Mañana Man Expands Hostage Assault —DeWese
Here are some things I've learned about selling/negotiating that are common to both situations:
Never shy away from, or procrastinate about, a sales call or a negotiation. Some print sales-people fret about failure and find excuses for not making a sales call. Seize the moment! Initiative and momentum are vital to both selling and negotiating.
Always prepare for a negotiation and a sales call—even if you have to stay up all night or, worst case, excuse yourself to the bathroom to gather and spend five minutes organizing yourself. Best case, however, will find you the day before listing on paper the issues from both points of view, yours and the other side, whether it's a customer or a prospect. Try to rank, in order, the selling points or negotiating issues from least important to most important. This will enable you to dispense with the easy negotiations first.
Never, never throw down the gauntlet or draw a line in the sand unless you are dealing with the rare one tenth of one percent of the population that is a "hard-line bully." Many people are bullies, but most will succumb as long as you show no anger and keep the sales or negotiating conversation alive. The best course is to ask questions.
Never refer to a negotiation as a "negotiating session." That raises red flags to other side. Instead, say, "I have some questions about your complaints." Or, "May I ask you some questions about your criteria for selecting your print suppliers?"
Whether selling or negotiating, force yourself to deal with one issue at a time. If you are stuck or at a stalemate, suggest that you move on to the next issue. You may be able to trade a compromise on the impasse by getting what you want on a later issue.