By Brian Jud
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A negotiated sale must be good for both sides if it is to set the stage for a long-term relationship witha There are two things you can do before you enter a negotiation that will prepare you to come away with a mutually profitable deal. This article will focus on the first issue, and that is to know your parameters for a profitable order.
Know your costs before you begin
Determine in advance the boundaries of an optimum order for you. This is your Best Negotiated Outcome (BNO), your knowledge of what you can sacrifice in the negotiation process and still make a profit.
Prepare a variety of alternative solutions
Price and delivery are two areas in which you may find yourself at odds with your prospect. When conflict arises, do not become argumentative, but do not let your prospect take advantage of you, either. Take the focus off price and place it on non-price issues.
Make a list of all the outcomes that would be ideal for you.
Think of all the different options that may come up when you discuss terms for the sale. What is your position on each? Consider these examples of most-beneficial terms:
- Short discount
- No returns
- Little customization
- Long delivery time
- Large quantity order
- Opportunities for recurring revenue
- Payment with order
What are you willing to negotiate away in return for a favorable outcome?
If you must concede on one item in order to get something in return, which of the above criteria is least important to you?
What are you not willing to sacrifice in return for a favorable outcome?
There may be terms upon which you cannot concede. You may not have the financial reserves to print a large quantity of books if they are returnable. In this case, you might offer a greater discount or extended payment terms in exchange for a non-returnable sale.
What could undercut your BNO?
Unanticipated discussions may surface during the negotiation.
Can you remove or alter any constraint that makes your BNO unattainable?
You could be blind-sided with a stipulation that you pay a penalty for late delivery. But if you know in advance that your printer can easily make the intended date, you can catch your prospect off guard and regain the momentum when you reply, “Actually, I’ll pay you a higher penalty for late delivery, if you pay me a bonus for early delivery.”
Is there any way to change the terms you bring to the table that could improve your BNO?
What if a buyer requests that you purchase a costly product-liability policy?
What is your final BNO? Focus on your objective and keep your best interests in mind.
Read the entire article in Book Marketing Magazine available from iTunes Newsstand.
Brian Jud is the Executive Director of SPAN. He is the author of How to Make Real Money Selling Books and now offers commission-based sales of nonfiction, fiction and children’s titles to buyers in special markets. For more information contact Brian at P. O. Box 715, Avon, CT 06001-0715; (860) 675-1344; Fax (860) 673-7650; firstname.lastname@example.org, www.premiumbookcompany.com and twitter.com/bookmarketing.