Negotiations can be a drag.
Sometimes it doesn’t feel right when a prospect asks for a discount or threatens to move in another direction if their demands aren’t met. It feels unfair. The truth is most prospects are not trying to negotiate in order to take advantage of you. They negotiate to ensure they are being dealt with fairly. They are not sure what is fair … so they ask for a little more.
So when you negotiate, don’t allow yourself to be taken advantage of, but also don’t take advantage of your new client. Your real money will be made on future sales that won’t be as competitive or price-sensitive. If you exceed your customer’s expectations, they’ll be happy you worked them through the details and will reward you with more business in the future.
After the client has bought, don’t forget… THIS IS THEIR FIRST EXPERIENCE WITH YOUR PRODUCT OR SERVICE
This is a topic of critical importance and is often overlooked. Remember, after the prospect has bought, your business relationship has just begun. Give your new customer special care and feeding during this time. You can start with impeccable follow-up. Let your new customer know what is going to happen and when. Set realistic expectations.
The hand-off to the product or service delivery side of your company is often a disappointment for your new client. Your client is expecting the salesperson to disappear, and they don’t know who will begin taking care of them. Billing, contractual, delivery and operational miss-understandings frequently are uncovered when the operations people take over. That is why sales people disappear!
It might sound strange, but this is the best time to show your company is different. Be there to resolve the issues in a positive way and you are likely to pick up a few good referrals. Sales shouldn’t try to get involved in solving operational problems, but they should listen to what the new customers are saying. Being responsive to your new client’s problems and they will be yours for life.