Book after book, article after article, and lecture after lecture have all claimed to know the secret to winning any negotiation. Some claim that it is simple as using these special words or following this patented process, but when it comes to account receivables we have found that there really isn’t a “secret sauce”. Instead, we believe that the key to winning any negotiation comes down to preparedness, understanding, and empathy.
You can be as smooth of a talker as you want, if you do not understand the material you are negotiating over, you will not win. We believe a negotiation is won before the call is even placed. If you show up to a call or meeting tired, without the proper information, or not ready in any way, you have already started behind. While you clearly do not have time to prepare for every call as if it is made or break, even taking a few extra minutes to compose yourself or reviewing some last minute information can make a world of difference.
Understanding the basic psychology of a negotiation can go a long way as well. Scientists have spent years studying how humans react to different circumstances. For example, psychologists have found that the more you listen, instead of talk, the more believable your pitch will appear to be. If you are interested in learning more, we highly suggest picking up a book on the topic, but at the most basic level it comes down to being confident, concise, and charming.
This may be the most important of the three. It is vital that you are able to see the situation from your customers perspective. This not only allows you to come across as understanding and helpful but can also help you propose a deal that they would accept. It is important to remember that remember that negotiating is a duet, not a solo. No amount of preparedness or charm can sell a deal that makes no sense for your customer.
While making a good deal is important, it is also important to remember that it is in your best interest to make a deal that is also fair to your customer. In the long run, they are more valuable to your success even if that means making less in the short term.