Elements of a "good" deal to happen:
1. Both the buyer and seller leave feeling good after the deal
2. The buyer gets the seller referral, repeat business
4. The seller sees value of a larger deal in the near future.
For this, sellers should plan (and practice) upfront for negotiations. Here's how I do it.
- Discuss budgets, estimate pricing, buying time-frames early in the sales cycle. That's when the buyer is interested yet not committed to the sale. Most sellers are uncomfortable with pricing discussions early on. I do it the other way. Late stage surprises are not good for either party.
- The pricing changes only under Quid-Pro-Quo situations. I negotiate only when I get something (pre-planned) in return. It also helps me qualify the deal. For example I'll only negotiate when the sellers are serious about buying (from me) in a set time-frame. Options like can you do a bulk purchase OR can you buy early tend to trump my list of Asks. Realize this.. when you ask for something in return, you just established a new relationship and a bond. So this is good stuff.
While you can act surprised when a buyer wants a better deal, be ready with options. Look straight in the prospects eyes and make the offer in as few words as possible and wait for them to respond. Don't answer your own questions. Silence is a good things at times!
Few sellers think this through as well. Remember that negotiating is a science. With proper planning, it can be a pleasant process. Some of my clients have gotten so good and comfortable at this that they make negotiations a part of their unique selling value proposition. Happy Selling!