Skip to main content

Why choose us?

We offer a vast range of resources - for clients and candidates. Guiding you through preparation, interview, follow-up and starting new talent/roles. Free forever, on us - and if you need more advice, just give us a call on 01908 061 400

How To Negotiate in Sales

What is Negotiation?

“Negotiation is a dialogue intended to resolve disputes, to produce an agreement upon courses of action, to bargain for individual or collective advantage, or to craft outcomes to satisfy various interests.” (Wikipedia)

In business, there is likely to be many occasions in which you will have to negotiate- if you work in sales you will find this task unavoidable. Whilst some professionals may be naturally highly skilled in this area, others often find the process terrifying or at the very least rather uncomfortable.

Invariably negotiation situations are stressful and ineffective processes which leave at least one person feeling as though they ‘lost the battle.’ This is largely down to the fact that one or more of the negotiating parties are seeking a win-lose result in favour of themselves obtaining the ‘positive’ end.

Negotiation in fact has little to do with bargaining, compromise or competition. It is not a verbal or a mental sparring session where the side with the sharpest mind, toughest resolve and most aggressive tactics emerge as the victor. Effective deal makers approach negotiation as a mutual problem-solving process.

In business, you needn’t ‘play hardball.’ There are situations when this is necessary in life- perhaps when buying a house or looking to buy anything of high value in your personal life. In those situations it is not always necessary to preserve your relationship with the seller, however in business it is more often than not critical that relationships are maintained.

A major part of developing negotiation skills lies in managing your time and knowing crucial information and being organized - we've luckily made a guide on improving time management for you as well.

Why Do People Look To Negotiate?

As a company (and as people) we look to negotiate when our goals rely upon the cooperation of other people, thus we hope to find ourselves in a position where we have affected our present situation positively. People negotiate (or should do...) so that both sides reach a conclusion that is mutually beneficial.

How to Achieve a Win-Win Result in Negotiation

The important concept to remember when attempting to gain a win-win outcome in negotiation is that you are not trying to get the ‘biggest part of the pie,’ you are simply trying to ‘make the pie bigger.’

Some professionals will undoubtedly enjoy the competition of trying to ‘win’ the negotiation, however this can prove destructive in long term efforts to retain the client’s business. Numerous experts unquestionably agree that utilising a win-win approach drastically increases your chance of creating a deal that benefits both sides of the negotiation and leads to positive long term relationships with your clients.

Top Tips for Creating a Win-Win Resolve

Don’t focus on price- unless the transaction involves a commodity (such as rice, soy beans or crude oil for example), then price may very well be the predominant issue. Unless your product is a commodity then you do not want to allow your product or service to be viewed as such.

Build value- When the focus on price is eliminated, excellent negotiators know that the best way to offset a concern over price is to build value. This can be achieved by ensuring that you...

Identify a need (and qualify that need). If you are able to communicate that you understand what the needs of the client are and how you can fulfil that need, you will be in a better position to negotiate (If you are unable to discover a compelling reason why your service warrants the full price you charge then unfortunately, you may have to settle for what you can get).

Although reaching a win-win result from the negotiation should be your primary concern it is important to remember the basics of the process:

What does the client want? Although this seems an obvious part of the process, you will be surprised how many times individuals venture into negotiation with very little idea about what the other side are really looking for.

Qualify the negotiation. Is the client professional in his dealings with you? Does he/she have expectations that are unachievable? If your answer to either of these questions is yes you will find it is not appropriate to be negotiating under his/her terms. There may be some instances whereby turning down ‘the deal’ could be more beneficial to you than venturing into something that will leave you at a disadvantage (a win-lose).

Uncover important information. If you have qualified the other person as someone who you wish to engage in negotiation with then gather every bit of information you possibly can- knowing where you stand will assist you further down the line;

This can be done in many ways but some examples include: What has his/her previous dealings with other companies in your industry been? How did they operate? What did they charge? Has he/she/they been happy with the results? Importantly you may be able to find out any critical hidden agendas which will prove to be the pivotal point of negotiation.

Analyse and assess the situation. Do you really need this clients business? Are you likely to be able to add value and fill his/her/they're job orders? What will you gain from making any concessions?

