“Can you help our team negotiate better?  We find we are giving away way too much at the table with clients?”

“Clients keep driving down our price by wanting us to deliver at the lowest cost.  They don’t understand the value.  Can you help our team stand up better to that?”

Both of these, on surface value, seem to be negotiation problems.  Both erode your margin and can move you from a trusted partner to a “vendor” of low cost.  How do you compete against that?

Ironically, the first step in both of the above, is not negotiation training.  Matter-of-fact, most negotiation ONLY crops up because value was never felt, understood or interpreted correctly upfront.  If they don’t feel the value, they won’t pay the price.  It is as simple as that.

There is a reason there are KIA cars and Bentley cars.  They each carry a completely different price tag and a completely different value proposition.  The person shopping for a KIA is not going to pay a Bentley price for the car when they interpret the value at a KIA level.  I don’t care how you dress it up or put it together in their mind it is still just a KIA.

So I find the first step with most organizations is helping them analyze and understand their value perspective from the client, marketplace and competition’s perspective.  Only then can you place the correct value, interpret that value and then put it in context for the customer.

So I find for most of our customers, 70% of what they are negotiating shouldn’t have even been there in the first place but no one knew how to guide the customer in the process correctly so expectations were, not only managed, but mined.

If you are losing too much at the negotiation table go back and look at your entire sales process from start to finish to see what parts are being misinterpreted, misaligned or left to individual interpretation by the customer.  Only then can you put together a strategic solution that influences outcomes by expanding how you and the customer see the project and the relationship.

With Outcome Thinking®, our whole theory is to help you see how to reduce the amount of time you negotiate so you spend it on the finer parts of the relationship rather than chinking away at the key chunks of the relationship. Learn more at Impression Management Professionals.