As an ISO or merchant level salesperson, you spend a significant amount of time negotiating. And in the day-to-day hustle of following up on leads, doing presentations, closing deals and boarding merchants, it's easy to skimp on preparation time. When you're eager to dive right into high-energy, adrenaline-charged, face-to-face deal making, cutting corners on prep time can seem relatively harmless.
However, the better prepared you are when you come to the table, the smoother the negotiations will go and the more deals you will close in your favor.
Preparation involves doing research and analysis on the other negotiating party, as well as readying yourself mentally to be on top of your game.
When researching the other party involved in a negotiation, think like a detective. In addition to learning as much as possible about the nature of the business, as well as identifying current issues in the company's vertical market and the challenges associated with the local market, delve deeper into your prospects psyche. Figure out what the party's strengths and weaknesses are, what specific pain points are truly motivating him or her, and how you can address them.
Also determine what you want and what the other party wants, realizing needs are often different than demands.
Right before the negotiations, pause, take some deep breaths and remind yourself to be patient. If you hurry the process, you'll be more likely to make mistakes. There's also a strong possibility you'll create the impression that you're desperate to make a deal. The more relaxed you are, the more you'll create the opposite impression, which will work to your advantage. Remember to ask open-ended questions and listen well to the answers. This will further your research, as well as reinforce the relaxed pacing needed to negotiate for a win-win outcome.
Don't convince yourself that striking a deal today is the only acceptable conclusion. If you depend too much on reaching a positive outcome, you'll leave yourself with limited options, and you might make concessions that could harm your business. Remember that you can always say no. This will enable you to negotiate from a position of strength.
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