Sales Negotiation Skills to Maximize Outcomes

By RED BEAR October 12, 2023 | 7 min read

The right negotiation skills will get you much more than the best price. In fact, if negotiators focus solely on the transactional aspect of the deal, they’re leaving value on the table.

Skilled sales professionals understand the power of negotiation and use sales negotiation skills to not only reach the best deal but maximize the outcome for both parties. This can result in long-term relationships that pay off time and time again.

But, to get this right requires an understanding of the principles and behaviors of successful negotiation as well as a balance between the three dimensions of a negotiation.

It’s not about cookie-cutter strategies or one-time use manipulative tactics. Today’s buyers simply won’t fall for these tired and played-out strategies. They’re more informed than ever and looking for someone they can trust.

Here at RED BEAR Negotiation, we teach the sales negotiation methodology utilized by 45% of the Fortune 500. Through our Situational Negotiation Skills program, sales professionals learn the skills, tools, and behaviors they need to craft profitable, value-based agreements with customers and internal team members.

Let’s explore the value that effective sales negotiation training can bring to your organization.

Manipulative Sales Tactics: Why They Don’t Work

With COVID-era disruptions starting to appear in the rearview mirror, many organizations say we’re “past the breakers” and shifting spending away from emergency preparedness and toward other areas focused on growth and workforce initiatives. One of these areas of growth-oriented investment is in training and development like negotiation training. 

But, the right sales negotiation skills training matters.

To understand why, we need to talk about the tactics that other training organizations use and teach. Tactics are any method used to gain an end, especially a short-term one.

At RED BEAR, we’ve identified several types of tactics we see often during sales negotiations:

  • Procedural
  • Legitimacy and Limited Resources
  • Personal Power-Up
  • Lie, Cheat, and Steal

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Now, tactics come with some heavy emotional baggage. If someone says, “I worked with XTech on a sales deal once. They used some tactics during negotiations,” what are your initial reactions?

For most of us, our minds jump to manipulation. The word tactic almost seems intrinsically tied to the idea of manipulation. Outside the obvious ethical implications of using tactics, there are often legal consequences of offering false information. Also, when up against a skilled negotiator, tactics always fall flat. To master the counter, sales professionals need to learn to dig deeper past their first reaction.

In reality, the legitimate use of a tactic comes down to intent. If there is intent to manipulate with false or misleading information, that’s a tactic through and through. But, if there’s only a perceived use of a tactic without malicious intent, it might just be a tough situation.

Here’s an example. Let’s say a customer comes back and says: “I will only go forward with this deal if we lower the price per unit. We just don’t have the budget to make this work at this price.”

On the one hand, there may be no budgetary issues at all. It could just be a lie to get the price down. On the other hand, this could very well be a true statement and simply a tough situation that the client finds themselves in.

Skilled negotiators need to realize the importance of diagnosing the true nature of the behavior at hand before responding.

Responding to Tactics

So, what can you do if you encounter a tactic? It’s all about understanding the behaviors of effective negotiation.

Remember that the goal of using a tactic is to throw the other side off their balance, make them lose their focus, and make them reactive rather than proactive. That’s why we teach our clients to use countermeasures, not counter-tactics. The last thing you want to do is stoop down to the level of the other party and pull out the same manipulative techniques they’re using against you.

If we allow ourselves to succumb to our first reactions of confusion and anger, tactics have a greater chance of success. So, don’t get mad or try to get even. Instead, leverage the negotiation behaviors to your advantage.

Let’s take a look at this idea in action. Let’s say a client is showing up late to negotiations. This might be a classic personal “power-up” tactic. The countermeasure here would be to use both the Make Demands and Ask Open Questions behaviors.

First, why are they late? By asking open questions, you can get closer to the truth and find out if this is indeed the use of a manipulative tactic. If you can identify the tactic being used, you can then call attention to it, raise it as an issue, and then use the Make Demands behaviors to negotiate the end to the use of the tactic.

The Value of the Right Sales Negotiation Process

With around 51% of currently employed workers saying they are watching or actively seeking a new job, businesses looking to retain and engage need to adopt learning and development initiatives that show workers they’re valued. 

One great way to show your team that their growth is a top priority is through effective negotiation training — the kind of training they can take with them in their career, no matter where they go. Again, though, the right training company matters. The last thing you want is to go through a training program that, at best, teaches tactics that work one time and, at worst, leverages strategies that alienate your customers.

Here at RED BEAR, we teach a methodology that maximizes outcomes, not just once, but every time.

To maximize the value of deals and reach win-win outcomes, businesses need to build standards around negotiation. When everyone uses the same language, the same terms, and the same process, you can not only get predictable results but also look past the current deal and see the value of long-term relationship building.

The RED BEAR Negotiation methodology focuses on a well-designed and effective negotiation process

“The RED BEAR Negotiation methodology focuses on a well-designed and effective negotiation process.”

This covers the initial planning phase, preparing an action plan, negotiation analysis, and much more. When negotiators walk into discussions well-prepared and with an understanding of the fundamentals of successful negotiation, they can enter negotiations with confidence and can find creative solutions that satisfy both parties.

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Becoming Proactive Over Reactive

One key aspect of our negotiation methodology is to be proactive, not reactive. The last thing you want your negotiators to do is lose control and give in to their worst emotional response. 

For many, the first reaction is to act purely in a self-interested fashion. While this dimension of negotiation, the Competitive, is important, it can’t be the only way negotiators operate. To reach outcomes that maximize value for both parties, sales professionals need to balance the self-interested side of negotiations with the Collaborative Dimension. With these two in balance, they can create healthy tension that leads to creative breakthroughs and win-win outcomes.

That’s the power of a negotiation process; that’s the power of RED BEAR training.

Get Ahead with RED BEAR

With negotiation skills based on the fundamentals of effective negotiation, anyone can maximize the value of the deal and find creative solutions that satisfy both parties’ needs. It’s all about building a robust negotiation process founded on the principles, behaviors, and dimensions of negotiation.

That’s exactly what the RED BEAR methodology is all about. 

We’re not interested in manipulative tactics or one-time-use strategies. We’re about transforming individuals into world-class negotiators who understand the value of long-term relationships and can balance their self-interest with collaboration to unlock creative outcomes.

Our training gets results. For every dollar invested in RED BEAR training, our clients receive back, on average, $54 — talk about value!

To learn more about RED BEAR and our sales negotiation training course, Situational Negotiation Skills, be sure to connect with the team today.

Fill out our contact form and we will be back to you in no later than one business day.

 

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