Understand the value of uncertainty anmd why it's neccesary for creative solutions.
- How comfortable are you with uncertainty? Most people don't like it, especially salespeople. Salespeople wanna know where an interaction is going. But trying to get a quick win often derails a successful negotiation. So let's start out by defining uncertainty. It doesn't mean unbalanced, and it's not due to lack of planning. Uncertainty is simply not knowing exactly how a situation will play out.
And in order to be okay with uncertainty, you have to trust yourself, and you have to have confidence in yourself, and to a certain extent, you also have to trust your buyer. 'Cause you see, uncertainty is actually the lynch pin of creativity. No matter how simple your product is, you always want to be creative with your buyer because you want to help them see multiple benefits. So if you want to embrace uncertainty, you have to overcome your own limbic system because see, your brain wants you to lock down a deal quickly.
That's why so many people get to price so fast. Your brain wants to wrap everything up with a bow, but trying to close too fast is not in your best interest, nor is it in the best interest of your buyer. If you want to be a better negotiator, you have to get your brain to a place where you're confident that you can win and you're also okay with some degree of uncertainty about how you'll get there. 'Cause you see, uncertainty about the future can trigger your brain to go on high alert. for a threat.
When your brain thinks something is dangerous and uncertainty feels dangerous. It limits your ability to focus on problem solving or long-term thinking. Certainty feel stable and it feels secure, and human beings are hard-wired for certainty. It releases dopamine in our brain. It makes us feel safe and happy, and so it's really hard for salespeople to deal with uncertainty because you get paid on the close, not the possible close. But let's flip this.
Let's think about this from your buyer's perspective. Your buyer craves certainty, too, and where they need certainty is they wanna feel confident that their goals and their needs are gonna be met. So let's take this from the conceptual to the practical. Imagine a real live scenario. Let's imagine Stan. He's a software salesperson. He's ambitious. He's doing well, and now he's trying to close bigger and bigger deals. As Stan becomes more confident, he also becomes more assertive, and that's a good thing.
Here's the challenge. He needs to ensure that he's being assertive on behalf of creating value for his buyer, not just closing the deal. The nuance is really important because you see, Stan's buyer is going to assume, consciously and unconsciously, that Stan's primary aim is to sell his software at the highest possible price. The buyer's dealt with salespeople before. So if you're Stan and you want to differentiate yourself, you need to help your buyer understand that your real goal is to help your buyer be successful with the software.
So we talked about the questions that you need to ask early in the sales process. Now let's talk about some of the statements you can make in response when your buyer gives you an answer. If during your questions, the buyer says, "We want to accomplish a certain goal with the software." Make sure you feed that back to the buyer. Don't just nod and write it down. Verbalize it, say, "Yes, it is critical "that whenever we do this, it accomplishes this goal," and then go on a little further and say, "What's the value of that to your organization?" If they say, "Well, it needs to be done for this price," do not validate the number.
Instead, say, "I agree, it's important "that we provide a good ROI." Let's talk about the impact of this solution. Now, you want to be authentic. You're not trying to manipulate your buyer. You are genuinely trying to affirm their goals and your commitment to them, but you want to be really careful about here is you always want to verbally affirm value, not low prices. It's ironic, the faster you try to lockdown a situation, the less creative you'll be.
But if you can sit with a little bit of uncertainty, even just five minutes of uncertainty, to give yourself the space to ask three or four more really good questions, it'll be more likely that you establish value that will keep you out of a price war. You're going for value on both sides, and when you're clear on that, it increases the likelihood that you'll create it. And that means dealing with a little bit of uncertainty because that space of uncertainty, that will enable you both to get into that higher space where you unlock something more valuable.
- Negotiating with noble purpose
- Three kinds of sales negotiation
- Why deals fall apart
- Spotting and diffusing negotiation traps
- Asking for their boss
- Negotiating via email
- Avoiding renegotiating sales