Sales Speaker Recommends Present Moment Selling

You have bills to pay; genuine pressures, and you’re going to fall short, unless you make this sale, and the next, and the next after that.

Your prospect is sitting pretty, a salaried type that can string you out, forever. Calm and cool, he is your diametric opposite.

This seems like a prescription for failure, doesn’t it? You NEED this order, and he doesn’t.

At times such as these, you start monitoring your dashing heartbeat, sweating palms, becoming introverted. Nonverbal cues signal distress to the buyer, who interprets your insecurity as the product’s defect.

He starts having an aversion reaction, feeling there is something wrong with you, the offer, or both. Leaning away, you become more aggressive, and tension fills the room.

Clearing his throat, he tells you to follow-up with him later. It’s an excuse, but you treat it as an objection, invoking all of your “buy now,” urgency appeals.

But the more you press, the more resolved he is to deny you what you need. Leaving the office, dejected, you start thinking there’s no way you’re going to reach your quota.

Your energies turn to making excuses, which only leads you to feel worse.

Sound familiar?

What pushed you off the slope into this sales abyss?

You weren’t doing what I call, Present Moment Selling. Instead of treating this engagement as if it were the only conversation that ever mattered, you succumbed to your concerns about the past and future.

You worried about your bills, instead of preparing your presentation. You counted the commissions you HADN’T yet earned, and worried about the future.

Tacitly, you bought into the idea that the present and future would exactly mirror the past.

Yet, there was no evidence to support this belief, and you made it an unfortunate actuality by diverting your focus from THE NOW.

Sales aren’t made in the past or in the future. They can only be made, NOW.

How many times have you counted on earning approval for a deal that never came to fruition? How often have you been surprised that someone said, “yes” after you used a standard close, one that rookies are taught?

Observe winning sports teams, especially how they treat TIME.

They put their losses behind them, especially lopsided scores. They focus on the current contest, and take it one game at a time, never getting too high or too low, emotionally.

A famous book’s title sums up the idea: BE HERE NOW.

Be completely present for this sale. This means you have prepared, you know more or less what you’re going to say, how the prospect will probably respond, and the questions and concerns that will be raised.

But you are not 100% scripted.

There are three types of scripts:

(1) Manuscripts: This is where each word is planned in advance, and the communicator needs to stay on message.

(2) Impromptu: These are off-the-cuff remarks, developed on the spot.

(3) Extemporaneous: These talks blend planning with a certain amount of spontaneity.

Successful sales talks are generally of the third type. As a seller you need to convey a certain amount of detail before a prospect can be expected to make an informed decision. Skip this information, and your offer will be misjudged.

But you have to permit room for customizing. I recall speaking to a buyer in Colorado, and before I got into the main part of the sale I asked, “Do you know where Delores, is?”

She did, it was about 4 hours away. As it turned out, she played sports there, volleyball and soccer. I attended a summer camp, there, along the Delores River.

After sharing these anecdotes, we had established common ground, literally, and we went on to have a very affable conversation.

I realize you may not be able to chit-chat like this, with C-Level executives in the big city. Still, it shows how customizing a talk can be beneficial. Providing this opportunity, and sounding as if you are IN THE MOMENT WITH THE PROSPECT, are essential to succeeding.

But I should note that you can be in the moment, but if the prospect isn’t, you’re not going to make a sale. So, taking the time to ask how they are and to listen for their responses, is crucial.

For instance, if they sound distracted, as if they’re having a conversation with someone else while you’re on the phone, pause for a second or two. It makes no sense to continue without their attention.

If they force you out of your comfort zone, by barking, “Let’s cut to the chase!” you’re going to be tempted to skip over vital information that they need to hear, without which they cannot intelligently buy.

Say, “I’ll make it brief,” but don’t leave anything out! If they interrupt, let them go, telling them you’ll call back when they have time.

When seller and buyer are both in THE NOW, there’s less effort, more fun, some sharing, and for that time you are genuinely relating to another person, which is gratifying.

The bonus is that you both forget your cares and woes, fostering a pleasant mood for buying and selling.

That’s a benefit that most people would pay for, and appreciative prospects actually do.

Be Here Now often enough, and you won’t have to worry about your bills or your quota!

Dead-End Negotiations Aren’t Useless

Are you aware of when you’re headed for a dead-end in a negotiation? If you recognize the signs that could lead to a dead-end early in a negotiation, you can save lots of time, energy, and headaches, by knowing when to exit and knowing how long to stay engaged to reap the benefits. Don’t consider ending the negotiation, just because it could be headed for a dead-end. You can still learn something from the negotiation.

