Wouldn't it be great if every customer agreed to all the terms of a sale, no questions asked and no negotiations required? Any car salesperson knows that negotiating a sale is never that easy.
And while negotiation is one of the most commonly practiced functions of communication, it is often the least understood. Because most people don't understand the dynamics of negotiation, they may get nervous or apprehensive about the process.
The trouble resides in all the associated myths. You can make the inevitable sales process more productive when you understand and overcome the following seven myths of negotiation:
Myth #1: To be a successful negotiator, you must be an SOB.
Mythbuster: Most people become SOBs in sales situations because they are poor negotiators and must resort to ruthlessness to get what they want.
In reality, effective negotiation has a great deal to do with the attitude you bring to the table.
If you approach negotiation as a win-or-lose battle, then that's exactly what you'll get: a battle. You'll probably end up with less than if you had treated the negotiation as a mutually beneficial opportunity.
Myth #2: Negotiating is the same as struggling with another person.
Mythbuster: Sales people who understand effective negotiation head off misunderstandings and conflicts that may arise in the process. They're able to mediate conflicts, misunderstandings and stalemates.
Myth #3: Negotiating is a talent reserved for shrewd business people, experienced diplomats and precocious children.
Mythbuster: Anyone can learn to negotiate effectively, without being a genius or manipulator. Each and every person on the planet is a negotiator, many times without realizing it.
When you learn the art of effective negotiation, you can get more of what you want. You can forge productive relationships with your customers and the people around you in all areas of life.
Myth #4: When you sit down to negotiate, you must abandon all ethics to get what you want.
Mythbuster: Getting what you want doesn't mean stealing it from others.
By understanding negotiation, you can prevent getting conned into things you don't want to do or getting less than you and your dealership deserve.
Myth #5: You must have the upper hand to negotiate effectively.
Mythbuster: If you think that negotiation involves one side trying to beat the other out of a good deal, then you have an inaccurate perception of the process. Actually, the weaker your position, the better your negotiating skills must be, especially if it involves selling a slow-moving vehicle in high supply and low demand.
Myth #6: Negotiating wastes time.
Mythbuster: When done right, negotiating is an enormous time-saver because it makes everyone work together to find solutions. It is much easier when both parties actively participate in the process to produce the best results possible for everyone.
Myth #7: Negotiating is always a formal process with clearly defined parameters.
Mythbuster: Negotiating is the sum and substance of all human give and take.
If you conduct daily negotiations effectively, you'll reach an agreement that satisfies both parties. You can actually improve your professionalism in dealing with all types of people by applying negotiation skills.
It is a process of understanding people and discovering ways you can work together to produce positive results for everyone involved.
When you understand the myths surrounding the negotiation process, then overcome these fallacies, you will reap greater benefits from your sales profession. Most important, you'll come away from every sale completely satisfied with yourself and confident that the other party feels a similar satisfaction about you and your dealership.
John Patrick Dolan is a member of the National Speakers Association Speakers Hall of Fame, and author of Negotiate Like the Pros. He's at 1-888-830-2620 or [email protected].