We’ve been covering how to convert a pitch into an actual sale and have been talking about persuasion, objection handling and now negotiation. For me objection handling is part of the sales process and a negotiation is where you’ve been selected and now just need to sort out the details.
The number one rule is that you should never enter into a negotiation if you aren’t prepared to walk away with nothing.
It’s not a Versus
When it comes to negotiation you can’t think of it as you vs the client. In no way do you ‘win’ a negotiation. You are trying to build up a long lasting relationship with a potential client, not get one over them.
Don’t get caught out
The main thing with negotiation is not to be put on the spot when it comes to pricing. It looks unprofessional if you’re puling numbers out f thin air. Whenever money is being talked there needs to be a good level of detail. The same can be said of information. If you don’t have all the information a potential client needs, then don’t sign off or promise anything until you can.
Quick and Simple
Generally I think negotiation should be quick and easy. Hopefully the client will understand the value of what you do, in some cases they might have a set budget and its just a case of weighing up if you can come down to meet that.
Some clients though will simply try to play hardball with you. I think sometimes they just do this to try it on to see if they can get away with it. In other cases they just don’t know better. My advice on this is definitely don’t undersell yourself, but also try not to take offense or be rude. Remember my core rule about negotiation, you have to be prepared to walk away and if that means this person doesn’t become your client then so be it. In this situation I would explain why you cost so much, but also offer some alternatives. This could be a different service, using a different technique for example that won’t cost as much.
This leads me to my last tip. Don’t negotiate. If you charge £120 a day and the client’s budget is only £100, then you just give them less time. Remember that everyone wants to feel as if they have got a good deal, but if it’s not good for both of you then its probably better not to go ahead.