Whether negotiating for a better price, more favorable terms or to schedule the next step in the selling process, it is important to maintain a proper perspective about two pivotal factors – relationship and outcome.
In selling situations, the relationship between the buyer and seller is key. It often determines success or failure, and it is the glue that holds the selling process together over time, assuming repeat sales are an objective.
The outcome of each negotiation is more involved. Sure, there is a simple outcome – a person either buys or not. But at what price does one buy? What terms might one accept? And how accommodating a customer might one become?
The most successful sales people are able to simultaneously focus on both relationship and outcome. While they carefully nurture and preserve their relationships, they also avoid “over-accommodating” their customers.
Over-accommodating occurs when a seller puts too much emphasis on the relationship component of negotiating at the expense of outcome. As a result, the seller regularly agrees to virtually all buyer demands, and is prone to sell products or services at very low margins.
At the other end of the spectrum are the sales people who place too much focus on outcome. They strive to make sales and gain the most favorable terms at all costs – often damaging relationships in the process.
To maximize results, develop a fair and balanced perspective between relationships and outcomes.