Having ensured you have undertaken the aforementioned steps you would be now be in a position to negotiate effectively and will more likely to gain a win-win agreement- your ultimate goal. Remember, if you are not sure immediately whether you want to go through with a deal you can always delay if you really must- better to put off an uncomfortable deal than agree to something you are likely to regret later.

We have LOADS of sales tips on our Instagram and Twitter, updated daily with useful bits of info on how to successfully negotiate with clients.

How to Avoid Discrepancies on Price

Even when we are confident that our product or service will be adding value to the client and their business, sometimes the way in which we convey that fact to the client can let us down in negotiation. There are a number of ways to achieve a negotiation that ‘flows’ in a positive direction.

Assume

Having given the client a good idea of how their business could benefit from using your product or service by focussing on the value you can add, you can then avoid conflicts on price by assuming they have already agreed to do business with you. For example “I have shown you how I can assist you in this project, our rates are XXXX, including XXXXX. When would you like me to send over the order?

Often clients are happy with this or at the very least don’t really fancy challenging it. It is important to remain confident with your tone of voice and not pause before moving onto the next question. Likewise though, don’t hurry.

Go In High

Whatever you usually charge, go in higher but fair. Sometimes you will find that the client will be happy with the quoted amount and you will get a great margin, however if it’s too high you will have a high starting rate to negotiate from and will usually achieve the rate you set out to get. Provided you don’t start with an unrealistic rate and you have already communicated what a great job you or your product can do this can be extremely effective.

Money Back Guarantee

If you are really confident in your ability to deliver a great product or service (which you should be!), offering a money back guarantee offer can offset concerns over your competency to deliver (if they are a new client) and will give the person you are negotiating with peace of mind.

Create Problems for the Client

By asking questions about their needs you can create an element of doubt/worry/concern over many issues that they had not previously considered. This will allow you to enter the fee negotiation process in a manner that positions you as a problem solver for their business rather than just giving them  a product or service;

Examples of this might be:

How do you think that buying this product could save YOU time?

Have you considered the indirect costs of this service not currently being utilised?

How important is this service to you?

You can also directly ‘tell’ the client what problems not having this service or product is already causing for their business and what that means; “the vacancy you are recruiting for is taking XX hours a week out of your schedule in order for you to deal with the extra workload. The cost of that time will pay for the extra XXX pence an hour on the rate. Plus it will enable you to focus on your job.”  You see here you are understanding a problem and communicating how you can fix this problem whilst maintaining a win-win approach to your negotiation.

The Economic Argument

Emphasising the importance of investing money into a product or service in order for the client to receive preferential treatment can often give the client a peace of mind that they are now your priority. This can often be a useful method when it is particularly pressing for them to hire a company to provide a service or to buy a product. It is essential in this instance that this client then becomes one of your ‘A’ clients and of course, that you deliver!

 

Date published: 26th Feb 2024

A photo of Darren Dewrance, Aaron Wallis Sales Recruitment

About the author

Darren Dewrance

Darren spent six years in sales and field sales before joining the original sales recruitment specialist, Austin Benn, in 1998. After achieving the status of top consultant, out of about seventy at the time, Darren rose from Senior Consultant to Operations Manager of the commercial sector before leaving to join a London based Headhunter in 2003 before setting up Aaron Wallis with Rob in October 2007.

With a natural leadership style, Darren is an expert on putting his finger right on the heart of the problem. His natural commercial instincts have helped hundreds of employers make better recruitment decisions. Darren is married with two children, and when not at work or with his family, he likes nothing more than to be on the side of a river or a lake with a rod in his hand.

Please call us to discuss your next move

Milton Keynes

Birmingham

Bristol

Our employers say...

Sophie did a great job at understanding our business and our needs, she is extremely professional and we hugely benefitted from her experience and expertise.

HR Manager, The Data Privacy Group Ltd

I have used Aaron Wallis to fill a number of our Sales Development Manager roles and I have found them to provide a very professional service. I will use their services again in future recruitment campaigns.

HR Business Partner, Greene King

We appointed Aaron Wallis in February and the successful candidate, out of the six which Aaron Wallis introduced, was able to join Alphametrics before the end of April. The whole process took less than three months. I would recommend Aaron Wallis' services to others without hesitation.

Chief Financial Officer, Alphametrics

Aaron Wallis has continuously provided us with suitable candidates that have been proactively sourced. Having used countless recruitment companies, Aaron Wallis are the only company that I can count on to deliver.

Managing Director, JARK Healthcare Recruitment

As always we were extremely impressed with Rob's understanding of the role and our specific needs.

Managing Director, Speck & Burke

Giles is highly professional and was a pleasure to work with. He achieves excellent results through his personable skills and tenacity. I have no hesitation in recommending Giles to anyone who considers employing his services.

Commercial Director, G4S Government & Outsourcing Solutions

I can't fault Sam or AW! Sam was a pleasure to work with and provided great support from the start. Sam always provided me with timely updates when required and provided outstanding candidates!

Director, Waste Managed Ltd

Thanks for all your help during the recruitment process. I have been extremely impressed with Aaron Wallis especially when compared to other agencies we have dealt with. I really felt you grasped the type of person we required and found strong candidates.

UK Sales Manager, Nexcom

Generally good standard of candidates. Especially liked the personality profile. Overall good value for money and will certainly use you again.

Managing Director, Medicash

I really liked the YouTube presentations which made the service seem both simple and accessible. The company came to see me, and my management team, at short notice to present their service and I liked the support and advice that I received about maximising the results from the applicant.

Managing Director, Leisuresec plc

Since joining DSGi, Rob has been a supplier of permanent staff and has performed to an extremely high standard, successfully filling 98% of roles he has worked on. If anyone is looking for a good sales and marketing based consultancy with an informal yet professional approach, I would recommend Rob.

Senior Recruitment Consultant, DSG International

I could not suggest anything I would like you to do better. The service you provided materially exceeded my expectations. I would especially like to commend Simon Bonner; he is easily the best recruitment consultant I have ever dealt with. I particularly valued his advice and guidance throughout the recruitment process. 

UK Sales Manager, BTS Holdings Limited 

Rob is a true recruitment professional that goes the extra mile that I have never experienced from any other recruitment agency before. If you need sales people call Rob or someone in his team, as they really are experts in sales recruitment.

Sales Director, Inside Business

Understood the type of person we were looking for and good follow ups - not too frequent.

Managing Director, bigHead Bonding Fasteners Ltd

In an industry where people over promise and under deliver, Rob and his teams have consistently provided a high-quality service. It is great to deal with someone that has an excellent understanding of UK industry, and a passion for sales.

Sales Manager, TR Fasteners

Thank you for your dedicated help during the recruitment process - we came to you after unsuccessfully searching elsewhere, and hired, not one, but two! Quick response times, and a really personal approach, without being pushy.

Managing Director, Accora Ltd

I found Aaron Wallis to be very professional and efficient, taking time to understand the role and the type of candidate we were looking for. The candidates they put forward met our criteria and were of a high standard. The service they provided was exemplary and I would have no hesitation in recommending them, and will certainly consider using them again in the future.

HR Assistant, Fischer Connectors Ltd

Very professional service and will certainly be in contact for future recruitment.

Director, Blakedown Sport & Play Ltd

I just wanted to thank you for your help with our recruitment process which went very smoothly and has – we hope – found us just the person for the job!

Managing Director, Citrefine International Ltd

George is a joy to work with, and I'd recommend him to anyone seeking that unicorn hire - he found me mine, and I'm delighted!

Director, Education Support

We were impressed not only by the quality of candidates you found for us but also the level of information, preparation and qualification you put into the process. You continually kept us informed of each person’s feelings about the process, which is very important but often overlooked. I am looking forward to working with your company again in the future.

Commercial Director, Incentive Facilities Management

George came recommended by a colleague and has been a pleasure to work with. He was great at updating us on his progress and ensured a great experience for both client and candidate.

HR Manager, Annapurna Recruitment Ltd

George is a rare find in the world of recruitment - communicative without being pushy or over-bearing. He listens and understands what the customer needs as gets to know the business to ensure he provides fully competent candidates who fit.

HR Manager, Big Dug

Giles Phillips is a rare find in the minefield of sales recruitment; an honest and thoughtful recruiter who considers the needs of both the client AND the candidate to create perfect role matches. I look forward to working with him again in the future.

