How to trade instead of negotiate
Helping not haggling
The penultimate stage of most sales processes is typically called “Negotiation”. It’s where contracts get signed and deals get closed. The problem is that negotiating implies confrontation and haggling, which usually ends with the weaker party yielding and feeling they lost. It’s no way to set a partnership up for success.
Instead, I like to use the term “Trading”, because a) it implies working together with your customer to find a solution that works for the long term and b) for most of my career I’ve worked for the traditionally weaker party (a startup) selling to the traditionally stronger party (a large enterprise).
As a seller, the key to trading instead of negotiating lies in offering your buyer multiple options, so that they can get what they want without you having to devalue what you do. The psychology behind multiple options is simple: buyers (like most humans) like to feel they are in control of their lives and having choices fulfills that desire.
Assuming you’ve offered your buyer multiple options, the best practices for trading your way to the finish line are: