15 Tips for Negotiating Large, Non-returnable Sales of Your Books (Part Three: Tips 11-15)
In the second installation of 15 Tips for Negotiating Large, Non-returnable Book Sales, I discussed asking appropriate questions, listening carefully to the person on the other side of the negotiating table, and then moving ahead based on this new information. In the final installation of tips, I will provide you the guidance you need to close the deal on good terms for both parties.
11. Do not move too quickly. There will be times when all the details seem to fall into place and your enthusiasm leads you to accept an order before you have thought it through. Can you really deliver the expected quantity on time, with the requested customization at the agreed price? Is there a penalty if you do not? Can you fill an additional order quickly if the initial quantity moves faster than expected?
12. Do not give in to ultimatums. Your prospect may say that you have to sign now or lose the order. Even if you know the terms are satisfactory, resist the temptation to agree too quickly for it could minimize your negotiating position in future deals. Ask for the reason behind the need to move so quickly. Your prospect may be getting pressure from a supervisor to get the campaign started. Or the prospect may be facing the end of a budget period where he or she has to spend the budgeted money or lose it. Once you know the reason you can help your prospect deal with the underlying cause.
Similarly, do not give your prospect an ultimatum to buy now or never. You will usually find that they have other alternatives and you have cornered yourself into a losing position.
13. Most people negotiate in good faith. The people with whom you will negotiate are busy performing their regular duties. They are negotiating with you because they see some value to them in doing so. The further you get in the decision process, the more likely it is that they want to work with you. If at some point the buyers seem unwilling to compromise, it may be because they have some restraint that is not obvious to you. It may be a lack of funds in their budget, a personnel conflict, or a pending employee change. Or, it may be a lack of trust in you or the fact that after due consideration they do not see the value in your proposal. Work with them to uncover hidden objections and find a way around the deadlock that still meets the needs of both sides.
14. Do not give up. If a prospect says no, think to yourself, "I heard what you said, but it's not what you meant." A negative position today is not necessarily carved in stone. Terms or positions that seem inflexible today may be open to discussion tomorrow. Over some period of time, constraints, interests, positions, and people change. Stay in touch with your prospects and bring new ideas to them as warranted. Pursue the opportunity to re-open the negotiation at some point in the future.
15. Evaluate each negotiation. If you got the order, what did you do right? What can you do to improve next time? If you did not get the order, what did you do wrong? What could you have done better? How can you eliminate any gaffes in the future? Review each negotiation, learn from it and improve your skills for next time.
When two people get together to define some future working relationship there are many emotional and rational and verbal and non-verbal interactions, nuances, and personality issues that impact the final outcome. All you can do is create the atmosphere for a successful discussion to unfold. You may not get every order you seek. In fact it is unlikely that you will. But the more you utilize these 15 techniques the more likely you are to succeed as you define success.
Brian Jud is an author, book-marketing consultant, seminar leader, television host and president of Premium Book Company, which sells books to non-bookstore buyers on a non-returnable, commission-only basis and conducts on-site training for publishers' sales forces.
Brian is the author of "How to Make Real Money Selling Books (Without Worrying About Returns)," a do-it-yourself guide to selling books to non-bookstore buyers in large quantities, with no returns. He has written many articles about book publishing and marketing, is the author of the eight e-booklets with "Proven Tips for Publishing Success," and creator of the series of "Book Marketing Wizards." He is also the editor of the bi-weekly newsletter, "Book Marketing Matters."
Brian is the host of the television series "The Book Authority" and has aired over 650 shows. In addition, he is the author, narrator and producer of the media-training video program "You're On The Air."