Marketing Director, City of London Police

Rob’s knowledge of the recruitment industry and his thoughts and how to make it better for his clients have always been eye opening. I would recommend Rob to anybody who is looking for a professional, knowledgeable and flexible recruitment specialist.

CEO, Friday Ad Online Services

I have always found Rob to be very knowledgeable about our industry sector, and it is refreshing to see after all of these years that Rob continues to quickly and accurately understand my requirements.

HR and General Manager, THK

Really good service. Just the right amount of contact and easy to deal with.

HR Manager, Zircon Software Ltd

Our candidates say...

Darren at Aaron Wallis was really encouraging and helpful. He was very responsive and regularly made phone calls to explain the job opportunities available, and guided me through the application process.

A. Brown, Candidate

Very good advice and support was given during the course of the interviewing process. Potential job seekers would be well advised to use this company whilst looking for their new career.

R. Speakman, Candidate

Managed to get me placed within a week! Really friendly and easy to deal with. Always available for a call and my biggest challenge was I was in work at the time I was looking for my next opportunity (which is stressful) but Sam made that easy.

P. Fitzsimons, Candidate

George Humphries was a complete professional at every point, from our first phone conversation to his “good luck tomorrow” text on Sunday before I started in my new role.

E. Fry, Candidate

Fantastic customer service, communication was brilliant, happy polite people to talk to, made everything a lot easier and smoother. Thank you for all your help getting me back in the work force, Keep up the good work :-)

K. Everitt, Candidate

The most professional recruitment agency I've ever worked with. Robert Scott was extremely proactive and send me a detailed briefing before each interview, ensuring I was well prepared.

D. Bermant, Candidate

Rob was really helpful when I was putting together a presentation for the second stage interview. Overall their communication was great and kept me updated of any progress

J. McGrattan, Candidate

I had a very good experience with Aaron Wallis. The company itself is offering great content for all things related to the hiring process. I definitely recommend.

J. Ostermeier, Candidate

The staff at Aaron Wallis were fantastic. Throughout the process, they maintained excellent communication and I always knew where I stood.

M. Owusu, Candidate

Aaron Wallis Sales Recruitment are a very friendly and professional recruitment organisation who listen to your needs, work with you and act on your behalf which sets them apart from many of their competitors who in my experience are willing to throw anything at you. We discussed my history, my preferences and my wishes - one opportunity was introduced. It was perfect. I start at the end of June.

R. Buckley, Candidate

The detail put into the preparation for interviews and the detail of the job description was first class. Rob and Simon in particular are amongst the best I've ever dealt with.

K. Peacock, Candidate

Aaron Wallis (and in particular Rob Scott) have been fantastic throughout the recruitment process, and even a few months down the line, still continues to care. Rob clearly cares about each individual and has a wealth of knowledge and expertise, which shows in the work he does. Each candidate is not just a number, and the support received from Aaron Wallis has helped me get a career which I truly enjoy.

M. White, Candidate 

Wanted to say a huge thank you to Simon Bonner who has just helped me secure my new role. He was one of the most professional recruiters I have ever worked with.

J. Marcinkiewicz, Candidate

Sam was by far the most professional and helpful of any individual I've ever dealt with through a recruitment agency. He was supportive and thorough throughout the process. He definitely goes the extra mile for you. A pleasure to deal with. I would highly recommend him. An asset to Aaron Wallis

M. Wyer, Candidate

The service provided by Aaron Wallis has been just great. I was constantly informed about what was going on with the process interview and the agent has always been supportive and kind to me.

L. Colagrossi, Candidate

Perfect from start to finish. Simon deserves a shout out. Best recruiter there is. If you need a job, this guy will get you one. He's like the super man of recruiters. Top man, can't recommend him enough.

M. Crisp, Candidate

Fantastic service, helped me find my ideal job quickly and smoothly. Would highly recommend them.

C. Caine, Candidate

Friendly, proactive, communicative. Overall a really positive experience.

R. Houston, Candidate

Professional and responsive from start to finish. I would highly recommend. Special thanks to Sophie J for her help and support throughout.

