The best trading techniques are hidden in the most basic places of your trading operation; know where to find them!
The term “negotiation techniques” often refers to tips to delight and win over customers, almost like infallible recipes to make the Lead fall for your company. Suggestions such as:
- Create rapport ;
- Generate value;
- Be resilient;
- Use mental triggers.
These words are enshrined in sales and no wonder. When used well, they are techniques that generate good results and help negotiations move forward. However, in a deeper analysis, they all boil down to five fundamental characteristics of a good salesperson, which we will discuss in this post.
The idea here is to show what negotiation techniques are, what they are for and which ones are best to use in your company. Believe me, they are often hidden in the most basic places in your business operation! And if you don’t value them, even if you’ve mastered rapport, value creation, resilience, and the use of mental triggers, it’s going to be harder and harder to keep hitting your sales targets.
What are trading techniques?
Negotiation techniques are behaviors and skills used frequently in the sales field with the aim of closing more deals. To put them into practice, the salesperson needs to use his power of persuasion, influencing the decision of potential customers and reaching the best deal for both parties.
But it is worth remembering: although the ultimate goal is to close deals, the idea is not to sell at any cost, but to lead to a closure that is beneficial to everyone involved in the negotiation. For this, the agreement must meet the consumer’s needs, and not only serve to meet the seller’s goals.
It is common for sales professionals to learn negotiation techniques based on their own experience, acquired in their daily work in the commercial area. But instead of improvising, the professional can also look for proven tips, like the ones we’ll present later.
What are trading techniques for?
Now that you know the concept, let’s understand what trading techniques are for.
The purpose of using negotiation techniques is to drive sales towards a result that makes sense to everyone involved, streamlining the sales process.
A negotiation can have several possible outcomes, as it is possible to negotiate from the form of payment to delivery deadlines and other details of the offer. In this sense, the techniques serve precisely to ensure that the seller and customer are satisfied with the deal closed.
When using a negotiation technique, the salesperson can emphasize a certain aspect of the product or service they are offering, but they should never omit information that is important to the customer.
Trying to make the sale at any cost may seem like a good idea when the goal is to hit the target, but remember that in the medium and long term this is not sustainable and can even cause damage to the company. A misaligned customer can end up canceling the contract, which is quite detrimental, especially for businesses that use the recurring revenue model.
5 negotiation techniques to win customers
Once you know what trading techniques are and what they are for, it’s time for you to get to know the main ones!
1. Know and understand your audience
It is very common to contact customers who have no real buying potential, and a salesperson cannot waste time on opportunities that will not materialize. Starting from a fit valuation model — the client’s fit with your offer — it’s much easier to see if a deal has a future or not.
Likewise, it is possible to create a communication standard based on what your audience needs and values. The more targeted and personalized the selection of Leads and opportunities, the simpler it will be to align the sales pitch and close the deal!
We’ve already talked about defining the Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) on several occasions here on the blog. You can read more about this topic in the post-Empathy Map: What It Is and 6 Steps to Create a Quality.
It is important to emphasize that this process is much more about recognition than definition, in reality. You will study your most successful sales, those that happened almost without any obstacles, to understand which traits in these customers made the difference for everything to evolve well.
At this point, use all the data you have registered, such as:
- Demographics, especially in B2C sales;
- In B2B sales, consider company size, revenue, and segment;
- The main complaints of a customer when looking for your solution;
- Which offer or condition in the negotiation generates the most value for a customer.
Also, evaluate the work of your competitors. How do they act to meet the needs of the public? How do they position themselves? What’s different about their business process?
All this knowledge will lead the salesperson to have the peace of mind to refute objections, apply mental triggers and design attractive proposals, with the certainty that he understands that customer and knows how to charm him in a conversation. The confidence that comes with information is an excellent trading technique.
2. Define a sales methodology and framework
SPIN Selling, Bant, GPCT, and WBD are acronyms for sales methods, not negotiation techniques. Having a sales methodology helps you organize your sales process, align salespeople’s speech, and define how you will approach future customers.
That is, they are not the technique itself, but allow you to develop different ways to trade based on your customer. The SPIN Selling method, for example, works with four pillars that the seller needs to identify in a commercial approach:
There are four questions that need to be answered so that the seller has inputs to continue with the negotiation. They allow you to understand where the customer is, the problems they are facing, the impact of those problems, and what kind of solution they really need.
Note that at no time do we talk about your product: it is not the focus in this case. The seller’s intention needs to be to understand the customer and their reality and then visualize how the product fits into that need if any.
By choosing a methodology, you can adapt your entire sales roadmap, focusing on the questions the methodology addresses and ensuring that salespeople follow the process.
You should also instruct salespeople to make it clear to the customer why they are asking these questions and why they are so important. This helps to create the much-desired rapport, proximity, and empathy in the sales process, connecting seller and customer.
You can read more about SPIN Selling and other methodologies in the posts:
- SPIN Selling: What It Is and How This Methodology Will Help You Succeed
- Cross-selling and upselling: two terms you need to know
The sales methodology is not necessarily a negotiation technique, but it does provide the salesperson with the fuel necessary to negotiate with confidence. Therefore, in addition to choosing a methodology and including it in the process, it is essential to train salespeople so that they understand and absorb the method, especially if there are changes in the Ideal Customer Profile or business strategy.
