Whether your sales team is crushing it every month or struggling to reach targets, you can always get better results.
One of the main reasons sales teams don’t reach their full potential is because they bring the wrong tactics to the table.
If your goal is teaching your team to negotiate better deals, here are three lessons you’ll need to get across to achieve that objective.
1. Get into the Right Mindset
Many salespeople enter every negotiation with the wrong mindset. They think they’re there to convince someone to buy what they’re selling. They think they need to do everything they can to make every single sale.
This approach is rooted in pride, ego, and self-indulgence. It’s wholly based on the salesperson’s point of view and doesn’t take into account why your customer came to the table in the first place.
Going to the table with the wrong mindset leads you to explain more than you need to and potentially go over ground that is already familiar to your counterpart.
If your sales team is going to reach its full potential, everyone needs to go into every negotiation with the right mindset—one in which they’re always curious about the other side’s position.
If anyone on your team needs help here, teach them how to develop their mindset before a negotiation.
2. Position Yourself as a Trusted Advisor
The job of a salesperson is to become a trusted advisor.
You want the other side to trust your influence enough for them to purchase the product or service you suggest because they feel like you understand their exact circumstances.
To gain that trust-based influence, you first need to understand why your counterpart is there in the first place.
Every salesperson’s goal should be to identify precisely what brings the other side to the table. Putting an emphasis on verbalizing that understanding is what actually creates trust and respect.
It’s easy to get this basic concept wrong as a salesperson. You spend so much time on product knowledge, demos, drilling down on the pitches, all of that. So you often forget that the other person came to you because they have questions and hope you have answers. Instead of approaching the conversation with curiosity, you go into your spiel about such and such, and the message doesn’t connect with your counterpart.
Encourage your team to drop the pitch and focus on the needs of the other side. When you prove that you understand their position, they’ll start to understand you, and they’ll start to trust you.
3. Work in Teams of Two
Many salespeople operate independently. When you’re working by yourself every day, it’s easy to get caught up in the monotony of it all. You pick up the phone, say the thing, and respond to the other side. When you hang up the phone, you pick it up again and repeat the process ad infinitum.
If the goal is getting your team to negotiate better deals, consider splitting your team up into pairs and making each sale a tag-team process. This will give everyone a leg up. At the end of each conversation, the duo can debrief each other, identifying things the other might have missed and drawing new conclusions because of it.
When you’re assembling teams, it’s important to keep personalities in mind. Because humans are all different, there’s no simple formula that tells us exactly who should work with someone else. But using generalities, we can make some pretty good guesses.
If you’re using the Kolbe Wisdom index as your guide, try to pair a Follow Thru, someone who is structured yet flexible, with a Quick Start, someone who is a go-getter. If you follow The Black Swan Group’s three negotiator types, you might want to pair an Assertive (the talker) with an Analyst (the wingman) or an Accommodator (the talker) with an Analyst (in the same role).
Ready to Negotiate Better Deals?
Even the best sales teams in the world can always improve. By getting into the right mindset, developing trust-based influence, and making your team work with partners, you’ll have a much better shot at closing more deals.
But these three tips are just part of the puzzle. To continue your learning, check out our free e-book: 7 Unexpected Ways to Increase Sales.