When it comes down to it, most people really view negotiations as a lose-lose situation. Or, at best, they view it as a win-lose scenario. But if you really strip away what good negotiations are, they're a conversation that results in a win for both parties.
So how do we, as salespeople, get to that point?
A client of mine was recently helping someone re-negotiate an existing agreement. No matter what he proposed, she shot it down. He ended up very frustrated, feeling like there was no way for him to make her happy!
In every communication situation, every person comes in with two things: Their behavior, and their expectations.
The person my client was working with had expectations, whether she could articulate them or not. And it was obvious that there was a gap between those unspoken expectations, and what my client was proposing.
As a salesperson, your job is to discover what that gap is, and see if you can meet in the middle for a win-win.
Of course, a lot of times identifying that gap is a challenge, because the person may not even be able to articulate it themselves. They know what you're proposing doesn't sound right, but don't know exactly why. But that means that buried somewhere in there is an expectation.
So you need to ask a lot of questions to uncover that expectation. Because they really do have some sort of ideal outcome, and so do you. It's your job to see how far apart they are, and if it's even possible to meet in the middle.
Because if you can meet in the middle, that's when you get a win-win situation.