I believe that every B2B salesperson knows that negotiation is a very important task in communicating with customers. You may have read a lot of classic books on how to negotiate the price with customers, or learned a sales course like magic negotiation skills.
Table of Contents
A Negotiation Failure Example
You plan to have a good talk with your potential clients based on the negotiation strategies and tactics learned in the book or course.
However, as soon as you opened your mouth, the customer interrupted you and said:
“Let’s make a long story short. Now we can only accept this price. Can you make it? If you cannot, there are several other companies that can.“
Are you astonished or embarrassed? It’s normal to face such a situation, whether for a professional or new sales.
Why does this happen? Did you fail to learn negotiation strategies, or those negotiation strategies are useless? Maybe neither.
Selling First, Then Negotiating
It is more likely that you acted too hastily, and the relationship between you and the client has not yet reached the time to negotiate. In other words, you did not do some necessary works before the negotiation, or you did not do it at all, but you’re in the state of negotiation ahead of time.
The Real Relationship and Difference Between Selling and Negotiating
What are these necessary works? That is the selling process. For example, if selling is like chasing a goddess, then negotiation is a prenuptial agreement with the goddess. What do you think is the probability of success if you ask the goddess for the marriage without a process of pursuing? It’s almost zero.
The goddess did not even think that you are different from other suitors, nor did she think that she must marry you. How can you say “Marry me?” Are you in a hurry?
Therefore, there must be a sales process before negotiation. This process is to allow the goddess and you to trust each other and need each other. It may not must be you, but at least you have a unique value in the mind of the goddess.
If she is willing to get along with you, your sales can be successful. Only after this step will you have the premise to negotiate price and other conditions. Therefore, selling is a task that must be completed before negotiation.
The goal of sales is to understand and explore the needs of customers, and be able to put forward your solution according to the needs of customers. Furthermore, making customers recognize the value of your solution to them.
That is to say, you’re going into the stage of negotiation when the customer’s desire has been obviously triggered, and your solution is the customer’s first choice. At this time, you can use the negotiation strategies you have learned, and the negotiation skills will be effective.
The important task of negotiation is the exchange of values between the two parties. At the same time, both parties are looking for how to get the most benefit from the other party.
Now you can understand what is the real difference between selling and negotiating? They are the sequence of the whole process of dealing with customers. Selling comes first, and negotiating comes later. Selling focuses on the needs and value of customers, while negotiating is how you can maximize your profits or benefits in this business.
The more solid the sales work you do early, the easier the negotiation in the later stage. If your goddess is fascinated by you, who else will she follow if she doesn’t follow you?
For more: when in the negotiation with the customer, will you first quote the price or let the other party quote first, the reason is?