AIB Start-up Academy Coach Barbara Lynch on how to become a better negotiator and sell your product effectively
31 Mar 2016
Posted in: Business Start-up Support
For any Start-up, it’s absolutely crucial to be able to sell your product effectively. This week, AIB Start-up Academy mentor Barbara Lynch has been teaching the Academy finalists about the importance of negotiation and knowing the true value of your product. Read on for her tips on sales and negotiation which you can put into practice today.
Know the value of your product
As a seller, you need to remember there’s always something in it for the buyer. Sometimes as sellers, we’re so desperate to get the sale that we mistakenly believe people don’t necessarily need our product. That’s when we start forgetting the unique value we have to offer our customers. If you don’t 100% believe that your product is brilliant and know what sets it apart from other products, it makes it very difficult to sell. People will start talking about price and convenience and so on. In this case if you have other people who are cheaper or more convenient, you’re not going to be able to sell.
Preparation and first impressions are key
Planning and preparation is absolutely crucial in sales and negotiation. You need to know what your product is, what it has to offer, and who your target market are. Each product is unique and has a certain customer base. First impressions are also really important. If I like you, I’m more likely to go along with you, and do what you ask me to do. If I don’t like you, I won’t trust you, and I’m never going to do business with you.
How to get better at selling your product right now
1. Know Your Bargaining Zone
The bargaining zone is about figuring out – “What’s the best deal I can get here? And what’s the point at which I need to walk away?” When you figure that out in advance, you have your ideal scenario that you’d love to get but probably won’t – and then your worst case scenario. The more you go down from your ideal figure, you have to give the impression that people are losing something. Otherwise you’re devaluing your product. You can go in and make a sale, but if you haven’t worked out your bargaining zone you could end up having a lot of sales but actually making no money out of them. In that case you’re not negotiating effectively and you’re just selling for the sake of getting a sale.
2. It’s all about the “win-win”
It’s always about going for win-win. You need to feel really happy with your sale. You shouldn’t feel that you’ve been beaten down to within an inch of your life. If so, you’re not going to value the customer and as soon as you’ve built up your base you’ll probably do little for them. And then it becomes a bad relationship. Or if the customer feels they haven’t got what they wanted out of it, they will be looking in the background for somebody else to supply what you’re supplying. Ultimately going for the win-win is the only way you negotiate. Or else you don’t strike a deal.
3. Being aware of tactics can give you the advantage
Silence can be very effective. People generally jump in if there’s silence and whoever speaks first is the one who concedes or gives too much information. Be aware if you ask for something from your customer and they go silent. They could just be using it as a tactic. Don’t jump in and offer them more. Be wary of threats or blackmail also. Someone may say, “If you don’t give it to me at that price I’m going to walk away”. But if they’re taking time to talk to you, they see the value of your product. Go back to realising the value of what you have to offer and don’t allow that threat to diminish your power of negotiation.
Learn More about Growing Your Business
The AIB Start-up Academy sees 11 new companies compete for the chance to win a prize package worth €250,000 to develop their business. Find out more about the AIB Start-Up Academy and follow the progress of this year’s Academy participants on @AIBBiz and check out our photo album on Facebook.