aim for sales negotiation success by picking the right target

What is the #1 thing that you need to do before you sit down at your next sales negotiation? Polish your shoes? No. Work on your icy “that deal’s not good enough for me so don’t even offer it” stare? No. How about something much simpler that all too often gets forgotten by even the best sales negotiators: picking your target.
Why Are We Doing This? I’d like to be able to tell you that things like this never happen, but the sad reality is that all too often they actually do. The reasons vary, but generally they start when someone taps us on the shoulder and asks us “to attend” a meeting with a partner or vendor. What started out with us in the role of an observer can suddenly transform itself into a full-fledged negotiation session if we’re not careful.
One way to make sure that this doesn’t happen to you is to make sure that you know the purpose of any meeting that you are being asked to attend. You can’t keep yourself from getting sucked into heading up a spur of the moment negotiation session, but you can make sure that you know why you are doing it.
It’s All About The Issues If you want to know what the target of any sales negotiation is, then you’re going to have to have a handle on the issues that will lead you to where you want to go. The key thing here is to remember that not all issues are created the same.
Generally, the issues that will be negotiated can be placed into one of three categories: critical, negotiable, and don’t care. The critical issues are the ones that matter the most to your firm. The negotiable ones are where you have some latitude and can be used to make sure that you get what you need on the critical issues. Finally, the don’t care issues are on the table simply to give you more things to talk about with the other side as you work to put a deal together.
Back To That Target Thing If you want to reach the target of a sales negotiation, knowing what the issues are and just how important they are to your company is an important first step. However, it’s not enough. You’ve got to do a “coin analysis” on each issue.
This means that you need to pick it up and look at both sides - both the pros and the cons (every issue has both). You can be well assured that the other side will be pointing out these issue characteristics to you during the negotiation and so you had better be aware of them going in to the discussion…