In a world where were can’t move a muscle without telling Facebook, the negotiation strategies of most B2B businesses out there have changed to 180 degrees. Old-school marketing is dying because there’s a more accessible tool we can use to promote our business: social media. Better known as e-biz, B2B businesses are all about exchanging services, products, and information between companies and not necessarily between companies and consumers.
1. B2B negotiation – how to improve skills?
B2B marketing focuses on the techniques, strategies, and tools of successful business marketing. The key term is ‘demand chain’ and it entails:
- Product/solution development
- Market intelligence
- Go-to-market strategies (demand generation, distribution channels, sales force and customer relationship management, and account penetration)
- Position for value
B2B marketing is all about developing individual negotiation skills. It increases awareness as far as negotiation situations are concerned, both in business and in real life. It works through a conceptual framework, and the goal is to identify and understand the main processes and principles of successful negotiations.
2. B2B business – understand the role of the salesperson
Not every salesperson out there will also be a good negotiator. Some people will have to strive to nail down the ins and outs of closing a business the right way. Do you know how important is the role of a salesperson in a negotiation? Believe or not, companies are confused. They often assume that the job of the salesperson is to satisfy the customer. While that might be important, it shouldn’t be a top priority. Simply put, the easiest way to satisfy a customer is to say ‘yes’ all the time, and that is expensive.
3. Good negotiators have a lot to win
Booming companies out there have salespeople who know to please the client. Yet, above everything else they know how to negotiate; shrewd negotiation skills are their top priority. In sales and marketing business, the most ridiculous premise is to be a win-win negotiator. Wake up! There’s no such thing win-win in business, there’s the perception of a win-win.
4. Upgrade your team’s skill set
Sales are all about gross profit. Your team should be given a commission based on gross profit. Upgrading the skills of your team might seem challenging, but it’s not. Training courses and role playing can work miracles, and don’t forget that understanding the purpose and role of making concessions in negotiations is the key. A really good term associated with compromise is ‘what if’, mainly because we all know compromise is a give and take situation. Each of the two sides must give something in exchange for a concession with a similar value.
5. Social media in business – influence reputation and perception
In a recent article Donald Trump said that it’s good to use social medial to position yourself in the online world. It’s equally important to be active in order to drive people that might want to work with you. Build an image that’s accurate for both your customers and potential investors.
6. Convince non-believers
Not everyone is 100% sure that social media is an efficient marketing tool. If you’re in change of your company’s social media, or are attempting to convince other businesses that social media is useful, it’s always a good idea to use some tools from the negotiation toolbox:
- Get rid of the win-lose approach
- Know when to walk away
- Never take things personal
- Take your time to learn
- Be a good listener
7. Use your negotiation skills within your social media marketing tactics
The main benefit of social media is that it allows business people to interact with clients instantly. If your actions are wrong, don’t worry – they will inform you of your mistakes loud and clear. Building an online reputation is extremely important, so if you have complaints via social media you must deal with them with poise and professionalism.
Managing your business online is certainly not that easy. Yet, good negotiation skills, determination, and social media awareness, you’ll make it. It’s all about dedicating yourself entirely to the online reputation of your company. The more exposed you are, the better chances you have to succeed.
Photo Credit: Flickr/Robb North