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Steps to Improved Negotiations in Distribution

Barry Wright, Director Grosvenor USA — Grosvenor Training

• distribution management best practices • sales practices • expert interview • sales management • sales management styles in distribution • distribution industry sales management • leadership training • sales training • executive briefing • Distribution Personnel Training and Development

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Join Randy MacLean, CEO of WayPoint Analytics, and Barry Wright, Director of Grosvenor Training and Consulting, as they discuss some of the most important steps you can take with your distribution company to improve your negotiation capabilities. Using stronger negotiation skills, sales calls can be more successful, more fun and less stressful.

The Importance of Proper Planning

Planning pays off more than any other sales activity. Planning happens before you make the call. You and your salespeople should be taking the time to plan and think about what you really want from a deal, what the customer wants, your bottom line, and even their bottom line.

Confidence comes from planning. And, once you are clear on your goals for the meeting and you have your facts and figures in order, write it all down. Writing it down cements your plan and keeps you focused on how to create the best deal for both sides.

What Does the Customer Want?

Today there is a collaborative business environment. Your distribution company's first mission should be to help your customer achieve their goals. To do that you need to listen. When you are in negotiation, listen for clues to answers these questions:

What are their goals? Do they have to reduce costs? Reduce downtime? Increase sales to a certain sector?

Successful negotiators have a genuine curiosity about their customers and will structure the deal to help the other side meet their goal.

Have a Good Walkaway Position

In a good negotiation, you will be pushed. So, it's important to know beforehand what may be an unacceptable outcome. Know your limits, be prepared to say you can't go there, and be prepared to do something else. Have a Plan B, something you can offer as an acceptable alternative.

Evil Twin Exercise

For difficult negotiations, where you really need to change the nature of the relationship but the client is reluctant, you can try this exercise. Find another account within your portfolio that generates the same revenue, but is profitable. Show this customer how to do business with you profitably. Show them a solid business reason for changing behavior.

Conduct a Post-Mortem

Negotiation is a continuous process, with opportunity for continuous improvement. Take some time after each negotiation to review. Figure out what you would do differently, what was done well, and what mistakes were made. Write your conclusions down to cement the learning and improve your performance over time.

With these negotiation skills, you will be able to work with clients to achieve mutual, even mutually exclusive, goals to move both your businesses forward.

For more information about Barry Wright, visit: www.grosvenortraining.co.uk

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