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Sales negotiation is a process that involves the deliberation of all details necessary to successfully complete a sale. As part of this type of negotiation, a salesperson engages directly with a customer, assessing the needs of the client, pointing to the advantages the customer stands to gain, and helping the customer see how purchase of the goods or services offered would be a wise decision. The ultimate goal of any sales negotiation is to earn the business of the customer, satisfying the expectations of the customer to the point that he or she will be willing to consider making future purchases of the goods or services offered, and complete the sale with terms and conditions that are considered beneficial to all parties involved.
It is important to note that a sales negotiation can be a very formal process that is carefully crafted, or it can occur in a situation that takes place unexpectedly. Some negotiations are very informal, whiles others are highly structured. In many cases, the negotiation phase of the sales process will rely on the use of a few carefully employed strategies, although the exact expression of those strategies are often adapted to fit the circumstances surrounding the negotiation.
For example, a sales negotiation may follow after a formal presentation to the potential customer. The presentation may include any number of visual aids, including video streamed over an Internet connection. Once the salesperson has a sense that the customer has received enough knowledge to see the value and at least some applications for the product, the negotiation can begin. This will often involve exploring more possible applications, identifying the costs associated with the use of the product, taking care to call attention to savings of time and money that the customer can reasonably anticipate by using the product. From there, the negotiation moves on to settling on the pricing for the product, and the mutual agreement on the terms of the contract that will govern the newly established relationship between the buyer and the supplier.
Most sales training programs will spend a significant amount of time helping new salespeople hone their ability to engage in effective sales negotiation. While the training varies from one program to another, most will include tips on how to efficiently evaluate the potential customer, identify his or her most pressing needs, and use the data in a manner that convinces the customer to make a commitment and purchase the product or service offered. While some forms of sales negotiation focus a great deal on price, other factors such as quality, customer support, and timely delivery of the goods or services are also often employed as part of the tools in the negotiation process.