Sign & Digital Graphics

April '19

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70 • April 2019 • S I G N & D I G I T A L G R A P H I C S RUNNING THE BUSINESS tives do not know how to handle draw- back objections, they default to negotiat- ing prematurely—usually making a price concession. Empower Your Negotiator It's not unusual for salespeople to ignore or overlook the last of the above list of criteria. Unless the salesperson consciously remembers to ask the pros- pect the question—"Except for the items that separate us, do we have a deal?"— she has not secured conditional com- mitment. Engaging in negotiation at that point could prove detrimental to the sales effort. Once all four criteria are met, the sales person should confer with management about what authority and latitude she has to negotiate. Any aspect of the price, deliverables, terms and/or conditions are up for grabs in well-run negotiations. Sales reps often think that the price is the only thing that can be negotiated. That is the furthest thing from the truth. Along with the quoted price could be a trade-out of goods and services that can be substituted for money—a.k.a. barter- ing. Deliverables can be varied by quan- tity, quality, scope of services, specifica- tions, substituting used for new materials, leasing versus outright purchase and the amount of technical support or training that comes with the product. Price and deliverables are the obvious bargaining chips in the negotiation game. When one side or the other digs their heels in over price and deliverables, the negotiation typically falls apart. That's where getting creative in modifying the terms and conditions can break the dead- lock. There are many alternatives when it comes to massaging the terms and condi- tions. Consider the following list: • Payment terms; • Length of contract or exclusivity; • Easing the delivery or installation dates or schedule; • Inventory and warehousing consid- erations; • Packaging; • Shipping and handling charges; • Ongoing support, maintenance or training; • Length or scope of the warranty; • Return policy; • Performance guarantees and penalty clauses; • Volume rebates. When preparing to negotiate, man- agement needs to clearly communi- cate the latitude with which the nego- tiator can exercise during the process. If a negotiator does not think he is so empowered, guess what? He isn't. When preparing for a negotiation session, the negotiator and management must brain- storm possible trade-offs and enhance- ments that can be added to the original proposal, where splitting the difference can help and when trivial concessions can be offered at the end of the discussion. Just as important is the company's walk- away position. The next time you detect your busi- ness is close to landing a new account but you find that there is still a gap between the two parties, take the time to ensure all four criteria have been reached, a sig- nificant number of possible alternatives have been identified and thoroughly ana- lyzed and the negotiating team is fully aware of its options and authority. Good luck! SDG Product Highlights Welcome to the Product Highlights section, where each month we offer you resources to enrich and expand your business with great services and products from our adver- tisers. Quickly find and request free information on the suppliers featured in this section by visiting Before the Negotiation In order to improve the chances for a win-win outcome, these four qualifying criteria must be met before any negotiation begins: • The salesperson or organization overtly states the price, deliverables, terms and conditions of the original proposition. • The customer raises an objection that the sales person or organization cannot overcome with benefits. (Typically, this objection represents a drawback of some kind.) • The two parties confirm that all objections have been raised and are on the negotiation table. • Except for these differences, the customer indicates there is a conditional commitment to do business. SCHEDULE YOUR DEMO TODAY! 2018

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