4 Negotiation Strategies that Destroy Deals

Jeff Cochran


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.

Own the Room by Building Your Leadership Presence

Jeff Cochran


You know it when you see it. Someone walks in the room and before they even speak, they exude authority and trustworthiness. Presence is difficult to define, but it can be developed. It doesn’t come from achieving results, and it isn’t always dependent on personality; instead, impression management plays a big part. Teach sales professionals to show up the way they want others to see them for improved success.

Focus on Authenticity

You want to create an impression of confidence and ability, but developing presence isn’t about pretending to be something you’re not. Draw others in and have a positive impact by being your best self.

What are your biggest strengths? When you were most successful, what key traits did you display to bring about that success? What are your best listening skills? Analyze where you are strongest and allow those traits to amplify as you develop your personal presence.

Change Your Posture

Self-confidence is an element critical to success. Sales might be one of the professions where projecting self-confidence is most challenging, since every interaction holds the potential for rejection. Men and women who have been in the profession for any length of time have been rejected, caught off guard, asked unanswerable questions and received criticism for the products and services they represent.

Project confidence by first changing your physical posture. Draw your shoulders back and raise your chin. If it helps, stand for a minute with your hands on your hips like a comic book superhero and find the confidence that lies within.

Activate confidence not just in your body, but in your brain by thinking back to when you met your goals, communicated successfully and walked out of a meeting feeling like a rock star. You don’t need to play back every aspect of the interaction, just connect with the emotional memory and bring back that positive sensation.

Practice Composure

Even if you walk in full of self-confidence, your feelings can quickly deflate under pressure. Recognize that even if things go well, your body will experience stress. Make sure your body language continues to communicate authority.

Know your product or service, understand why it’s the best value for your client, and allow stress to roll off your back. Recognize that judgement, criticism, and suspicion aren’t about you and respond from a position of calm. Your truthfulness, empathy, and credibility will build the solid relationships that lead to success.

Shapiro Negotiations Institute Welcomes a Norwegian Partner

Jeff Cochran


Today, SNI announces a new partnership with Roar Thun Waegger, currently an Associate Professor at the University of Oslo, who specializes in conflict resolution and negotiations. Roar, who recently started the Waegger Negotiations Institute, is a well-known professor and mediator in Scandinavia, and has extensively studied and applied the subject, including taking advanced courses at Harvard and Pepperdine Law Schools as well as training at the Shapiro Negotiations Institute.

Besides Roar’s impressive credentials, he understands, uses, and believes in SNI’s “Power of Nice” approach to negotiations. He will be taking SNI’s proven systematic approach to negotiations and teaching and consulting based on it in Norway.

An interest fact about Roar is that in July 2017, as a representative of the Norwegian Association of Lawyers, he hosted the International Negotiation Competition, a four-day event where 27 of the world’s best law students compete through mock negotiations.

Welcome to the team, Roar!

Why Sales Training Must Be a Continuous Process

Jeff Cochran


No one likes to lose money. Organizations invest in training to make their teams more effective, but even the very best sales training can be useless if it only takes place once. Successful salespeople soak up a large amount of information at one-time events but oftentimes can only implement a small amount of it right away. Over time, knowledge fades, and learning slips away. Learn how regular, targeted training creates an increasingly effective team and gets results.

Update Knowledge

For many sales professionals, the products and services they sell are continually changing. If your organization invests a considerable amount of resources into product development or service refinement, you want to make sure your staff is armed with knowledge that is up to date. Training that is only sporadic leaves sales professionals in the dark.

Use training to offer updated product information and to provide tips for letting customers know of improved value or functionality. Staff who have the most current information best represent your brand.

Outperform Competition

Your organization’s products aren’t the only ones that change. Your competitor is constantly innovating as well. Your staff doesn’t just need to know the strengths of what your organization offers, but what else is available to potential clients.

Use regular training to inform sales professionals about how your product compares to that of the competition. Be transparent about strengths and weaknesses so sales staff can competently answer objections.

Understand Buyers

Most organizations gather data on their clients’ needs, goals, and wants. Regular training provides some of those insights to sales professionals. Team leaders that spend less time in direct contact with clients stay connected, and reps receive the information they need to communicate effectively. When they understand the buyer, they are better able to respond with empathy and employ active listening skills.

Measure Results

Infrequent training might cause a short spike in productivity that quickly wanes. It’s hard to tell if that spike came from the knowledge employees learned during the training or just from the brief surge of excitement that often follows intense, focused staff development.

Regular training provides an opportunity to measure the correlation between sales training and increased revenue. Organizations can choose objectives that are in line with their goals, then track performance after each session to see which specific sales strategies led to greater success. As they hire new employees, they quickly become integrated into the culture of learning to provide consistent results for all teams.

Regular sales training puts cutting-edge techniques at your sales staff’s fingertips. Make it a continual process for a team who is always improving.