You’ve worked hard for this account. The research, cold-calling, rescheduling of appointments — they’ve all led to this one moment.
Even for the most seasoned medical sales reps, this stage of the selling game can quickly take a wrong turn. Just one misstep can take all the momentum you’ve built and turn it into a lost deal.
Of course, there’s no definite way to ensure you’ll land on the winning end of a negotiation. But there are a handful of detrimental mistakes you can stop making today. Simply being aware of and avoiding these errors will increase your chances of landing the deal.
Here are the worst negotiating mistakes you may be making without even knowing it:
1. You’re not aware of your customers’ realities
All medical sales reps have those idealistic customers. You know, the kind of people who you click with immediately. This type of connection is critical in the customer relationship building process.
However, it can actually lead to problems during the negotiation stage. Instantaneously connecting with customers misleads reps into thinking they’ve connected on a deeper level than they truly have. In reality, you understand their circumstances only on the surface level. This leaves critical pain points and objections unknown until the actual time of negotiation.
Unfortunately, this is a detrimental factor for many sales reps. Only 13 percent of C-suite executives in a Callbox report feel like sales reps understand their problems. Additionally, B2B buyers in the same report said they believe only 20 percent of sales reps offer real value.
Get to know customers beyond their obvious needs. Dig into the realities of their specific challenges and reservations. And be sure to research so you know the right questions to ask. Look at the key objections and struggles of other customers in the area with similar patient demographics. Then, use this collective information to guide your conversations leading into negotiations.
2. You’re negotiating too low
The end-goal of negotiating is to complete a sale, of course. Leaving room for some give in your product prices is all part of the process. But negotiating too low beyond your original price is riskier than you think.
To customers, this reveals that you had the opportunity to start lower and chose not to. Sales reps, in general, already have a bad rap for caring more about the bottom line than their customers. So, your good intentions of bringing the price lower may make customers feel you’ve been disingenuine.
Show clients you’re working for them by sharing discount details. Why are they receiving a price lower than your initial price point? There could be a new special promotion offered by the manufacturer or your company. Or it could be because there are discounts applied to bulk shipments. Offering transparency that goes beyond the numbers gives customers confidence in your honesty as a sales rep.
3. You’re rushing through the negotiation
The longer the negotiation, the more time your contracts are left unsigned. Sometimes, the pressure of time passing during negotiations feels insurmountable. However, allowing this pressure to consume you will result in a rushed, unprofessional interaction.
Negotiations shouldn’t be looked at as unpleasant situations or the fast track to winning a sale. Rather, think of healthy negotiations as part of the relationship building process. The more time and attention you give them, the more comfortable your medical sales customers will feel.
Don’t speed through negotiations. Give customers space, if necessary. Walk away without a signed contract to talk your thoughts over with a colleague. Leave spaces for intentional silence to give customers time to ask meaningful questions. This lets them feel you’re there for them, not simply to rush in, close a sale, and rush out.
What negotiation mistakes have you learned from? Let us know!