B2B Street Fighting Blog

think negotiation is unpredictable? think again...

Posted by Brian Dietmeyer on Thu, Feb 07, 2019 @ 07:47 AM

Traditional negotiation training, as you no doubt already know, consists largely of memorizing long lists of tactics, countermeasures, and tips and tricks designed to prepare sales teams for every possible negotiation situation. This is based on the assumption that in a negotiation you never know what’s going to happen, and must, therefore, be prepared for anything. But what if I were to tell you that despite what you’ve always heard, 97% of what a seller is likely to hear coming out of a buyer’s mouth in a negotiation cannot only be anticipated, but also, if not nullified, at least greatly reduced in its power? (1)

It’s true. We can do it. 

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Tags: negotiation skills for sales, business negotiations, brian dietmeyer

are salespeople an endangered species?

Posted by Brian Dietmeyer on Tue, May 01, 2018 @ 07:58 AM

Sales reps need to evolve or they will go extinct; some already have. Don’t believe me? Let me tell you a story. It is a bit long, but I promise the payoff is there.

I am confident that most of you reading this have had the “opportunity” to buy a car from a traditional dealership? I needed a gently used 2017 truck. My favorite car to buy is usually less than one year old and has about 5,000 miles on it. Essentially, I am looking for a new car where someone else ate the depreciation.

When I started my search a couple weeks ago, I went to both the local Ford and Dodge dealerships to look at trucks. At both dealerships, I had nearly the exact same experience.

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Tags: business negotiations, brian dietmeyer, sales and negotiation

opening offers do impact negotiation

Posted by Brian Dietmeyer on Thu, Apr 19, 2018 @ 03:57 PM

My friend and former colleague, Max Bazerman, negotiation professor at the Harvard Business School, once reported to me that: 

“Opening offers have more impact on outcomes of a negotiation than all counter-offers combined!”

I couldn't agree more, however, I believe to really understand the weight of the impact, it is important to understand the complexity inside that statement. (It is more than you might initially detect!) 

For starters, think about these questions: 

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Tags: negotiation skills for sales, brian dietmeyer, negotiation tips

precision guided discovery

Posted by Brian Dietmeyer on Fri, Mar 23, 2018 @ 07:47 AM

Discovery has long been among, if not the most important selling skill. Gaining access to stakeholders and uncovering needs is key to presenting your value. 

However, most discovery looks like this:

 " What Keeps You Awake at Night?"

This approach makes it difficult to gain access to execute discovery and makes it harder to uncover areas to add value and differentiate. What is the value to an executive of meeting with you only to tell you what they already know? How are we going to add value when customers, who are more digitally informed than ever, are diagnosing their own needs and prescribing their own solution (many times sub-optimally)? More importantly, it has us following vs. leading.

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Tags: negotiation skills for sales, brian dietmeyer, precision guided discovery

re-framing procurement negotiations

Posted by Brian Dietmeyer on Wed, Mar 07, 2018 @ 08:04 AM

Over ten years ago, after having spent more than 20 years a salesperson, VP sales and sales consultant, we secured our first contract to provide negotiation training for the procurement arm of a major US airline. I felt like the proverbial fox in the hen house!

As I was executing research to get ready for the assignment, I stumbled on an article stating that this organization had just won: 

 

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Tags: brian dietmeyer, Negotiating with procurement, speaking the language of procurement

changing the negotiation conversation

Posted by Brian Dietmeyer on Tue, Feb 27, 2018 @ 08:04 AM

A client asks us for a proposal. That’s a good thing, right? We do as they ask and provide a proposal. What’s next? We all know the first offer is likely not going to be the last. In fact, what many of us have done with that response is to give the client a price for products and services. The very natural inclination is for the customer to then begin the negotiations at this phase. We have DNA going back 1000 years saying that the buyer should never accept the first offer. We know what the conversation is going to be and where it’s headed, so how do we change that conversation and take control?

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Tags: negotiation skills for sales, business negotiations, brian dietmeyer

"I can get the same thing cheaper!"

Posted by Brian Dietmeyer on Thu, Feb 08, 2018 @ 03:49 PM

In my last post, I reported my friend and colleague, Jim Dickie (https://www.salesmastery.com) recently surveyed sales leaders who stated their top barrier to achieving their 2018 revenue objectives was lack of coaching. That article focused on how to use virtual coach technology to address that issue. For this article, we will focus on the second issue for sales leaders:

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Tags: business negotiations, brian dietmeyer

quickly gain 30 points in win rate!

Posted by Brian Dietmeyer on Wed, Jan 31, 2018 @ 02:49 PM

My friend and colleague, Jim Dickie (https://www.salesmastery.com) recently reported sales leaders stated their top barrier to achieving their 2018 revenue objectives is:

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Tags: negotiation skills for sales, business negotiations, brian dietmeyer

are relationships all that important in selling?

Posted by Brian Dietmeyer on Thu, Jan 18, 2018 @ 03:38 PM

Business relationships.pngSo often in selling we hear about “relationship” as the reason we win deals. I am curious about your opinion here. Would you buy an inferior solution from someone you like better than someone else? Conversely, if you find a great solution at a fair price, but don't really like the salesperson, would you buy that solution? As a "victim" of multiple back surgeries, I have had the opportunity to experience bedside manner on at least two occasions. When interviewing doctors and getting second opinions, I have always chosen the doctor I felt was most qualified, even if she was not a great communicator or someone I didn’t feel aligned with on a human level. That being said, all else being completely equal, I think we would choose the person we felt most comfortable with and would tip the scales in our way. This doesn't always happen in, say elections. Research shows that voters would choose that person they would “rather have a beer with.” Which could be another blog entirely!

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Tags: brian dietmeyer, business relationships in sales

turn your entire organization into a negotiation powerhouse!

Posted by Brian Dietmeyer on Tue, Jan 09, 2018 @ 04:10 PM

Sales organizations spend a great deal of time and money on negotiation skills training. Much of that investment is sub-optimal and in essence, sales teams are being trained on how to execute your company negotiation strategy. The problem is there is still a prevalent view that negotiation is a “soft skill.” When we execute training without a broader organization strategy improvement, we are, in substance, automating a broken process.

We recently consulted with a global account organization where their customers in France were bypassing their local account teams and buying from the German account teams as the prices and terms were better! This type of incoherence not only lowers margin, it creates a lack of trust.

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Tags: negotiation skills for sales, brian dietmeyer

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The B2B Street Fighting blog brings you the latest on what's happening in the real world of business negotiation.

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