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Negotiating with customers

Knowing how to negotiate with customers is imperative to a business’s success. Salespeople need to be able to understand what the customer wants, set objectives, negotiate a higher price and also close the deal smoothly.

The following techniques are designed to help businesses and buyers come to a mutually beneficial conclusion.

State your purpose
It is fundamental to make the customer feel like you’re working with them, not against them. Begin a negotiation by stating an ideal outcome that’s good for both yourself and the other person. Using language like ‘best possible solution’ can show that you’re striving for a deal where both parties benefit, rather than one party benefiting at the expense of the other.

Be honest
Avoid using tactics designed to force the buyer’s hand. Never threaten to back out of the deal at the last minute or make them feel guilty. Instead, be transparent about the compromises you’re making.

Build rapport
Build rapport with the other person by matching their way of speaking. Use the same words and phrases, talk at a similar pace and echo their tone, whether it be casual, professional or humourous. To make this strategy more effective, you can also create some goodwill by paying them a genuine compliment.

Engage in active listening
Good negotiators spend most of the conversation asking questions and listening to build trust, rapport and gather information. Show the buyer you’re engaged and paying attention by recapping what they say, asking confirmation questions and avoiding interrupting or answering too quickly.


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