First of all, effective negotiation skills will NEVER make up for poor selling skills or attitudes. With that as a given, let's look at some of the negotiation problems common to many salespeople today. Let me give you four basic negotiation concession concepts/premises, and then a little more detail on them.
1. Don't advertise your willingness to make a concession before you are asked.
Many salespeople offer to discount a price, give better terms, etc. before they are asked by the prospect or client to do so. For example: does your price sheet say something like 'suggested price'? You just advertised your willingness to make a concession before you were asked.
2. Use the set-aside technique when necessary.
Often prospects bring up an issue in a negotiation at an inopportune time. The set-aside defers this until a later time when it might be more favorable to discuss it. For example, the prospect asks the price before you have had a chance to build perceived value. The set-aside says something like, "That's a valid concern (question - whatever). Can we come back to that in a few minutes?"
3. When asked to make a concession, ask for a bigger one in return.
You want to avoid playing 'concession' ping-pong. The prospect asks for one you give in, in varying degrees and then he asks for another one and on and on and on. When a prospect asks you to make one, say something like, "I can give you a better price, but I'll need a bigger deposit than is customary."
4. 80% of the concessions made are made in the last 20% of the negotiation time.
It's called time pressure. The person under the most time pressure will tend to give away the most concessions. So, don't let the prospect/client create the pressure, but you create it when you can both professionally and truthfully. For example: "If you give us an order today, I can commit the manufacturing schedule for you. But if you can't, I can't guarantee we can meet your delivery expectations. We are in our busiest time of the year and production schedules are very tight right now."