Featured Image Caption: Negotiation Errors
Words have colossal power and can shape the outcome of your negotiation, not to mention impact the success of your business. The power words have stems from their ability to trigger emotions. Negotiating can be emotional and sometimes is highly charged process.
So, to snag more wins, you want to avoid phrases that create a negative emotional response. With that in mind, here are some deal-killing expressions that the best sales training companies suggest you avoid using to achieve more optimal results.
“I’ll be honest” or “I’m not lying”
These phrases seem harmless enough. However, when you utter these phrases, you’re unconsciously planting a seed of doubt. Your potential buyer is now likely wondering whether you’ve been dishonest up to this point. Trust is an essential ingredient in negotiation, and once you lose it, it can be tough to get it back. So, drop these two phrases from your vocabulary and simply say what you want to say.
For example, instead of saying, “I’m not lying, this is my best offer,” just say, “This is my best offer.” Or instead of “I’ll be honest, I cannot meet that delivery date” just say, “I cannot meet that delivery date.”
“Just checking in”
To achieve the best possible negotiation results, sales training companies say that every contact with prospects needs to add value. Also, whenever you reach out, you want the other person to feel like getting back to you promptly is in their best interests.
Not only does saying “just checking in” add no value, but it’s also easy to ignore. You could also come across as desperate, which isn’t a feeling you want to display when you’re trying to close a deal. So, here’s what you can say instead.
- If you agreed to check in at a later date to allow the other side time to review: Hi [Prospect], Are there any updates from your team’s review of [product or service]? I can schedule a meeting on Thursday to answer any questions or concerns your team may have raised.
- If the buyer seemed hesitant at your last meeting: Hi [Prospect], Thank you for meeting with me last week. Here are some case studies that can help you better understand how we can help you solve your [buyer’s challenge].
“You have to” or “you must do”
Telling potential customers what they have to do or must do can cause negotiations to backfire spectacularly. Besides being rude, these phrases are overly pushy and aggressive, which can escalate tensions at the bargaining table.
Instead of pushing and pressuring, sales negotiation training companies say it’s best to support prospects to make their own conclusions. When customers feel supported throughout the buying process, they’re more likely to trust you and close deals quicker.
So, here’s an example of what to say instead: “Here’s why I believe that our [product or service] is the best fit.”
“Our price is (Y), but don’t worry, I can offer you a discount”
Discounts can be controversial. On the one hand, a price cut could help accelerate a sluggish deal and create goodwill. On the other hand, however, discounts shift the focus of the negotiation from value to price. You’re also losing some of your bargaining power and lessening the perceived value of your product or service.
So, instead, consider just saying, “Our price is Y” when you introduce the cost of your product or service. If it’s a customer you can’t afford to lose, you can consider a discount – but try to get something in exchange for the discount.
For example, you could say: “I can offer you a discount if we adjust the delivery date from six to 12 weeks or increase the order by 300 units.” For effective quid pro quo, sales training companies say it’s best to think of concessions ahead of time.
“Don’t worry about the details”
The details are the heart and soul of the deal. Otherwise, how else can you tell that the deal is sound? So, when a seller says, “don’t worry about the details,” hawk-eyed negotiators instantly sense a red flag and wonder what you’re trying to hide.
A cloud of suspicion hanging around the bargaining table taints the entire process. So, when asked for the details, here’s a better response: “Here are the details of the deal, and I’m happy to go through them with you.”
“If you don’t buy from us, you’ll regret it”
Not only can an ultimatum kill your current deal, they can also vaporize any future opportunities. Remember, although your product or service may be great, it may not be the best fit for the customer at this time. Also, there could be a valid obstacle that prevents the buyer from committing to the purchase. Whatever the reason, empathy goes a long way.
So, here’s what you can say instead:
- If the buyer appears hesitant: “What’s holding you back?” Or “You seem hesitant to proceed. Is there something in the presentation that I can articulate further to assist you?”
- If the buyer drops hints that priorities have shifted: “Is the [issue] we discussed no longer or less of a priority for you? If so, what issue has taken its place?”
For the most part, language is something we use unconsciously. So, getting ineffective words and phrases out of your system can seem like a torturous struggle. However, the effort of consciously adapting your choices in words and phrasing will be worth it.