All sales people are encouraged to learn everything of relevance about the deal while following their company sales process. Key information about the deal includes the customer’s drivers, decision process, budget, time frames, and more. To prepare for the negotiation, there is other information about the deal to uncover and validate in advance of the negotiation, in particular the impact of the customer’s preferred alternative (Consequences of No Agreement or CNA) and the trades that would make this a good deal for both sides.
However, there will always be some degree of uncertainty about every deal. Multiple options help us to manage uncertainty in negotiations and help to create the foundation for much better flexibility. Multiple options, or Multiple Equal Offers (MEOs), support the sales person to change the conversation with multiple solutions that address customer business issues.
Here are best practices to assist salespeople to creatively package their value to maximize the negotiation outcome:
- title each offer basing the title on the business issues your are solving for the customer
- follow the title with an ‘intent sentence’ to provide a further brief value description for the customer
- if possible, keep your offers on one (1) page
- complete any internal negotiations before presenting offers
- know which trades you can negotiate and the range
- present your highest value option first (the ‘contrast principle’ and the ‘rule for reciprocation’)
- components of the offer need to be stated in the customer’s terms using the customer’s language, as appropriate
- rehearse to ensure coherent and smooth delivery
- be prepared to set the ground rules and to handle challenges to the ground rules
Simple preparation can have a significant impact on the negotiation outcome. Take the time to creatively package your value in multiple equal offers to maximize the negotiation outcome!