How to Position Multiple Options in Sales Negotiations

How to Position Multiple Options in Sales Negotiations

Categories: Sales Negotiation

A critical way to minimize price-only sales negotiations is to provide multiple options to your buyers. In our Value Negotiation sales engagements, we often help sellers understand the concept of presenting multiple options, coaching them on how to execute in front of their prospects. This article covers some of those concepts and the steps you can take in your opportunities to present multiple options and sell more.

What Presenting Multiple Options Looks Like:

When salespeople provide their prospects with multiple options they’re not just providing one approach or solution to solve their prospect’s business pain. Instead, these sellers articulate a couple of different approaches/solutions that will help their prospects achieve multiple different positive business outcomes (PBOs). This strategy encourages buyers to “participate in their own rescue” by being explicit in what they want. 

Force Management Senior Partner, Facilitator and negotiation expert Tim Caito shares an example of what a conversation on multiple options may sound like and when to execute this conversation in the sales process. (Scroll to minute 30:17 for the example. Listen to the entire episode to improve your ability to negotiate for a premium in every deal.) 

How to Successfully Position Multiple Options

What’s the best way to position multiple offers in front of your prospects? Also in the episode above, Tim shares how to negotiate early in a way that will enable you to effectively position multiple options. Here are some of the tips he covers:

1. Instill value early and often in your deals: 

Early on and as you navigate through your opportunity, lay the foundation to effectively position multiple options in the final stages of your opportunity. 

Gain access to multiple decision makers in the organization and focus on executing effective discovery with them. When you can map your solution’s value to the conflicting interests of multiple decision makers in a buying organization, you can present multiple options that will help your buyer achieve critical business outcomes across their organization. Help each decision maker you access uncover and align their critical decision criteria (like PBOs, negative consequences, solution requirements, and metrics) to your solution’s value and differentiation. You want to establish the value and differentiation of your solution early, and continue to articulate its benefits throughout your entire sales process, as it relates to the required capabilities and the positive business outcomes. The more you can execute these steps early on, the better you’ll be able to pull your solution’s value into negotiations later in the sales process. 

2. Make each option viable to your buyer and your organization:

Look at your deals as business opportunities, not sales opportunities. Any option you present must be viable to both the buying organization and your selling organization. Outline options that will help your buyers solve their complex business challenges and achieve a critical positive business outcome. Tie the right aspects of your solution to that option. Don’t attempt to push a feature or function they don’t need, as that would lead them to think of your solution as overpriced or not right for their business.

Remember, your solutions are critical to your buyer’s success. If you’ve effectively aligned your solution’s value and competitive differentiation to your buyer’s buying criteria, positioning multiple options should be easy to compile, present and gain agreement on.

3. Pull your solution’s value into the conversation by aligning it to each option:

Brand each option with a title and value proposition that address the most compelling business initiatives uncovered earlier in the sales process. Present a few of these choices and how they may stack together. Providing these choices helps buyers identify the most valuable option for their business. This process enables sellers to offer trades at the end of the negotiation, as opposed to making concessions. When you successfully negotiate on value, presenting these multiple acceptable options allows you to move beyond just selling to the customer. It puts your customers in control, allowing them to “buy” based on the value they’ll receive, rather than just accepting what you sell. 

Execute the steps above throughout your sales process to improve your ability to sell more. Positioning multiple options helps you move away from price-only discussions. Instead, you can focus negotiation conversations on the ways your solutions provide value and address big business problems.

Improve Your Ability to Present Multiple Viable Options

Execute a value-based sales approach throughout your entire sales process to ensure you can present multiple viable options to your buyers and closer bigger deals. Your ability to negotiate on value, present multiple options and close premium deals — all depend on your ability to instill value in your opportunities, early and often. Execute the key steps of a value-based sales approach early and often. Here’s what you can focus on in your opportunities.

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