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

common trap negotiators fall into

Posted by Brian Dietmeyer on Mon, Aug 27, 2018 @ 04:48 PM

We’ve consulted on over 20,000 negotiations in over 45 countries for 16 years. The most common issue we see is: 

“Very seasoned negotiators having a price conversation absent of the value conversation.” 

What does this mean exactly? Imagine for a moment that you work at a high-end steak house and you encounter this scenario: 

  1. You are seated a table and are ready to order. You order the Filet Oscar, the house specialty, which is listed at $42 on the menu.
  2. You continue that you would like to pay $16 for it because that is what you paid last night for dinner (you fail to mention it was a plate of tacos at the restaurant down the street).
  3. Your server goes to find the manager to ask for an adjustment to the bill to give you the discount.  
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Tags: negotiation skills for sales, business negotiations

use this best practice to differentiate when negotiating

Posted by K. (Karen) G. Fraser on Fri, Jul 13, 2018 @ 12:16 PM

In these days when business buyers are more knowledgeable than ever, it is important for sellers to differentiate in every phase of the sales cycle. In the negotiation phase of the sales cycle, the customer is more keenly focused on you than you might think.  Through their buying cycle, the customer is comparing you, overtly and subtly, to their preferred alternative to you.  Remember that the customer’s preferred alternative to you is your main competitor.

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Tags: negotiation skills for sales

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

webinar: learn a consumable killer technique for sales

Posted by Marie Dudek Brown on Thu, Mar 15, 2018 @ 04:07 PM

Our own Carrie Welles is presenting an enlightening webinar on Thursday, March 22, 2018 in association with the Strategic Account Management Association (SAMA). This 11am ET session will provide empirical research, and street level examples, for how best to package and present your value. Find out more and register by clicking on link below.

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Tags: negotiation skills for sales, webinars, affiliations, Carrie Welles

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

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

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

Think! Inc.’s Carrie Welles has been published!

Posted by Marie Dudek Brown on Thu, Nov 02, 2017 @ 04:17 PM

Think! Inc.’s very own Carrie Welles has been published in SAMA’s new book: Customer Value Co-Creation, Powering the Future Through Strategic Relationship Management.

For 16 years, Carrie has been a Partner and Vice President at Think! building strategic negotiation skills and using her coaching and training talents to improve the effectiveness of salespeople across the globe.

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Tags: negotiation skills for sales, business negotiations, affiliations

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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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