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The Catch-22 Of Sales Negotiation

There’s a challenging conundrum for anyone involved in negotiations–especially salespeople. The conundrum? It’s almost impossible to tell whether you’re actually any good at negotiating. Imagine the scenarios:

If a deal was won:

  • Did the salesperson really get the best possible price and terms?
  • Or did they actually leave money on the table?

If a deal was lost:

  • Did the salesperson never really have a chance to win?
  • Or was there actually a way they could have closed the deal?

No matter the scenario, it’s rare to be able to get the truth from the person on the other side of the table afterward and learn what they were actually willing and able to do. And psychologically, absent any evidence to the contrary, most salespeople will likely assume that the negotiation couldn’t have played out any differently. They want to believe they did the best they could.

It’s certainly a catch-22. But what’s the best way to combat it? Ensure your salespeople have formal training in negotiation and pricing. Don’t make it optional–the catch-22 means they likely think they’re doing a great job, even when they could be doing better.

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