One of the common pieces of coaching work I perform with the owners of SMB IT companies is around sales negotiations. For most technicians who now find themselves as business owners, going into a sales situation can still feel awkward, and going into the same situation with a buyer who is trying to knock you down on price can feel very uncomfortable indeed.
So I was very interested when a mutual friend recently introduced me to Brian Dietmeyer, CEO of Think Inc, a US-based Consultancy that helps their clients improve negotiation technique.
B2B Street Fighting
Dietmeyer is also the author of B2B Street Fighting B2B Street Fighting: three counterpunches to change the negotiation conversation , a book based on techniques that you can use to change the negotiation conversation from the price of products to the value of solutions. Intrigued by the title, I picked up the book to understand more about the work that Think Inc does.
I found B2B Street Fighting a really easy read. It’s well written, has clear examples of common sales situations, and provides easy to understand advice that can help you improve your own technique for negotiations.
The analogy of a Street Fighter focuses on being a “lean, mean negotiation machine”, and the book focuses on the very simple concept, but one which most of us appear to forget, of being fully prepared for negotiations.
Negotiation Tactics are 97% Predictable
The book ascertains that negotiation tactics used by buyers are 97% predictable, and so there’s no excuse for not being prepared for them.
While the book mentions some areas that might be common to bigger deals, including those that involve professional buyers, anybody at the SMB level will also be familiar with the phrase “I can get the same thing cheaper”. The book helps arm you with three techniques to bring the conversation back to a value-based discussion, rather than the all too familiar comparison of “Apples to Oranges” based on price.
[tweet_box design=”default”]Negotiation tactics used by buyers are 97% predictable, be prepared for them![/tweet_box]
Don’t get beaten up on price
For anyone who finds themselves offering discounts, being beaten up on price, or generally feeling less than comfortable in sales situations and negotiations – I’d recommend this book. It should pay for itself the first time you use one of the techniques to avoid offering a discount to a prospective client.
B2B Street Fighting by Brian Dietmeyer is available from Amazon B2B Street Fighting: three counterpunches to change the negotiation conversation