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Negotiations Gone Bad

I pride myself on really understanding a prospects needs before I ever propose a solution.  Experience has taught me to ask prospective questions over and over again to make sure I have not put words into the prospective clients’ mouth or have misinterpreted exactly what a prospective client is telling me.  I even go so far as to try and put myself in the prospects shoes so I can try and understand their world and the challenges that they have.

Being a professional sales and marketing person I have never forgotten what one of my early mentors told me, “a sale never happens until you are of service to your client.”  I treat people with respect and expect to receive the same respect in return but in far too many instances this is not the case.  I do not always get the respect back that I give and I do my best not become angered about it and move on to the next potential prospect.

Once one takes a prospect from the research and fact-finding process  to the solution process negotiations for commitment have begun.  During the solution phases sellers need to present their solution in an engaging methodical manner while asking questions of the prospect to make sure you are receiving affirmations by the buyer that what you are sharing hits the mark and that the solutions that are being proposed meets the audiences needs.  All the way you should continue to ask questions or check with the prospect so that they completely understand what you are saying resonates with them and hits the mark.

So you believe you are ready for the close right?  Be careful because many buyers will agree with you in each and every step of the process and then something changes.  The deal you thought you had starts to fall apart.  What happened?  Face it not all prospects are honorable and perhaps if you spent more time probing and less time trying  to get the deal perhaps this would not have happened.  People who try an negotiate your fees after all everyone agrees on price and time-frames have not gotten the budget or approval you thought you had.  You have sold this prospect on value not price and it’s been my experience that people who take an inch will always try and take a mile down the road.  By asking the right questions you can save yourself a great deal of angst and close more deals than the ones you lose,

Comments

  1. Hi Michael,

    thank you for sharing, you made some very interesting points here.
    I especially agree on “Experience has taught me to ask prospective questions over and over again to make sure I have not put words into the prospective clients’ mouth or have misinterpreted exactly what a prospective client is telling me.”

    One of the most effective negotiation tools I implemented in my business is a short checklist of key questions which are always relevant to my services (including requested delivery date, formatting & file format preferences, preferred terminology for specific areas etc.).
    This gives me with all the valuable information I need to provide the customer with an effective solution to suit their needs, as well as introducing the prospective customer to the realm of professional translations, so that when a new project will come up they will already have a better grasp of what it would involve.

    Cheers,
    Alessandra

    • Alessandra,

      Thank you for the comment. Prospective questions are wonderful because they get your prospect talking and the number one subject that prospects and clients like to talk about is themselves. When one engages in conversation and encourages the prospect to talk it is amazing how much information they will reveal and you find your self simply restating what they have told you, map your services or solutions to their needs and like you say – bingo a deal is made.

      Best,

      Michael

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