Equip Challenger representatives to take control of the sale
Create a pre-negotiation plan to support reps in taking control of negotiations.
- Identify areas in which you have relative strengths and weaknesses with the customer, in terms of products, brand, pricing, service, and relationships
- List any specific questions reps need to ask the customer
- Consider potential difficult questions or objections the customer may present and prepare responses
- Examine the specific things you are looking for from the deal and what you can negotiate on based on the customer’s needs
- Analyze what concessions you can offer the customer and what you can request from the customer (a reduced price for fewer customization demands, for example)
Maintain constructive tension via the Acknowledge & Defer approach
If a customer demands a concession, acknowledge this but seek permission to defer this request. For example, “I understand that price is something we need to address, but before we do, I’d like to take a moment to completely understand your needs and make sure this deal is as valuable as possible. Is that all right?”
Expand the customer’s view via the Deepen & Broaden approach
Uncover the customers underlying needs by asking them what they like about the sales offering and what they are looking to achieve with the price discount they are requesting. Often this can be a specific business outcome rather than pricing, so this provides more room for negotiations.
Concede according to the negotiation plan
Teach reps to concede negotiables to ensure both parties feel that they are winning. Use the pre-negotiation plan to identify low-value solution elements first before dropping the price. Roleplay can be a good way to practice these approaches.