N. Leney, Candidate

Sophie contacted me about a role explained the details clearly and made sure I was ready for the interview. She kept in touch every step of the way till I started the job. Thank you Sophie for a great experience.

S. Powell, Candidate

I had a great experience. Helped me every step of the way to get my new job. Sophie was very polite, kind and helpful!

J. Parnham, Candidate

I have to say using Aaron Wallis Recruitment has been nothing but an absolute pleasure. I've used many agencies over the years as the client and the candidate and its not always been a pleasurable experience!

L. Knowles, Candidate

I had the absolute pleasure of working with George Humphries on finding a placement best suitable for me.

A. Van Der Mescht, Candidate

When talking with Simon you felt relaxed cared to help you find a position that suited your needs

D. Pinder, Candidate

Less than two weeks after joining Aaron Wallis I was offered my new job. I got a £10,000 rise in my basic salary, car allowance, a laptop and many other perks, which will help to further my career. I definitely would not have found my dream job without the help of Aaron Wallis.

C. Hoy, Candidate

A great recruitment company to work with. Excellent experience with Aaron Wallis through the entire recruitment process. The team was really professional and extremely helpful. Darren was a pleasure to work with. He was friendly, supportive and gave me great advice. Thank you very much!

A. Bauchet, Candidate

Aaron Wallis is an outstanding recruitment agency specialising in high calibre sales positions. I was working directly with Darren Dewrance who went above and beyond my expectations in sourcing me my perfect role. I was kept in regular communication with Darren and he worked extremely hard to secure my dream job. Highly recommended and Thanks Darren for all your expertise and hard work.

R. Sealy, Candidate

Excellent service, very professional and friendly, would and have, recommended Aaron Wallis.

E. Heley, Candidate

Good swift process with Aaron Wallis, informative regarding the role and the process was moved at a good pace with healthy interaction. Would recommend them to anyone pursuing a change.

S. Bartlett, Candidate

For anyone looking for work, I can't recommend Aaron Wallis highly enough.

C. Rockliffe, Candidate

Very polite and friendly and was very helpful finding me my next new role.

K. Craggs, Candidate

I can honestly say that the time and expertise you gave me was way beyond any other recruitment consultant I dealt with. You are a rarity in your industry.

S. Akers, Candidate

George is a fantastic recruitment agent and provides a great service. It was a pleasure I thoroughly recommend George to anyone.

C. Beaugie, Candidate

George above and beyond to make sure I had everything I need to secure my new role. Outstanding Professional.

A. Kirkland, Candidate

Wanted to say a huge thank you to Simon Bonner who has just helped me secure my new role. He was one of the most professional recruiters I have ever worked with he was supportive really quick at replying and really put me at ease.

J. Marcinkiewicz, Candidate

I would highly recommend thank you to Darren for helping me secure my new job role! Excellent service all round!

G. Thompson, Candidate

Sophie has been fantastic and always so attentive, highly recommend.

T. Ashbourne, Candidate

I have to say coming across and having dealings with Aaron Wallis proved to be very successful. Being highly experienced did not seem to count for much during my job search bit a conversation with Robert Scott gave me a real confidence boost and enabled to get a position at the age of 63. Great service!!!

D. Burgess, Candidate

Sophie helped me secure a new role I have been searching for. She took her time to explain clear and concisely all I needed to succeed at the interview stage. Thanks again Sophie!

O. Oladejo, Candidate

I would highly recommend Aaron Wallis Recruitment, Darren was extremely helpful and provided me with plenty of advice and support throughout the whole process.

D. Bretherton, Candidate

Simon was knowledgeable on his clients history, background and what their requirements were and he worked around time zones, holidays and a pandemic to get the right result.

J. Tooze, Candidate

The Recruitment agent I used, Simon, was extremely helpful and really went the extra mile to ensure all of my questions were answered, and that I felt as comfortable and prepared as possible. Very professional company and would definitely recommend to others. Thank you Aaron Wallis!

A. Callaby, Candidate

Excellent experience. Knowledgeable staff and really went the extra mile. Found my ideal position and I couldn't be happier. Special shout out to Sam and George: who made the process smooth and easy for me. Highly recommend.

K. Pearce, Candidate