Negotiation plays a big role in marketing, whether you need to formulate a strategy or close a sale. There’s a myriad of things that you need to think about if you’re looking to negotiate a deal in your favor. Most of these events end up in a compromise rather than a straight out advantage for any party involved.
If you’re selling, you need to tilt the odds into having you make a successful sale, and the most effective way to do that is to negotiate properly. Organizations in insurance field marketing understand that the best negotiators are those who are most likely to close a deal and reach their targets if they have any.
Aside from straight up discussion, negotiation is also a subtle art. Around half the work for negotiation only takes the paper and preparation work into account, as the rest is a mindset that can only be honed through lots of practice. If you’re a little new to negotiating, the following reminders can be of great help.
Always negotiate from the buyer’s point of view
After a long period of onboarding, training, and general overexposure to what you’re selling, it can be easy to fall under the assumption that everyone will want what you’re selling. After all, you wouldn’t bother if your product wasn’t good, right? But your buyers might not have this point of view, and if you push against it, the results can be less than ideal.
When negotiating, always ask yourself: How did this pitch feel like when I was just starting to learn about the product? Chances are your potential buyer felt the same way. Putting yourself in their shoes gives you an edge to whatever opinions or questions about the product that they may have, and this makes for a better sales pitch than usual.
Know your product better than your competitors do
One interesting thing that market research has taught us is if you aren’t in a company that has a monopoly over the industry it’s participating in, the presence of competitors becomes less of a technical difference and more of a branding standpoint. Take the case of facial tissues: There are different brands, but we will most often say “Can you hand me Kleenex?”
In the case of field marketing, assume that your competitors are as good as you are. Thinking like this allows you to negotiate from a position where you need to distinguish why your customers should choose your product. Given that many consumers have easy access to information about alternatives on the market, answering “why this?” is often a safer approach than “what is this?”
As much as possible, try to match your buyer’s behavior
Attitude matters when it comes to negotiation. Too much of it and you’ll be seen as too aggressive; too little and you won’t be trusted. In these situations, it’s often best to mirror the attitude of your prospective client when conducting negotiations. People tend to associate more with others who have the same mindset. This can be very important when it comes to closing a sale.
So, if your buyer is showing signs of apprehension, adopt a more cautious stance as well. If they’re enthusiastic, play along. If they’re a little confused, try to angle the discussion in such a way that the journey towards the answer becomes a shared affair. Being empathetic is just as important as being knowledgeable in negotiations.
With a little practice and self-awareness, you can also become a skilled negotiator in your field. Always remember that sometimes, it’s less about the product and more about how you sell it, and that will be a good start for healthy discussions, and hopefully, a closed sale.