As we’ve highlighted in the past, our research has revealed a significant gap between buyers and sellers when it comes to negotiation training and skills development. In fact, characterizing this particular finding as a “gap” is actually understating the issue—because it’s really a giant, gaping chasm:
Now, this massive mismatch in negotiation skills is no doubt costing sellers a lot of money. At best, when pitted against a trained buyer, the untrained salesperson will fall for every trick in the book and “win” the business while leaving a ton of revenue and profit on the table. At worst, the untrained salesperson will end up losing the deal altogether because they just don’t understand the mechanics of the game.
Of course, the solution to all of this is to fight fire with fire and provide salespeople the negotiation training they’re lacking. Not just “sales” training, mind you, but also specific training as to the art and science of effective negotiation.
But ever since we began talking about this issue and beating the drum about developing this critical skillset, we’ve been hearing from subscribers who are struggling to find negotiation training providers.
So, we began to investigate the options ourselves…
Tellingly, most of the negotiation training options we found weren’t really aimed at salespeople. Instead, these programs were primarily designed for…you guessed it…procurement and purchasing people. (Helps explain our research findings, eh?)
Eventually, however, we did find a sales-focused solution that looked promising and tried it for ourselves. And I have to admit that I learned a lot in a very short period of time. In fact, since going through the program, I’ve used a number of the negotiation strategies and tactics in the real world, with very profitable results.
The point is that there are effective steps you can take to narrow the negotiation skills gap. You don’t have to live on the edge of this costly chasm. You don’t have to accept that your salespeople are fighting battles they really aren’t equipped to win. And you certainly don’t have to settle for whatever scraps of revenue and profit your buyers decide to leave for you.
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