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Make the Right Deal

28 Mar, 2006 By: Howard Meltzer imageSource

Make the Right Deal

nailed down the deal and you should be on top of the world. So, why do you feel
awful about it? More than likely it’s the fact you gave away the store in a
desperate attempt to close the sale.

Whether it’s the end of the month panic, pressure to move a particular product,
or simply fear of losing the deal, virtually all of us has one of these
giveaways in our past. What’s done is done, but let’s not fool ourselves into
thinking that it was necessary.


Closing is a well defined process of negotiation that leads to an agreement that
satisfies both parties.

Negotiating begins with the initial sit down discussion that develops the
prospect’s requirements and defines their three main buying criteria. Once the
criteria are established, you are in a position to develop your strategy within
three categories:

Needs: This is simply what you must have to make the deal work.

Wants: These are the elements that you are willing to negotiate for.

Would Be Nice: These elements are simply low impact bargaining chips.

The next step is to measure your negotiating points against the prospect’s three
main buying criteria and develop a strategy that pitches your pre-planned
trade-offs against those elements of their buying criteria that may be "hard

When developing your list, keep in mind the economic impact, supply and demand,
past precedent, standard practices in your industry, time constraints, and short
and long-term impact.

The actual negotiating process includes five items:

1. Get to know the other side before getting down to business. Discuss
their problems and draw out their "pain."

2. Share your objective with the other side and listen carefully to their
Clearly state that you are looking for a win-win situation in
which each side comes away from the bargaining process with a solution that
meets everyone’s objectives.

3. Once the issues are on the table, it’s time to express areas of
disagreement or conflict.
This is a natural part of the process that you
should not shy away from. Work to resolve the "need" items in the conflict first
then work on the less important issues.

4. Expect and adapt to change during the meeting. Continually reassess
your list and look for creative solutions to areas of conflict. Be open to

5. Control stress during the negotiation. Two casualties of stress are
memory and creativity, both of which you will need in order to progress to a

Avoid arguing at all costs. Arguing is for fanatics. This was best stated by
British Statesman Winston Churchill: "A fanatic is one who can’t change his mind
and won’t change the subject."

Negotiating is not a quick fix to making the perfect deal. It is a process that
takes time and discussion The bottom line is, however, it can lead to both sides
feeling a lot better about the end result.

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