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Most negotiating problems are selling problems - weaknesses in the sales process that become evident when you go to final negotiation. Great negotiators focus on being great sellers first, reducing the amount of negotiating to a minimum. The key is to make sure you don’t just treat the symptoms, but that you go to the source.

Buyers will always try to get as much as they can for their money—but you can’t deliver quality products and services if you give up too many yards in the negotiating game. It is in both your best interest and your customer’s that you MASTER the art of negotiating. Remember: Everything you want is owned or controlled by someone else. You and your team are negotiating all the time!

Many think that negotiating begins when the buyer asks “how much?” In the Sandler Negotiating Mastery course, business leaders learn how to set up for negotiating success at the beginning of the sales process and carry it through to the end. What does that look like?

Building and Sustaining the Relationship is the foundation on which business relationships are built.

Create bonds with prospects and buyers by being sensitive to their preferences for interacting and understand the dynamics of the interactions. Set expectations early on about exactly what will take place – why, when, how long and the role each party will play in reaching the defined objectives.

Qualifying the Opportunity is done through the criteria of Pain, Budget and Decision.

Not only must you determine if the prospect’s problem can be solved with your product or service but you will be helping the prospect discover for him or her the contributing reasons for the problem. Are they willing and able to make the appropriate investment to successfully solve the problem? You will also need to determine the who, what, when, where, why and how the decision is made.

Closing the Sale is where you will get a positive decision or a negative decision and discuss buyer’s remorse.

During your presentation, you demonstrate the goodness of fit between their problems and your solutions by revealing only those aspects of the solutions that specifically address the problems—nothing more, nothing less. The conclusion to this step is a “yes” or a “no” decision to either buy or move to the next step in the case of complex sales. If there is a “yes” to move forward, you will want to ensure against buyer’s remorse by dealing with situations or problems that might sabotage the sale. Think of it as diffusing the bomb before it blows up.

You can become a master negotiator by selecting a system and following it. Most people don’t have a system or don’t follow one and their results show it. Salespeople aren’t born salespeople. A salesperson learns what it takes to succeed and does it. He may not like certain parts of his job, but he follows a system to ensure the highest rate of success possible.

The skill of negotiating can be similarly acquired; you can learn what it takes to succeed and how to follow that process. The Sandler Selling System® methodology is a process that focuses on the buyer and his needs all the way through the process. It is conversational in nature, rather than depending on scripted behaviors on the part of the seller. Establishing rapport is as important in the negotiation process as it is in the sales process.

The best negotiators are the ones who negotiate very little or don’t negotiate at all. They use a process that sets them up for success from the very beginning. They establish a relationship and equal business stature. They uncover the real buying motives early and let the buyer establish value around the solution. They agree on next steps, outcomes and responsibilities. Most importantly they prevent stalls and objections before they come up.

Remember, you are selling your ideas and position in the negotiation process.

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