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Negotiate a deal keeping customer relationship as a priority

Our goal is to negotiate deals keeping Customer Relationship as a top priority. Every negotiator has two kinds of interests: in the substance and in the relationship

On one hand, a business professional has an interest in his relationship with the client, while on the other side he wants to make profit on the sale and also turn the customer into a regular one. At a minimum a negotiator would want to maintain a working relationship, good enough to produce an acceptable agreement that satisfies substantive interest.

With many long term clients, business partners, family members, fellow professionals, government officials, foreign nations, the ongoing relationship is far more important than the outcome of any particular negotiation.

To be a good negotiator, you must understand that you are dealing with a human being, be it in a basic corporate transaction or an international transaction. Here, human beings have emotions, deeply held values, different backgrounds and viewpoints; and they are unpredictable. It is also a fact that they are prone to cognitive biases, perceptions, blind spots and leaps of illogic.

We must also understand that human beings get angry, depressed, fearful, hostile, frustrated and offended. We have egos that are easily threatened and we see the world from our own personal vantage point, and frequently confuse perceptions with reality. All critical and important information collected and stored in CRM, has to be made accessible to all the employees. And by winning over people, the sales cycle will reduce.

In a working relationship where trust, understanding, respect and friendship are built up over a period of time can make each new negotiation more and more efficient. The other factors that you must consider is that people have a desire to feel good about themselves, and their concern for what others will think of them, can often make them more sensitive to another negotiator’s interest.

As human beings are prone to human reactions, failing to deal with others sensitively can be disastrous for negotiation. Whatever else you are doing at any point during a negotiation, from preparation to follow up, it is worth asking yourself, “Am I paying enough attention to the people and problem?”

Naga Darshan J
Darshan is a CRM Strategist, Entrepreneur, Author and Business Coach. He heads the sales and marketing for Rapid GPRS and has been instrumental in transformation of several businesses.

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