11Leverage

When you have something that someone else wants, you have leverage. You may use leverage to compel people to:

  • Change their behavior
  • Lean in and engage
  • Move toward your position
  • Make concessions

Let’s reiterate a basic truth about sales negotiation. In most cases, organizations and their stakeholders are in a stronger power position than you—because they almost always have more alternatives.

The party with more power is in a position to exert more control over the buying process and extract more concessions at the sales negotiation table. At times, a party may perceive or know that they have so much power that they need not make any concessions or compromises and therefore become intractable—“do business on my terms or else!”

Leverage gives either party in the deal, regardless of power position, the ability to compel the other party to change a behavior. For the party in the weaker power position—with fewer alternatives—leverage preservation takes on strategic importance. It is in the weaker party’s best interest to hold on tightly to leverage and then use it at the right moments to compel the stronger party to bend to their will.

Leverage is currency, and it must be treated as such. It has value and must be exchanged for value. Effective sales negotiators never give away leverage without getting something of equal or greater value in return. From the moment you engage a prospect until the deal is inked, you should never give leverage away for free. The types of ...

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