Topics Spend Less Time Talking and More Time Listening
One way you can become more effective in negotiating is to spend less time talking and more time listening. This advice is so important in every element of sales, particularly when it comes to negotiating.
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You see, so many people spend a lot of time talking. I follow something called the 80/20 rule. We need to do 80% of our time in listening and only 20% in talking. Of that 20% that we’re talking, 10% needs to be asking questions. Learning more, probing deeper, understanding your customer. What are the biggest challenges, desires, needs? What do they want and why do they want it? That 10% is asking questions.
The other 10% talking, that’s all you get for answering questions, telling and selling. But we’ve got to be doing 80% listening. The more listening you do, the more you can understand what’s truly important to your customer. And you might find that it’s more than just price. There could be some other concerns that they have, other things that are important to them beyond price. Maybe it’s effort or the energy that it takes to actually implement your solution.
Maybe it’s effort, maybe it’s time. Maybe what’s more important to them is delivery time or lead time. If you can shorten that time, you can close this deal. Maybe it’s effectiveness. Maybe they have concerns about will this solution work? You can offer them some coaching or guidance, free installation or tech support, 24-hour support or online support.
Listen carefully to what is most important to your customer before you just start throwing in discounts. Listen more, talk less.