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While not typically emphasized in training, sales negotiations are easily one of the most important parts of the sales process. Between finalizing a price and determining the exact relationship the buyer will have with your company, the negotiations process determines the long-term results of the purchase. 

The current problem is that buyers have become well-versed in sales negotiations, often to the point they are able to out-negotiate the sales rep. This puts more pressure and stress on the rep, lowering confidence and resulting in less-than-satisfactory deal results. When statistics prove that top-performing sales negotiators are 3x more likely to achieve their pricing goals, developing a sales team with stronger negotiating skills is key to driving revenue. One way to ensure your sales team has a killer negotiation strategy is to outsource a team of sales negotiation experts. In this article, we’re detailing the top 4 skills to look for when vetting outsourced sales negotiators to strengthen your sales initiatives.

1. Confidence, Not Cockiness, is Key to Effective Sales Negotiations

When it comes to sales negotiations, confidence is a huge asset. Negotiators who reported low levels of confidence were only 19% successful in achieving their target pricing. The negotiator’s confidence fuels their ability to communicate directly and effectively with the consumer, heavily impacting the final outcome. The key, however, lies in remaining confident but not cocky — approaching tasks with an arrogant or cocky attitude can actually lead to more mistakes

Entering a deal with confidence helps negotiators close deals to their advantage. For example, a rep who expresses sincere confidence in a product projects that confidence onto the buyer, making them feel more assured in their purchasing decision. On the other hand, a rep who seems skeptical, nervous, or indirect in negotiations can reflect that attitude onto the buyer. Buyers know that reps want them to purchase their product, so when reps seem unsure, it communicates to the buyer that the product may not be worth it.

Saleswoman confidently delivers her pitch over a video conference

2. Sales Reps Need to Develop Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence is the ability to understand and manage one’s emotions in response to their surroundings and the emotions of others. For sales reps, emotional intelligence is key, especially in negotiations. Sales negotiations can become stressful, especially when dealing with difficult buyers or tough negotiators on the other side of the table. It’s natural for reps to become angry or frustrated in these situations, but allowing those emotions to show can negatively impact the deal. 

Studies have shown that emotional intelligence in negotiators gives them a 75% chance of accomplishing their goals in a deal. Controlling one’s emotions and remaining empathetic to the emotions of others — in this instance, the buyer — is an important skill in sales negotiations.

3. Salespeople with Critical Thinking Skills Will Out-Negotiate the Buyer

Along with emotional intelligence, critical thinking is an absolute necessity for sales negotiations. Understanding how to perform in-depth research on the buyer’s pain points, the ROI of the product, and what hard-hitting questions to ask are essential to executing effective sales negotiations. When negotiating with an informed, well-prepared buyer, critical thinking skills are necessary to out-negotiate them. 

In sales negotiations, just as in the selling process, understanding the buyer’s unique pain points to then convey value-adds to keep the buyer engaged is key. Catering to the buyer’s needs doesn’t end once they’ve made a move towards a purchase — in order to close an advantageous deal, the buyer should still feel engaged, interested, and excited about the product all the way through the negotiation phase as well.

Business man stands at the head of a conference table and points to a whiteboard while his constituents attentively take notes and listen.

4. Small Talk is a Big Aspect of Effective Sales Negotiations

Although negotiations can get stressful, maintaining a light tone with the buyer can help prevent them from becoming overly frustrating. Keeping a light, upbeat tone with small talk helps maintain a positive attitude between both the buyer and seller. As sales negotiations are meant to lead to productive partnerships for both parties, the conversation should match the agreeable tone the relationship is meant to maintain. 

Simple chatting before getting into negotiations, such as discussing how the day has gone, recent pop culture references, or even developments within your industry opens the meeting with a friendly atmosphere that is conducive to positive negotiation outcomes.

Final Thoughts

Sales negotiations can easily become stressful for sales reps. To mitigate this stress, developing your team’s negotiating skills or outsourcing your sales team to negotiation experts can boost your win rate and increase revenue. Outsourced sales reps have extensive experience that equips them to negotiate with even the most difficult of buyers. 

Interested in empowering your reps with stronger sales negotiation skills? Watch our video series on sales negotiations.