3. Continuously work on your sales playbook
Are you sure your sellers are doing well? How to ensure that all customers are well served?
A sales playbook is a complete answer to these questions. However, many professionals still have doubts about how to create a playbook, search for ready-made models on the internet, cannot put it into practice and feel lost.
This is because a sales playbook will never be created from scratch, defined as a rule and end. It must be alive, built, revised, improved, and redone whenever the results show that it is necessary. You can’t get a ready-made model, hand it to the sellers and ask them to follow it.
The sales playbook must first contain:
- The record of day-to-day routines and processes;
- Tools used and application of each of them in the process;
- Sales scripts employed;
- Work methodologies (sales methods, task organization techniques, etc.);
- Area alignments with Marketing and other sectors;
- Metrics used in monitoring and evaluating results.
Also, document how the business process should work optimally, with the expected sales cycle, number of contacts, average ticket, and all pertinent information.
Thus, the sales playbook not only contains everything the salesperson needs to follow the process to the letter but also helps sales management to map bottlenecks in the funnel and understand which routines work or not. It is also important to apply the playbook in training new salespeople to teach them the ideal process from the beginning.
Of course, special situations will arise over time that will challenge the process and give rise to new rules or procedures. Therefore, the playbook needs to be revised periodically.
To do so, collect feedback from sellers on the playbook application and also assess customer satisfaction with the sales process, in addition to monitoring the goals and progress of the funnel through your CRM.
Useful articles for defining your sales playbook:
- OKR: what is it and how the methodology can help your company to have more results
- Metrics in CRM: which indicators to monitor in the sales operation?
- How to set goals for the sales funnel and break them down into channels
4. Define your sales routine
Do you ever feel in the dark when it comes to monitoring the progress of tasks and accessing information about sales in progress?
There is no negotiation technique that can overcome a company’s internal disorganization. Customers notice when a salesperson is not completely secure during contact, and the best way to avoid losing money is to have a well-defined routine. Our tip is to use a complete CRM.
Sellers need to have ways to organize their tasks in order of priority, giving preference to deals that are closer to the closing date (according to the sales cycle) or that have a higher average ticket (which are more profitable for the company).
At the same time, it is no use using CRM for this control and having to resort to external documents to record conversations, negotiation details and important notes about each customer. Your CRM must allow this type of record and have easy access, in addition to keeping all calls and emails recorded and saved in the tool.
Finally, don’t forget to record the reasons for lost sales. Depending on what made the purchase impossible at that time, you can:
- Trying to recover customers in the future, if the reason is “project postponed”, “lack of funds” or some technical need that your product does not address today;
- Understand how to improve your offer, if you have many negotiations interrupted due to price or payment terms;
- Optimize your business process if you notice that many customers close with your competition while doing business with you;
- Review your Ideal Customer Profile and marketing and qualification actions, in case you lose a lot of sales due to a lack of fit between Lead and company.
If you’re still using spreadsheets to track goals, metrics, and reporting… Well, at some point you’ve probably been wasting your time with this process. And if you’re having trouble accessing important data, you can be sure your salesperson will have little clarity about it, too.
Having a sales routine defined in the playbook and properly organized in the CRM, both salespeople and customers benefit from the best negotiation technique: assertiveness.
5. Understand the mistakes made by the area
When we think of good salespeople, we usually imagine successful professionals, earning high commissions, happy life with a portfolio of satisfied customers.
And this image may even make sense, but considering a process of constant evolution, the best salesperson is the one who makes mistakes quickly.
Yes, because problems are part of the process. Proposals will not be accepted, bureaucracy will prevent contract closures, customers will change their minds and the seller is also subject to making mistakes, there is no negotiation technique to prevent this.
The key is knowing how to make mistakes: noticing the mistake, working to resolve its impacts and quickly understanding what it can improve. Training sellers to spot the error points in a trade is a powerful technique because it prevents problems from recurring in the future.
The reasons for lost sales are good ways to find mistakes, as mentioned above. Other ways to understand errors in a business process are:
- Evaluate the average length of the sales cycle for each salesperson against the ideal sales cycle defined in the playbook;
- Monitor the variation of the average ticket, as a ticket that drops monthly can mean problems in the quality of opportunities;
- Request feedback from customers when they close a contract before the deadline, as any expectations created during the negotiation may be out of line with the company’s delivery;
- Listen to recordings of lost business calls, looking for points in the process that were not followed or incorrect approaches.
With this information, management can work to minimize process problems, while salespeople can focus on improving their professional skills and even soft skills — such as resilience, communication and empathy, which are great allies of the sales team!
Go beyond negotiation techniques
As you could see, negotiation techniques are much more the result of a good job of organization, monitoring, and definition of processes than of ready-made recipes to win customers.
To continue learning and going beyond negotiation techniques, download the Sales Techniques and Methodologies kit, a complete guide with strategies to convince, delight and retain customers. In it you get to know the main sales methodologies used around the world.