ‘yes-no’ type of answer to a ‘which option is best for me?’ response.

What that does is reduce the tendency to negotiate. Because if somebody says to me, well, I want these features, but I want that price, I can simply point to the options and say, “Well, that’s actually option three. Would you like to go ahead with that and get started?”

Options allow me in a negotiation to simply point back to various options. The options really remove that ‘go/no go’ or ‘yes/no’ decision that’s happening, which really means we having a better chance of closing the deal altogether.

4. Do not discount

negotiation sales training tip - do not discountAlright, tip number four: When it comes to negotiation, do not discount.

Now, I know in some cases you will have to make a price adjustment, I get it.

But if you’re following my previous tips on creating options, what you can do instead is if they want a lower price, you simply point to a different cheaper, lower-priced option.

As soon as we go to discounting, especially if you go there quickly, we really set the stage for them to wonder, “Huh, how low will they go?’

Or worse yet, if you’re selling them other products, “Are they overcharging me?” That is not the message we want to send.

If you use options and they ask for a price discount, now you’re in the position to point to cheaper options that will allow them to get the price they want, but maybe not get everything they want as far as the value in what they see.

That sets up an entirely different conversation, and it avoids the discounting and raising questions in the minds of your buyer regarding “How low will they go?”

As a sales professional, there’s one thing you’ll need to really take some of these strategies and put them into play, and that is some method of planning them into your days, weeks, and months.

For that reason, I created what I call the 30-Day Sales Action Planner. You can grab your copy by clicking the link.

It’s free! Click the link, grab your copy, put it into practice, try it out, and let me know how it works for you. It’s a gift, and I know if you use it, it’s going to help you integrate some of these tips we’ve talked about today.

Now, to add to your negotiation sales training and to improve your negotiation skills, I’d suggest you learn how to be more influential. I’d suggest you watch this video and use that as a way to improve your skills and ultimately reduce the number of negotiations that you get into.

Until next time, let’s get out there and go sell something!

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© Shawn Casemore 2023. All Rights Reserved.

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