5 keys to winning negotiations with cost-conscious buyers

Budgets are tight, and competition is tighter. Right now, most buyers feel like you need their business more than they need you. But here are five ways to turn the tables and create an atmosphere where they’re bargaining based on your terms.

  1. Know your walk-away point: With so many companies competing for every prospect’s dollar, it’s natural for customers to haggle for a lower price or better terms. Know what you’re willing to concede before the process begins, and never grant a concession without asking for something in return.
  2. Differentiate your offer: The Internet makes it much easier for prospects to hop online and do competitive shopping. Be prepared by knowing what others on the market offer and why you can offer a better investment for each prospect’s dollar.
  3. Find out where the current supplier is coming up short: This is where the prospect’s pain is. Ask questions to get to the heart of what you can offer prospects that their current supplier cannot, and use that as the focal point of your value proposition.
  4. Establish multiple points of contact: The more people you know, the easier it is to gain a foothold at the prospect’s company (and determine how the buying decision will impact different departments). A lot of buying decisions need to be approved by a committee these days. The more members you can win over, the better your chance of gaining a majority vote.
  5. Frame your offer in terms of how it benefits all parties involved: Most prospects understand that you’re trying to close them. Rather than pretending like it’s just about them, be honest about what your company is willing to offer to build a mutually beneficial partnership based on trust. The more prospects trust what you’re telling them, the stronger the relationship will be.

Source: Strategies to Build Negotiating Power” by Geoffrey James.

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