Sales/Sales Management

How to Negotiate

by robertr

January 23rd, 2008

Dear Carnegie Coach,

I am a sales professional who has just broken in to the sales field. Since I am new to this career field, I am still trying to figure out the most successful ways to close a deal with my customers. It seems that the customers I deal with are not accepting my offers as I present them. Do you have any advice?



Dear Allison

Welcome to the world of sales! One main thing that salespeople everywhere need to know how do to is negotiate with their customers. Negotiating has the ability to increase both volume and profit, when done effectively. It is important to develop negotiation strategies so that you can win each sale! Here are some points to remember about negotiating with clients.

    1. There should be three stages of every negotiation. Learning the other person’s goals and establishing what you want will direct the flow of the discussion. Gather information on the other person and his or her needs by doing your homework. The goal should be to reach a compromise. And both parties should leave the negotiation satisfied.

    2. Work with, not against, others in determining neutrally beneficial solutions. Try to create a win-win situation. Your customer should feel good about the transaction and you should walk away happy about your sale. Never attempt an offer too quickly; you don’t want to think you could have done better twenty minutes later, nor would you want to leave anything out.

    3. Finalize all agreements.
    Don’t depend on working out all the details later. Time pressures cause us to be vulnerable to compromise and human errors as well as the customer backing out later claiming certain points were not discussed. Offer to write up the agreement, if possible. There are always small points that are unclear. When you write the agreement, you define those points.

    4. Follow through.
    Do what you said you would do and do it when you said you would do it. Make sure the customer follows through on their end of the agreement.

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  1. Jancy /

    An “Extreme Couponing Sales Event” was tried at our store, and it was advertised a couple of months before it started.
    On the 2nd Day (Sunday Morning) of the event, a customer came in with hundreds of coupons that she had been saving up for the event. She picked out items for every one of the coupons, and filled the belt at the register with them, but kept the coupons together in her purse. She announced that the items were for church, and that she was “IN A
    HURRY”. The registers were not programmed to handle each purchase automattically with the coupons. Therefore, each item (or group of items) had to be manually figured and keyed accordingly. I knew that this whole transaction would take a lot of time, but I tried to hurry. First I rang up all of the items that did not have coupons. Then I started to ring the ones with coupons. I rang only the first 2 or 3, and the customer shouted, “This is taking too much time. I am going to be late for church”. I explained that the register was not set up to handle the extreme couponing, and that this event was just a trial. And that it would take time. Then she said: “you just don’t know what you are doing”, and wanted to know how long I had worked there. I had worked on that job for 5 years and was trained ahead of time for the event. So I called my supervisor over and explained the situation. My supervisor just put her control key in the register with her code and continued ringing up the order by bypassing the procedure in which we were trained. Then she proceded to blame me, saying that I should have put the coupons on each item to ring them up. That would have taken much more time to do before I even started ringing them up. The customer was already upset about the time anyway. I was “coached” and punished by being taken off the register. I was “in between the devil and the deep blue sea” as the saying goes.
    My question is: What should I have done? I feel like I was framed.