Spotlight

Expert Talk with Ashton Williams: Negotiation and Deal Closing in B2B Sales

For the sixth part in this series with a focus on sales enablement, Britta Lorenz and Ashton Williams have broken down the dos and don'ts of negotiations in B2B sales. They also explored what business negotiation skills you need in order to close new deals, how to develop your killer negotiation tactics, and why you should not be afraid to walk away from a deal. These insights come from many years of experience and lessons learned in their sales careers.

Three Top Tips for an Effective Close

In order to close a deal, preparation beforehand is crucial to fully understand your customer's problem and the exact value that you can offer to them.

1. Be an Expert on the Negotiation Process

Study and remind yourself of the negotiation process itself. The more significant mistake here is assuming that the customer knows how to buy because they often don't. Every salesperson should be a sales consultant. Walk the customer through the process to get them to the finish line. Sell like a partner and not a vendor.

2. Own Your Price

Don't apologize for your product costs, or you will be devaluating your impact. Break down your price and consider the consequences of not buying your solution so you understand why people should pay.

3. Set Expectations and Define What Is Coming Next

The key to closing is setting the right expectations that lead to happiness. When closing a deal, set expectations on every call for what comes next, but also for a long-term partnership. Salespeople are usually the starting point of a lasting relationship. Exceeding your customer's expectations will produce residual growth in the future.
b2b sales negotiation

Key Mistakes in Negotiations and How to Avoid Them

1. Starting with Price

Price can cloud our view of other interests in a deal. Sometimes we assume that all the customer cares about is the price, or all we care about is getting our price. Look at the overall value and what else is on the table.

2. Thinking that My Problem Is King

We often come to negotiations viewing the customer as the adversary. You must truly understand the situation, its impact, and treat your customer as a business partner to support them in choosing your solution.

3. Compromise Isn't Everything

We often see negotiations as a definite compromise. It should be about finding a solution that satisfies both parties. Come to the table with an open mind, knowing what you and your customer can gain and offer mutually beneficial solutions.

4. Failing to Prepare for a Potential Culture Clash

Understand your client's culture if you negotiate across borders. How does the process look like for them? What are the cues for moving forward? Enter discussion with a receptive mindset and with the goal to solve their problem with the best possible offer. 

Why You Shouldn't Be Afraid to Walk Away from a Deal

A peak in your sales career is knowing when to walk away. Ashton Williams shares her view on considering the relationship with a customer as a partnership. It only makes sense to continue when both parties are gaining something valuable. We need to be aware of what we can offer to be honest with the customer about the value we provide. Being able to walk away is a sign of integrity and honesty, which most business professionals will appreciate it because they value their time.

Firing a customer is scarier. A damaged relationship is one where both partners stick around when it no longer works. As a salesperson, your time is your currency. If a customer is consuming your time but not delivering value on a regular basis, you are losing time that you could be investing in other deals. This is the moment to reevaluate that partnership. Be blunt and ask customers what you can do to make things better. If you can't negotiate something or change the deal, maybe it's time you both walk away. Part of being a good business person is knowing that you can't make everyone happy.

If you have any questions or would like to contact Ashton Williams, send her an invitation with a little note to connect on LinkedIn.

About Ashton Williams

Ashton Williams is the Sales Enablement Manager at Ada, a platform that empowers industry-leading organizations to transform their customer service with AI-powered automation. Ashton is a Toronto Area native with a passion for storytelling, culinary arts, and helping teams grow revenue. With experience in B2B sales, partnerships, and CX, she's migrated to the world of Tech Startups. She has gone from Sales Enablement newbie to Rockstar in a very short period of time.

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Britta Lorenz

Britta Lorenz

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