Has your sales staff mastered the fine art of negotiation? In this article, I’ll share 8 tips to help your sales employees seal the deal and improve customer satisfaction.
Sales employees require a broad range of skill sets to address customer needs and persuade them to purchase. They have to articulate why the product or service is worth the investment and convince the customer that the price is right. All without using manipulation tactics or exaggerating the advantages. Here are 8 top tips to help you facilitate negotiation skills in sales training.
Negotiation skills require firsthand know-how. Your sales staff must be able to apply what they’ve learned in a real-world setting. This is why you should incorporate branching scenarios into your skill-building strategy. Replicate customers and situations that your sales staff may encounter in the workplace. Then let them choose their own paths by making a series of decisions. Only a handful lead to desired outcomes, while others allow them to learn from their mistakes.
Online training simulations are yet another way to interweave real-world experience into your sales online training. They feature relatable and realistic elements, such as customer personas, work-related tools, and common obstacles. Expose sales employees to different customer personas with unique buying requirements and budgets. Then ask them to negotiate the deal from start to finish, using all the skills at their disposal. Throw in a few hurdles along the way so that they can learn how to navigate challenging sales. To achieve a favorable outcome, sales employees must actively listen, communicate, and empathize with the customer.
Every customer who frequents your shop or visits your site has a back story. They may be looking for the ideal product for their recent high school grad, or software that can help them manage their funds more effectively. The most talented sales employees recognize the importance of each individual story and how it impacts the transaction. As such, they listen to the customer’s concerns and take note of their body language to get to the root of the problem. That problem is the real reason why the customer is interested in your product. “Customer perspective” stories are the ideal online training tool for negotiation skills. They let employees see the situation from a different point of view, thus improving their ability to empathize and communicate with your consumer base.
Your sales employees are busy people. But they also need to be able to build their negotiation skills, no matter how many client meetings they have marked on their calendar. Infographic tips sheets offer them quick and targeted information they can use to refresh knowledge and explore new ideas. For example, the infographic may contain 5 top tips for negotiating with an unhappy customer or a client who lowballs every offer, even though they know it’s far below the asking price. Sales employees can use these convenient reference guides anytime, anywhere. As such, they are able to enhance their negotiation talents whenever they have a free moment.
Certain sales employees may feel as though they’ve mastered their negotiation skills. That they’ve learned everything there is to know about customer behaviors and getting top dollar. However, a self-assessment may open their eyes to the fact that there’s always room for improvement. Even the most experienced sales employees have the opportunity to grow. The self-assessment can even reveal hidden strengths or negotiation gaps they need to work on.
Your sales employees have to know what they’re working with. Namely, the products and services they must promote to the consumer so that they can negotiate the offer. Therefore, you should provide a good variety of product knowledge online training resources. For instance, video demos and online training tutorials on how to use the product, or infographics that highlight its benefits and uses. This gives your sales staff a solid foundation to build on for each transaction. They know everything about the item, what it can offer the consumer, and its fair market value.
Give your sales staff a chance to reflect after each online training activity, module, or assessment. In fact, you can facilitate the process by asking thought-provoking questions or asking them to analyze their performance. These reflection breaks allow them to evaluate their current strategy and identify gaps. They can also take time to absorb the information and tie it to a real-world context, instead of merely hopping from one online training activity to the next in quick succession. These opportunities for reflection may even include a real-world simulation or branching scenario that puts their knowledge into use.
Create serious games that feature customer personas with a brief backstory, their specific buying requirements, and budget. Then ask your sales employees to find the perfect negotiation approach for each customer in the game. For example, Mr. Brooks is the owner of a start-up company. He’s looking for a product that can help him market and promote his services online. The budget is $5,000, and he wants to see results within the first quarter. Your sales employee must find the ideal product/service for Mr. Brooks’ organization based on the criteria, then negotiate a deal that benefits all parties involved. If they are successful, they get to advance to the next level.
Negotiation skills are tricky to teach. This is primarily due to the fact that they encompass a whole host of other abilities and talents, such as being able to read body language and active listening to customers’ needs. However, these 8 tips can help you create a sales team that surpasses their targets and bolsters customer loyalty.
Do your employees work well with others and provide top-notch service to your customers or clients? Read the article 8 Real World Activities That Build Interpersonal Skills In Online Training to discover the top real world activities that build interpersonal skills in online training.