As most salespeople will know, negotiating with professional buyers can be a challenge. People whose job it is to buy or procure goods or services on behalf of their employer are specially trained to get the best deal possible. This means they throw up a whole host of different hurdles compared to ‘normal’ customers.
To help you in your attempts to persuade and convince buyers you’ve got what they’re looking for, we’ve put together a list of the five most important things to know when dealing with professionals.
1. Buyers Behave Differently
The number one rule to remember when negotiating with buyers is that professionals will always behave differently. This means that not all the skills you learned in standard sales training will necessarily apply, and that you’ll need to learn to influence and negotiate in a different way.
2. Buyers Are Targeted
Buyers, like sellers, are targeted by their employer. Their goal is generally to purchase good quality products at low prices in order to give their employer the best possible chance of making a profit. When negotiating with buyers, keep their professional goals in mind and think about what you can offer that will make both of your employers happy.
3. The Rules Of Negotiation Are Different
Remember that some of the rules of negotiation you may have learned on your standard sales training will be different when dealing with professional buyers. A key one is ‘sell effectively enough and you won’t need to negotiate’. Professional Buyers are hard-wired to negotiate every time and are unlikely to believe that you’ve started with your lowest price or best offer.
Think about how you’re going to counter this approach before you start your conversation. Putting yourself into the buyer’s headspace should give you some idea of the type of approach that will be most effective.
4. Listen And Learn
Listen to your buyers both when they’re talking and when they’re not. Observe their behaviours and habits closely. Buyers are often trained to misalign their verbal and non-verbal communication in order to confuse you. They’re also taught to respond in a manner that makes it appear there’s no room for negotiation, when in fact there almost always is.
Respond to this by slowing yourself down and listening as carefully as you can. Allow silences and play back what you see and hear. Ideally, statements and offers should be your last resort.
5. Lots Of Theatre
Most professional buyers have a whole host of tricks and games up their sleeves. From pretending to take phone calls to all of a sudden getting out of their chair and rambling on. These are all attempts to deflect from the facts and put you on the wrong foot. So, don’t get distracted and remember, it’s all theatre.
Dealing with professional buyers presents a whole new world of obstacles to overcome. Taking a specialist training course will equip you with the skills you need to meet these challenges head on. Get in touch with a member of our expert team today to find out more.
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