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- Before the negotiation begins, prepare yourself; aim to appear keen to do the deal, but not desperate.
- Clarify your objectives (eg price, volume, or a quick sale) and how important the deal is to you.
- Find out what the customer wants. What features or extras do they value, and what are their priorities - price, service or delivery?
- Research the customer's position: how urgently they need your product, what they can afford and what alternatives the competition are offering.
- Assess the value of your offering to the customer: what benefits it offers, what problems it solves for them, what alternatives it replaces.
- Identify the strengths and weaknesses in your proposal and plan your strategy; aim to reach a deal which will suit the customer as well.
- Decide what could be negotiable; try to identify concessions which would cost you little but which the customer would value.
- Consider the potential impact on other deals and other customers of any concessions you make.
- Clarify your terms and conditions from the start of the negotiation.
- Pitch your opening price high; explain how the value in what you are offering justifies the price.
- Agree what the negotiating points are.
- Concentrate on asking questions and listening; fend off questions aimed at discovering your own negotiating position.
- Test the strength of any concessions the customer asks for; ask whether they are deal-breakers, or what alternatives there are.
- Look for reciprocation on any concessions you make: for example, an increased order size in exchange for a discount.
- Summarise each point as it is agreed; shake hands on the deal when all the points have been covered, and follow up with a written agreement.
- find out what the customer wants
- decide in advance what areas you are prepared to negotiate
- ask questions, and listen
- aim for reciprocation on any concessions
- confirm the deal with a written agreement
- make concessions from the start
- reveal your negotiating position
- throw in extra concessions for nothing