People, whether they’re in marketing or manufacturing, generally enter a meeting with preconceived ideas and outside concerns that affect the way they listen. Salespeople can build relationships, or they can forever kill deals when they make some of the following mistakes.
Focus on Your Needs
It’s good to have goals, but, if all you’re thinking about is what you want out of the negotiation, your efforts are doomed to failure. Research your client so you know their needs and how your product or service can meet them. Realize they have lives outside of the meeting just like you do.
You must set aside what’s going on in your personal life, work pressure, and scheduling concerns to be mentally present. They have the same things warring in the back of their mind. Analyze how your presentation brings your customer value, makes them more effective, or enhances their current offerings.
Talk Too Much
You’re there to communicate about what you offer, but, if you do all the talking, it’s not a negotiation. Let your client know you’re listening by encouraging questions, then giving their concerns your full attention. Listen for clues to their interests or concerns.
Instead of using their statements to launch into the next part of your presentation, simply resay what they said back to them. Leave room for the customer to give you more information or share more about what they need.
Focus on Winning Instead of Collaborating
During negotiations, seek to partner with your client and not squeeze everything you can out of the deal. The first step is to present the value you bring to the table. The second step is to assign a dollar amount to that value.
Instead of just presenting the price of products and services, explain other benefits like warranty, maintenance, customization, or improved productivity. Know not just how the deal will make you money but how it will make the client money as well.
Rush to Close
There’s more to sales than delivering information and getting clients to sign on the dotted line. Timing is a critical element, where rushing clients to make a decision and waiting to follow up can both have disastrous results.
If a client isn’t ready to make a commitment, being pushy will alienate them. Protect the relationship by respecting their need for time and possibly more information. Regular follow-up that continually seeks to be helpful allows you to stay in contact and move them toward making a decision in line with your goals.