4:00 PM By Article Directory'; div.innerHTML = summary; } //]]> Best Practices In Sales Negotiation: The Best Way To Learn From Your Losses! Best Practices In Sales Negotiation: The Best Way To Learn From Your Losses!
One of the things that makes selling gratifying is that it's fairly easy to keep score of our wins and losses.
At the same time, what makes it unusually difficult is the fact that when we fail, we don't get high-quality, corrective feedback that tells us what to do, differently in our sales negotiations.
This means we're likely to repeat our errors, and that's not only frustrating, it's costly.
If you are a band of one, working by or for yourself, you can't possibly give yourself honest and truthful feedback, for the simple reason that we can't DO and CRITICIZE at the same time.
If you're in an organization, getting quality feedback is not much easier.
You'd think a sales manager or a peer could provide it, but how often do they actually monitor your negotiations? Moreover, they have their own goals and perceptions that distort your strengths and weaknesses.
To get honest feedback on your sales negotiations, to discern where, exactly, you came up, short, is essential if you want to improve. Where is that information to be found?
The good news is that it exists. The bad news is that the person that rejected you is the only one that has it. If you want to know why you didn't earn a sale, to discover exactly what the prospect did after relations with you ended, you have to ASK.
Why would I urge you onto a mission of fact-finding from non-buyers?
If you believe the misanthropic adage, "Buyers Are Liars," you can never expect to hear the truth from them, especially from those that didn't purchase from you at all; that either recoiled and did nothing, or that went to one of your competitors for what you offer.
Surely, they have to feel defensive, figuring you're going to pester them about something that is a done deal. Plus, if they dropped off the radar, which is typically how our failures register, they don't explicitly say NO very much anymore; can we really expect them to suddenly emerge from the shadows and shed light on our shortcomings?
And you might not want to solicit feedback, especially from them, now that they seem to have ZERO POTENTIAL. I grant you, getting mired in the past, even if it is recent, can keep you from facing today's challenges and today's prospects, those with continuing capacity to buy.
But if you start from the premise that: (1) You're likely to repeat your errors without quality feedback; (2) Non-buyers are the ideal sources for corrective information; and (3) Those that didn't buy are not crazy; that they are typical of prospects at large, then you must agree learning from them can very valuable.
Plus, there's satisfaction in ending the mystery of your misses.
I've done this with great success. In one case, sending a note, asking for feedback, because in addition to being a fill-in-the-blank, "I'm also a marketer who needs to keep learning and improving."
In one case, what I thought was a dead horse sprang to life, awarding me with a blue-ribbon, nationwide consulting contract.
Recently, a more modest inquiry revealed exactly WHO he bought from and WHEN; HOW MUCH he paid for the service, and the RESULTS obtained.
I learned what pricing will be competitive, and how a specific competitor operates, someone I'll encounter again and again.
This leaves me with a choice, as an entrepreneur. Do I want to earn this type of business in the future, or would I prefer to pass?
I have to admit I didn't value the prospect very highly. I perceived him as an amateur at buying the service in question, without a clear idea of his budget.
And without pertinent background, I believed he would buy based on price, not appreciating the quality I represented; and he did exactly that.
At the same time, his feedback told me I need to offer various "grades" of service in this area, if I am going to compete.
Based on the fact that this fellow answered quickly, and responded specifically to all of my emailed questions, suggests he was telling the truth.
There is no question I know, now, exactly what to do to "win" deals of this type.
Now, isn't that worth the 15 minutes it took me to compose that note?
Negotiating isn't always about haggling over prices and terms. Sometimes it involves getting quality feedback that may not revive a missed deal, but will position you to springboard to greater success in your sales negotiations in the future.
Dr. Gary S. Goodman has helped countless people and companies to prosper, through his books, seminars, and consulting.
He is the creator of "Best Practices in Negotiation," a top-rated course that he conducts at U.C. Berkeley and UCLA Extension, and on a custom basis, for corporations and organizations, worldwide. The best-selling author of more than a dozen books, his newest title is: DR. GARY S. GOODMAN'S 77 BEST PRACTICES IN NEGOTIATION, available online at: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Lulu: http://www.lulu.com/browse/search.php?fListingClass=0&fSearch=dr.+gary+s+goodman%27s+77+best+practices+in+negotiation.
An internationally applauded thought leader and practitioner in sales, telemarketing, negotiation, and customer satisfaction, Gary's training programs have been sponsored by 40 universities, major trade and professional associations, and by Fortune 1000 corporations. He can be contacted about professional speaking and consulting engagements at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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