Commercial efficiency
3 min reading

Succeed in all your commercial negotiations by following these 3 principles

Paul Berloty
June 2022
a very surprised salesman holding his glasses during a negotiation

If every business opportunity were a school subject, negotiation would be the final test of the year.ย 

No matter how much understanding you have gained over the past six months or weeks, if you fail this test, it is your results that will be remembered.ย 

To avoid these disastrous situations, here are a few cheat sheets that will help your teams successfully exit the exam room.


1st tip: don't let a negotiation be done in writing.


We have all made this mistake at least once (me first): negotiating by e-mail. In addition to wasting a lot of time, it can be fatal!

Imagine this situation: you have been negotiating with a potential client for months. The exchanges are done only by e-mail. Finally, the client asks you for your best offer. You see an opportunity and decide to send them your proposal. But you never hear from them again.ย 

You later discover that the customer used your offer as leverage to negotiate with a competitor to lower the opposing proposal.ย 

Such a situation can jeopardize your entire negotiation and performance.

To avoid this, avoid at all costs offers by e-mail, and more generally negotiations!ย 

It's better to get out your phone, and call (several times if necessary) the prospect. You'll save time and get real-time feedback!ย 

Only make your offers verbally, not in writing.

It is essential to understand that e-mail negotiations can be double-edged. You can lose valuable time, but also put your business at risk.ย 

By using the telephone to negotiate, you can build trust with your counterpart, better understand his needs and expectations, and negotiate in real time. This will allow you to optimize your chances of making a successful sale while avoiding the potentially disastrous pitfalls of written negotiations.

๐Ÿ“ Bonus: Don't confuse offer and price. You can clearly give your price fairly quickly, to eliminate prospects who will never buy and save time. But the clear, whole offer, the culmination of an entire negotiation process, is not sent lightly:

  • A typo potentially leads to misunderstanding.
  • Now the ball is in the prospect's court. You're in a holding pattern. Your prospect will wait to receive interesting information before asking you to lower your price.
  • Your prospect could use it against you.
Success rate of a sale according to the negotiation channel


2nd cheat sheet: prepare each negotiation to win!


You want to win the negotiation, right? Then prepare yourself in advance!

The first step is to define a clear framework beforehand.ย 

So you need to ask yourself the right questions:ย 

  • What are the arguments that will work?ย 
  • What is negotiable and what is not?ย 
  • Where is the red line that should not be crossed?ย 

It is essential that you have all these elements in mind before each negotiation.

On the other side of the table, prospects are also anticipating this meeting. It is therefore important to anticipate the objections they might make and to prepare responses to each of them. As the saying goes: "Hard preparation, easy war". By preparing adequately, you will avoid unpleasant surprises and you will be better equipped to respond to objections.

Next, it is important to make sure you speak to the decision maker(s) quickly. There is nothing worse than talking to someone for half an hour only to hear a "Thank you for all the information, I'll discuss it with my supervisor and get back to you". From the beginning of the conversation, address the topic head-on and ask if there are other people involved in the purchase decision.

Finally, to succeed in a negotiation, it is important to keep all parties honest and upright. Slandering your competitors may pay off in the short term, but it can have negative consequences in the long term, for you, for your customers and for the world. By staying honest, you will create a relationship of trust with your prospect that can pay off in the long run.


3rd tip: aim for a win-win situation during your negotiation.


The secret to this 3แต‰ anti-cheat: arrive at negotiations with the right mindset.

Contrary to what one might think, a negotiation is not an arm wrestling match.ย 

This is not a war in which the first party to bend over loses. On the contrary, a good negotiation is one in which both parties win. This is what we call the famous "win-win" situations.

To achieve a win-win situation, it is essential to find a compromise that satisfies both parties.ย 

Keeping your imagination in check is the key to making this happen. If your prospect is desperate to pay less than what you are offering, don't panic. There are plenty of quid pro quos you can ask for that will benefit you more.

So, how do we get there? The first step is to put the other party's interests first.ย 

Next, look for elements of the negotiation that are mutually beneficial.ย 

Finally, have a positive and creative attitude to find solutions that work for everyone.

Bonus: Here are 3 examples of counterparties that we use in our negotiations.

  • Offer a longer-term commitment. In most cases, if your prospect is convinced by your product or service, he will be more open to a 2 or 3 year commitment if it will lower the bill.
  • Negotiate introductions. This is called the golden ticket. Ask your prospect for 5 "quality" introductions with members of his network who could become customers.
  • Give marketing a treat! Suggest to your prospect that he or she perform a customer case within the next 6 months and leave one or more positive reviews of your solution. This will strengthen the social proof of your company and make it easier for you to convince future prospects. This may seem like a small thing, but it can change everything (especially if you work in a young company or if you are attacking a new vertical)


In conclusion


  1. Communicate your offers only by e-mail. Negotiate in person.
  2. Master the framework, as well as the negotiation margin.
  3. Negotiations are not an arm wrestling match, but rather the establishment of a collaboration. Aim for win-win ;)

And finally, forget about stress! You're there to help your prospects, so there's no reason to panic. Keep that mindset, apply these tips, and enjoy your bonuses as they should be.


Paul Berloty
CEO and Co-founder
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