September '19

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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Your Personal Business Trainer BUSINESS MANAGEMENT out how to make the payments on it or justify the decision to their boss, partner, or spouse. In order to improve the chances of a win-win outcome, these four qualifying criteria must be met before any negotiation begins: • The salesperson or organization clearly communicates the price, deliverables, terms, and conditions of the proposition • The customer raises an objection that the salesperson or organization cannot overcome with benefits • Both 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. And it's not a case of three-out-of-four-ain't-bad. If any of the four criteria are not met, the salesperson or the customer will never be able to negotiate a win-win outcome. 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 prospect the question, "Except for the items that separate us, do we have a deal?", she has not secured conditional commit- ment. Engaging in negotiation without the four qualifying criteria could prove detrimental to the sales effort. VIABLE ALTERNATIVES Many inexperienced negotiators think that the price is the only variable that can be ad- justed. That is furthest from the truth. Along with the quoted price could be a trade-out of goods and services. Deliverables can be varied by quantity, quality, scope of ser- vices, specifications, substituting used for new materials, and the amount of techni- cal support or training that comes with the product. Terms and conditions can be altered as well, such as adjusting delivery dates, inventory or warehousing consid- erations, alternative packaging or ship- ping means, performance guarantees or replacement of defective materials, pay- ment terms, volume rebates, and length of contract, to name a few. Still, price and deliverables are the obvious bargaining chips in the negotiation game. The vari- ables of the offer are components of the five negotiating alternatives. The best option to increase your chanc- es for a win-win outcome is making a trade-off. When you make a trade-off, you propose to give the customer part or all of what she needs in return for something of comparable value with one caveat: it must be something other than or in addition to what was con- tained in your original offer. Therefore, trade-offs involve chang- ing two or more aspects of the initial proposal, thus preserving the balance in value between the client and sup- plier. Let's consider some examples. If the 'gap' between you and the customer involves the price, both the price and the deliverables may be changed, such as a lower per unit price for a larger order or a lower overall price for less items. If you lower the price but don't change the deliverables, you've made a concession. When beginning the negotiation, it's fair to ask the customer to specifically define the gap between the original offer and what she needs to make the deal happen. Get all the obstacles out on the table before proposing a trade- off or any of the other alternatives. 1 2 P R I N T W E A R S E P T E M B E R 2 0 1 9

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