A checklist for winning sales negotiations

Euphues Learning specializes in providing niche training programs for managers in manufacturing industries, with specific capabilities in niche methodologies such as Lean, Agile and Theory of Constraints.  Janet, CEO of Euphues is both excited and anxious. A major car maker with several manufacturing facilities in different locations has evinced interest in the learning solutions offered by Euphues.
Getting the deal would help Euphues attain critical mass and hence the excitement. But anxiety came from Janet being aware that the prospective buyer is looking at similar offerings from larger players.
Janet is scheduled to meet the Chief Learning Officer of the prospect to discuss terms of offer. If she could get him to agree, that could be the break Euphues is waiting for. She wished her B School course had prepared her, for such make or break negotiations.

Sales negotiations are notorious for taking unexpected turns. So, is there any point preparing for them? Sales leaders will however tell you that playing by the ear is not the best way to handle sales negotiations. It is possible to go into a sales negotiation fully prepared and forearmed. Four important areas to prepare are:

  1. Analyse the Customer – Identify decision making patterns and sequences
  2. Analyse own offer – Components of offer, their value to Customer and relative cost to us. Points on which we have room to relax or extend concessions
  3. Analyse the most significant competitor – Do a SWOT with a difference
  4. Arrive at tactics – Cover both tactics and counter tactics to plan for

The benefits of good homework on sales negotiations are immediate and tangible. You know in advance what and where you can concede and what will be a walk-away position. So, chances are that you will not give away too much. You will be ‘surprise-proofed’ and not swayed by emotions.

Developing a comprehensive negotiation checklist specific to your requirements with detailed preparation points on all the above four areas will be helpful. So, if you are facing a crucial sales negotiation like Jane, you can access a readily usable template to build a Negotiation checklist.