Dead-end negotiations can be very frustrating, if you’re not aware of where a negotiation is headed before it hits a dead-end. To maximize benefits from a dead-end negotiation observe the following:

Before the negotiation:

• As with every negotiation, set your goals for the negotiation in the planning stage. Create a strategy addressing the possibility of not reaching a successful outcome. As part of the strategy, determine what benefits you can receive by engaging in the negotiation, even though you know it may meet an untimely demise. Prioritize the benefits, so you’ll have a ready-made ‘hit list’, when it’s time to maneuver out of the negotiation.

During the negotiation:

• During the negotiation, as soon as you sense you’re headed for a dead-end, at that point determine what is salvageable and beneficial to you. Take note of what might entice the other negotiator to concede items you can take from the negotiation.

• Try to comprehend why the other negotiator is not engaging in the negotiation in earnest. Based on your assessment, you’ll gain insight into how much time and effort you may wish to invest.

• Heighten your awareness of the possibility that a negotiation is headed for a dead-end, when more of a negotiation’s discussion revolves around conversations not related to the matter at hand. The more prolonged the non-pertinent discussion strays from the purpose of the negotiation, the greater the possibility the negotiation outcome will not meet your expectations. (Note: Be aware, in some cultures, it’s customary to have an extended exchange of personal information and interaction before starting the ‘real’ negotiation. While such endeavors can be time consuming, the getting to know you process is essential in adding to a more sincere exchange of information.)

After the negotiation:

• Seek insight as to what the real intent of the other negotiator’s efforts were for the negotiation. Ask yourself, what purpose was served by drawing you deeper into a negotiation that was either intended, or trended towards a dead-end. Consider what the other negotiator may have learned about your negotiation style and can use against you in the future. Assess what you learned about him, too.

When you’re negotiating and you realize your efforts are not going to bear fruit, you can still benefit from the exchange that occurs in the negotiation. Even though you will have exposed how you might react to a certain stimulus in a negotiation, hopefully, you will have gained insight that you can use, too. Try not to expose more of your demeanor than the benefits you get… and everything will be right with the world.

Remember, you’re always negotiating.

The Negotiation Tips Are…

• In any negotiation, attempt to control as much of the process as possible. To the degree you control the negotiation process, you’ll be better positioned to thwart efforts created to draw you into dead-ends.

• Be aware of when a negotiation may be headed for a dead-end. If you decide to remain engaged, determine what you wish to receive for your efforts (i.e. insight into how the person negotiates, strategies/tactics used, etc.). Get what you can, and then disengage.

• When confronted by the potential of a dead-end negotiation, be cautious of the amount of time you invest. Also be mindful of the mindset you maintain, once you sense a dead-end. Don’t let your mental guard down and be dragged into an unwanted position.

Negotiation: Agreement

If you are negotiating a buyer/vendor agreement with a familiar partner, business can still be concluded with a handshake. Most likely, however, a contract or written agreement is the gold standard, because finances, deposits, guarantees, etc. are involved. The path to an agreement requires preparation, a top-notch presentation and discussion of the details.

The other side may request certain revisions and/or concessions. Evaluate the net effect of such changes: What real impact will they have? Are they asking too much? Is the request feasible? All too often we take a dissenting response in negotiations too personally. Depersonalize it. Look at the proposal in a purely objective manner and accept it, re-submit it, or refuse it. Consider your next step, and be prepared to proceed accordingly if you are unable to modify your stance.

The vendor may also totally refuse your proposal or requests. A good negotiating partner with an opposing view should simultaneously offer an alternative, but this does not always happen. Your next step should be somewhat strong, but well prepared. Ask why your request is being denied. If that answer is reasonable, sit down and discuss the process that led to the decision. Look for key elements that you can work with that might open doors to a positive conclusion.

If the response to your “why?” is close-ended, sometimes it is best not to waste any more time on further discussion. If other sources are available, move on. Be sure the other party is made aware that these actions will cause you to reassess your long-term relationship, but be professional and don’t dwell on it.

If this happened to be the sole supplier of what you require (which is somewhat rare), and you can’t do business on your terms, you may have to do business on their terms. This is usually workable, although not always desirable.

It is possible that the negative decision was made by someone higher in the organization than your negotiating partner. If it has been effective in the past to talk directly with the decision maker in this organization, suggest that diplomatically.

When negotiating for anything, whether you are looking for seats, fares, rooms or override, always remember to keep in mind the needs of the other party. This will show in your presentation and will be acknowledged and appreciated, thus producing a more desirable result. Develop a rapport with your negotiating partner, but never try to leverage a “favor owed.”

Do not undersell the value of your service. Offering large scale rebates in preliminary and secondary negotiations can, in fact, reduce the credibility of your offering, raising questions in the prospect’s mind about your ability to work on such a small margin. Carefully analyze your financial capabilities. Do not make unrealistic commitments. Negotiate in good faith. Keep mutual goals, mutual successes, and economics in mind both in your written and verbal negotiation presentations. Your ability to negotiate well and fairly should become as developed as the other principles of success that have enabled you to be where you are – and grow where you want to go.