Close the Deal With This Leverage During Negotiations

close the deal

Sellers may not realize the leverage they have during a negotiation to close the deal. Each negotiation presents several opportunities to gain leverage, according to sales professional Clint Babcock. “We can gain or lose negotiating leverage in various ways,” he explains in an article for Sandler​.com. “But if we’re not aware of areas where we can gain leverage in the negotiation, we miss opportunities.”

Two areas of leverage that make it easier to close the deal

Babcock highlights eight different areas that present opportunity to sellers during a negotiation. Here, we will discuss a couple highlights, as well as how sellers can use these elements to get an upper hand in the negotiation. 

  • Time 
  • Understanding

First, leverage need

Time, Babcock explains, is typically the first type of leverage he seeks when negotiating. Time, as he points out, rules everything. And in business, time means money, and that will always be important to buyers. Too often, sellers focus on their own timing when making a sale, worrying about meeting a quota deadline or feeling pressured by some other deadline. 

Instead, sellers can close the deal on their own terms by concentrating on the buyer’s time. “In order to strengthen your position regarding time, downplay any concerns about when the deal is done no matter what pressures you may be under personally,” he writes. Turn the attention to asking about timelines in regard to the buyer’s goals. You can kick-​start this conversation by asking these suggested questions: 

  • When would you like to have this [system, project, etc.] completed?”
  • Why by then?”
  • What happens if it’s not done by then?”

By leveraging the element of time, you bring the focus to the prospect rather than pressuring yourself over deadlines. You’ll be a more effective consultant and show that you care about the prospect by zeroing in on them–not yourself. 

You also uncover opportunities to create a sense of urgency, which can push buyers to close the deal. And asking these types of questions allows you to do this without being pushy. As I’ve noted, “The key is to inspire genuine urgency rather than use pushy techniques or discounting. One approach is to rethink urgency: Rather than creating urgency, uncover urgency.

Understanding

Sellers might not realize that their level of understanding can be a power leverage tool during negotiations. But it is, and reps who recognize this can be highly influential. “Are you able to put yourself in your counterpart’s world and understand their point of view, their business, their industry, their market, their motives?” Babcock asks. “When they take a certain negotiating position, do you understand what made them take that position? Do you understand the kinds of chess moves that their leadership is trying to make? Do you understand their mission?”

Asking yourself these questions can reveal just how deep your understanding of the prospect runs. If you find it lacking, it’s time to step up. Do everything you can to develop well-​rounded knowledge of the prospect, their business and their industry. This will give you leverage because you are demonstrating that you care enough to learn. This will resonate with buyers, and SalesFuel’s own research shows that they seek sellers who demonstrate knowledge of their business.

As Babcock points out, “It all comes down to effective questioning.” Check out these professional tips on how to master effective questioning so that you can thoroughly understand each prospect. 

Sales reps have so many opportunities to use leverage while negotiating to close the deal; they just need to learn to recognize those opportunities.

Photo by Amy Hirschi

Jessica Helinski

Jessica Helinski

Jessica reports on sales tips and credibility for SalesFuel. She is a graduate of Ohio University.