The first thing you should do as the seller is to plan and prepare by putting yourself in the buyer’s position. Physically get up from your (seller) side of the desk and sit on the opposite (buyer) side. Prepare as if you are the buyer:
1. What type of person/negotiator am I? How will I manage/react in these negotiations, to the seller?
2. Realise where you are strong and where you are weak. What is happening in your business/market?
3. Identify your key buying objectives.
4. Prepare a list of variables you can trade, that ideally are low cost to you (the buyer, in this instance), yet have great value to the seller.
5. Prepare a list of variables you can get, that ideally have great value to you (the buyer, in this instance) but are low cost to the seller.
6. What is your opening, your target and your walk away point on each key point and variable?
7. Plan your reaction to the sellers opening.
8. What strategies and tactics will you employ?
9. How will you counteract the seller’s strategies and tactics?
10. What is your BATNA (Best Alternative To a Negotiated Agreement)? i.e. if as the buyer you cannot reach agreement, what alternatives do you have?
Now get up and get back around to your own (seller) side of the table. You will feel better already, as you have a clearer idea of your buyer, their position and strategy. Plan and prepare as the seller, thinking through the same key points.
If your buyer is equally skilled and equally prepared, there is a synergy during the negotiation…
When you trade a variable you know what to ask your buyer for, as you know what is low cost to them and valuable to you. You also know what to offer them, as you know what is valuable to them, but low cost to you. The buyer knows and understands this too, so they also know what to ask for and what to offer. You both get something valuable, for something that has been low cost to you both. It is a fair trade.
Similarly, when you have to move on a valuable point, you will have already identified the variables to request that are valuable to you, but are low cost for your buyer. If you are negotiating against a skilled buyer they will have identified this too. They may even offer this to you as a trade, or at least will understand, and not be surprised by your request. Likewise you will understand and not be surprised by their trades, when you request they move on a valuable point to you.
So next time you deal with a buyer trained in negotiation skills, just think, it could be worse… They might have had no training.
This piece was written by Fruitful Selling Associate Trainer, Paul Hayden FInstSMM http://www.haydenpartnership.com/