15 Tips for Negotiating Large, Non-returnable Sales of Your Books (Part Two: Tips 6-10)
Negotiating is a function of people and chemistry as the first five of 15 tips discussed. In this second installment, I will discuss the strategy that you can implement based on your knowledge of the people involved in the negotiation.
6. Anticipate questions and objections. After several negotiating sessions you will be better prepared for the tough questions that arise unilaterally. These may be about price, quality and delivery. Be prepared to handle those you anticipate as well as those you hear for the first time. Always answer honestly, but in a way that does not reduce your bargaining power.
7. Ask for clarification if necessary. Do not assume you understand the intent of every question you are asked or statements made. If your prospects ask, "How can your proposal lead to a successful conclusion to this promotional campaign?" Ask them how they define success. Is it an increase in sales? Revenue? New customers? If Managers of Human Resources want an increase in employee motivation, productivity or attitude, how will changes in those characteristics be measured? If your prospects say the timing is not right. Find out when the timing will be right, or help them understand why there is no time like the present to accept your proposal. Do not assume you agree on the definitions of the issues before proceeding with the discussion.
8. Do not negotiate just on price. Some publishers who are new to negotiating large book sales think "sale" and "price" are synonymous. But there are many other aspects of a deal, some subjective and some objective. Focus on all the other possible elements, such as personality, trust, payment terms, shipping costs and dates.
9. Negotiate all the disputed options simultaneously, not serially. If your prospect says your price is too high, you may negotiate an equitable price. Your prospect feels the deal is done. But then you say that customization will cost more and the delivery date must be extended to accommodate the lower price. Now your prospect may become suspicious, wondering what else you neglected to include in the price. That thought process does not generate a trusting relationship. Uncover all your prospect's questions and deal with them as= part of the whole so that when you come to agreement it is final and equitable.
10. Do not over-negotiate. There will be times when you feel you are "on a roll" as your prospect acquiesces to all your terms. You may feel the urge to ask for more, beyond the initial scope of the prospect's needs. Do not do it. Resist the urge to press for more when you have reached an agreement.
Similarly you may call on a prospect who requires only a small quantity of your books and is ready to give you a check during your first meeting. Do not give in to the need to push for more. Take the order, follow up properly and return for another possible sale when appropriate.
In the next and final entry in this series I'll go into the nuances of negotiating and how you can rebound from a deal-turned-sour to make a sale.
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."