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Tips for managing nerves on negotiation calls?

I've been in a closing time for about seven months now and I'm starting to handle pricing and negotiation calls on my own. For the most part, I feel confident demoing, building rapport, asking discovery questions, but I still get nervous when it comes to talking about price. I assume this is a natural part of the learning process, so curious how long it took yall to feel comfortable talking about price, and any tips you have to deliver with more confidence. 
🧠 Advice
📈 Closing
18
CuriousFox
WR Officer
+13
Senior Account Executive
The confidence comes with knowing this: the value of your product is worth every fucking penny.
jefe
Politicker
+8
Sales Director
This is a great question, and the issue you're having is definitely not uncommon. I can get some nerves but they're usually overcome by being FIRED UP to make some shit happen.

I find taking a few mindful moments/meditating before entering the call can REALLY help. Headspace is great for quick guided ones, including work/meeting/interview related ones.

Either way, some deep breathing and taking a moment of Zen has really helped me, and many public speakers/anyone performing.

I also like to stand up, as it makes me feel more confident. 

Speak slowly - put up a note if you need to. Fast talking undermines your position.

USE SILENCE/PAUSES - maintain control and embrace the awkward. I've had multi minute silences that led to closing.

Try and detach yourself from the outcome and focus on the process - this is easier said than done.

Lastly, just know that YOU GOT THIS. And worst case, you can bitch to us and get a ton of support from other Savages that have all been through the same thing.

Make it happen and get that money
ColdCall
Valued Contributor
+5
Business Development Manager
Very good points here 
dr
drippyAE
Old School Bravo
+1
Strategic Account Executive
Echoing the "silences and pauses" aspect of your comment. 
jefe
Politicker
+8
Sales Director
YES! I love the discomfort. 
Show 4 more replies
DungeonsNDemos
Politicker
+10
Rolling for Initiative
To truly have no nerves you have to not give a fuck about the outcome. It is what it is, and the price shouldn't be a big deal if they have the budget and you built the case for the value it will deliver. 
Keeping a super full pipeline is key to this.
BeatCancer
Fire Starter
+2
Account Executive
My man. Of course they have budget. Go look at revenue/profits... Turn the table on them, as you  know the damage not getting your software/service/whatever does.. Once told a customer they can stay on the tricycle if they don't want to pay for the Ferrari. Got the DocuSign done in the meeting and most of the office heard it as well. Full price!! Zero fucking discount given!!
GrizzleMcThornBody
Arsonist
+12
EVP - RevOps
Deliver polite offerings. You're not a charity and they can't get this for free anywhere else.

When people are knee deep in negotiations, they are generally done searching. They might bluff but they aren't going to do the brain damage of negotiations across four options. No! They already chose you. You have the upper hand. Use that to get what you need out of them to make sure they're successful and you're turning a profit. We are not NPOs.
Incognito
WR Officer
+11
Master of Disaster
If you don't ask, you'll never get paid. 
ColdCall
Valued Contributor
+5
Business Development Manager
Can you bring up pricing earlier? Why not discuss it in a demo if you're feeling confident and its going well. 

One good trick is after giving the price be silent. Let them respond with what they think, don't try and soften the blow or discount. Stick to your guns! 

Don't beat yourself up- the fact you know where you can improve is a good starting point! 
jefe
Politicker
+8
Sales Director
Bringing up price earlier is a great idea - I don't demo unless I've confirmed they have budget and can afford it.

Doesn't help anyone to waste an hour + showing someone shit they can't buy.
MSPSales
Notorious Answer
+5
Account Executive
A little whiskey in my coffee always help ;) 

But for real, be confident in the value of the product and unapologetic with the pricing. If they have sticker shock, remind them of pain this is solving for and try to quantity that pain $$ to offset the price of the product. 

If you are going to drop the price, let them know you are doing the favour and will make the ask with management. Even if you have total control over discounting. 
Co
ColdCallHotCoffee
Politicker
+6
TSR
I'm not in tech sales, I sell capital equipment, but something I always do before talking price is have a conversation with myself—What price do I lead with and what is the absolute lowest I'm willing to go? Is the customer shopping around? Etc. Position yourself well based on what you know about the deal.

Once you have had the discussion with yourself, it makes it way easier to have it with the customer. 
StrictlyBusiness
Praised Answer
+2
Director of Enterprise Sales
When I was new to selling my boss once told me to approach every customer interaction as if I were already at quota. Not cocky or arrogant, but confident. Helped me qualify out shitty deals that I shouldn't spend my time on and enter into negotiation calls with the knowledge that I had something they needed and we could work together to help them get it.

