How to negotiate with clients is something you learn in the field, not in school or from a textbook.
It's truly an art – one we must master in order to communicate effectively and get things done.
Unfortunately, that's not as easy as it sounds!
Just the word, “negotiating”, has just about as many negative connotations as handling objections! How can we possibly change our mindset when we've been taught that we should avoid those type of situations?
Well, negotiating with clients doesn't have to feel impossible. Nor do you need to compromise your standards in order to close the deal.
Negotiating with Clients: 3 Key Suggestions
Negotiating is all about confidence, preparation, and simply being fair. Here are 3 key suggestions to help you during your next client negotiation:
1. List Your Boundaries and Objectives
Ask yourself the following questions:
- What do you want to get out of this conversation?
- What compromises, if any at all, are you willing to make to the product offering or the pricing?
- At what point will you determine that the prospect may not be a good fit and walk away?
Listing your boundaries and objectives allows you to go into the conversation prepared.
Ever hear of the saying, “Not all money is good money” ? It's true.
Prior to negotiating with a client, you need to identify where you're willing to pivot or meet them halfway. If you know where you stand, you can gently guide the client in the right direction. Or, quickly realize that they may not be a right fit.
2. Establish Credibility During Client Negotiations
If you’re a small fish in a big pond, one of the most powerful ways to demonstrate credibility is through success stories.
While negotiating with your client, ask probing questions to reveal their concerns or pain-points. I guarantee you'll land on something your product or service could help them with.
The goal of success stories is to demonstrate your value. They should address a problem your prospect has in common with a former client, the solution you provided, and the concrete results of your work.
Remember, you're the subject matter expert. You have prepared for this conversation and you have had similar experiences in the past. Confidence is key.
3. Prepare to Handle Objections
The outcome of client negotiations is directly influenced by how well you handle their objections. It's like a game of tennis. You'll probably get hit with a bunch!
First of all, objections enable buying. They're not a bad thing. They reveal that the client is actually engaged. How you choose to respond or position yourself is strictly up to you.
Prior to the conversation, check out our article on the 5 types of common objections salespeople experience. Then, come up with a few powerful responses.
Your powerful response should produce the following results:
Your prospect should…
- Understand the value of your product or service and how it relates to them.
- Understand how you solve or prevent the problem they face (if applicable).
- Feel comfortable and able to speak freely with you.
Want more? Check out this month's eBook.
If you want to learn more about common objections, responding without being too pushy, and more, check out our eBook on Handling Objections: