Trade has become extraordinarily complex in today’s world. Customers are more sophisticated and often have all the information they think they need, even before talking to a salesperson. Therefore, during the buying process, they expect to have a more collaborative, professional, and respectful conversation, which does not necessarily begin with the introduction of the seller and ends with the customer haggling over the price. We want to give you some advice on trading strategies
However, although customers have changed, many sellers are still tempted to use bargaining techniques based on haggling, lowering the price, or throwing in “value-added” to close the sale. When the seller gives in on pricing, instead of respectfully and intelligently negotiating a mutually beneficial deal, margins and profitability suffer.
According to William Ury (co-founder of the Harvard Negotiation Program), the new sales trade process must be based on principles. Negotiations should focus on increasing the size of the perceived “pie or pie”, and expanding the range of opportunities for both the seller and the customer.
By focusing on four simple strategies, salespeople can explore the interests behind their clients’ positions and expand their options. This means leaving the “hard bargaining” mentality based on firm stances and entering a principled bargaining mode.
Tips for learning to Trade
The application of these principles increases the probability of reaching agreements that benefit both the seller and the customer.
Let’s see these 4 strategies:
- Separate the person from the problem. With traditional negotiation approaches, the discussion can easily turn contentious when the customer raises objections about price or other thorny issues. In principled negotiation, the salesperson will try to move away from confrontation and toward collaboration. Separate the customer from his problem.
- Identify the interests behind the position. In a traditional negotiation, people tend to take a firm stance and stick with that stance. Whatever the customer’s interests, it’s critical that the salesperson continues to ask questions to uncover them and then align with them to ease the path to a deal.
- Invent options for mutual gains. The path to a win-win agreement lies in exploring ways to create new options. Knowing the interests of the client, not only the positions, will allow modifying the proposal to align with the key interests of the client, reaching a satisfactory agreement for both parties.
- Present independent standards. Almost all negotiations have areas where the customer and the seller will disagree, whether it is about the price, terms, or conditions. This is where independent standards play a critical role in reducing this gap, as they refer to unbiased and objective information that can be used as a measuring instrument to choose between alternatives.
In conclusion, current clients value long-term relationships and principled negotiation over a “win at all costs” approach. They prefer collaborative conversations, fair results, and a process that ensures their needs are met.