But it's like anything else in life, if you're in your head about it you're going to perform worse. Prepare, prepare, prepare - but then leave your fate to the fickle sales gods. Remember: you have something they need. Only you can provide it to them. If you're nailing the discovery and demo piece, like you mentioned, you have shown them that ONLY YOU can solve their problem. Have a plan, know your limit, and be ready to walk away. 
RandyMoss
Politicker
+4
Sales Executive
At the end of the day you represent a business, and the whole point of a business is to make money and keep the lights on. Nobody puts food on their table by giving shit away for free, and people understand this. If you have done your due diligence in building rapport, asking good discovery questions, and putting together a strong ROI case, talking about price should be like falling off of a log! Help them uncover their $150k problem, and sell them a solution for a fraction of the price.

If people still want to complain about price when you bring it up, I sometimes flip it around on them. I'll ask them something like, "Well would you expect your salespeople to shortchange your own product? If your answer is no, then why are you asking me to do it?" Asking blunt questions like this can really make people think about their behavior if they are being difficult or unreasonable, especially if you do it during a meeting where the person that they report to is present.

Beefany28
Politicker
+6
Account Executive
Relax, be you! Know that you are expert! 
Ligy12
Opinionated
+2
Inside sales
Imagine you are talking with a friend or a family member 
cw95
Politicker
+6
Sales Development Lead
My tip which works for me is (although ironic) is fidgeting with something on your desk at the same time as the call. It kind of puts you in a mood of calm. Works for some and not for others. 
ne
newsalesguy14
Politicker
+7
Account Executive
You and I are in about the same spot! I've been taking pricing/negotiation/closing calls on my own for about a month and a half now, thanks to my manager pushing me to take them on my own :)

I would say the biggest thing, at least for me, is to KNOW ALL THE RIGHT QUESTIONS TO ASK.

Everything they say can be countered with a question. You're never really not in control, as long as you know what to ask them. Sure, you might not win. They might have to push, or they might decide on a different solution. You still counter these with asking why!!

What made you choose them? What's important to you that we couldn't offer? Is there anything we can do here to make this work and change your mind? What would it take?

If they push, then it's easy - when is timing better? What do you need from me? How can we speed this process along so we're ready to go when timing is right?

And if you're negotiating terms - then it's a game of ping pong. I can't give you something for free - if you need to change terms, you need to pay an increase in price. If you want a discount in price, then you need to take on a longer term or keep our ideal payment terms or whatever it is. If you need this, then you need to tell me what timeline you can commit to. Getting it in that time frame will benefit you and the discount or whatever terms they need will benefit them. 

I still get a nervous each time too, but knowing what to say and ask makes it a hell of a lot easier!
dr
drippyAE
Old School Bravo
+1
Strategic Account Executive
Drop pricing clearly and with minimal editorializing. Think brevity. Never apologize. 
SaaSData
Catalyst
+7
VP of SaaS & Unit Economics 🏴‍☠️
Prepare.  Use SaaSData's 9 Step SaaS negotiation tooling.

BEGIN HERE:

STEP 1. : Get all proposal levers out  (i.e. price, contract term etc.
STEP 2. : Ask if they have any questions. Repeat what you heard
STEP 3. : Prioritize the issues
STEP 4. : Qualify the decision-maker
STEP 5. : Trade starting with the easy items first.
STEP 6. : Listen and Repeat their counter-offer.
STEP 7. : Ask for the deal
STEP 8. : Add an expiration date. Agree to consequences if the expiration date is not met
STEP 9. : Confirm with email and contract
If anything changes, that changes the deal.  Look for all the levers and expand your negotiation surface.

If they try to negotiate... explain to them that the prices are developed with the following things in mind...

Live to fight longer if you miss this deal you will take months to get it back. 

1) Volume (how much the client commits to buy): Buy more, pay less per unit...

2) Timing of cash (how fast the client commits to pay): Pay up-front probably costs less than paying monthly.

3) Length of commitment (how long the client commits to the products/services): Commit longer, pay less.

4) Timing of the deal (when the client signs the agreement): Well...does the client understand this one?

One Caveat:  Get the deal done.  Even if it means giving up a few bones on your company.  Remember, a deal is better than no deal.  


Sorry, you won't get this advice from anyone else in SaaS.  There is no prize for the person who negotiates like a hostage negotiator like those stupid books they ask you to read.  

Just save that garbage and make it easier for your customer to buy.

-SaaSData 
lmk if i can help 

text: (908) 676-SaaS - reach out anytime... 24/7
5
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