All healthcare and pharmaceutical sales professionals understand the importance of active negotiation. However, simply engaging in these exchanges with your customers is not enough to maximize your sales potential. For that, you will need to adopt value-based negotiations. This model stresses the importance of reaching a deal that both sides are truly happy with. Using it allows account managers to build relationships and revenue at the same time, yielding incredible results for both their organization and their career.
What Are Value-Based Negotiations?
Value-based negotiations are best understood in contrast to their opposite: the win-lose negotiation.
Win-lose negotiations frame business interactions as competition. As the name suggests, one party ‘wins’ (benefits) and the other ‘loses’ (suffers). AMs who approach their work from a win-lose mindset may employ tactics like selling solutions based on quotas or inflated prices that do not reflect true market value. Their goal is to maximize their potential profit regardless of the outcome for their customers.
Value-based negotiations, on the other hand, frame interactions as an opportunity for both parties to get what they want. AMs who use this approach pitch products and services with succinct value propositions based on their customers’ needs and budgets, placing honesty and transparency ahead of personal gain. The AM gets to close a sale and the customer gets an effective solution to one or more of their organization’s problems.
Why Use Value-Based Negotiating?
When two parties engage in win-lose negotiations, one side is sure to end up dissatisfied with the outcome. Even worse, these interactions sour business relationships and sink long-term selling strategies. While an AM who ‘wins’ by making a low-value sale may be better off in the short run, they sacrifice their customers’ trust and will struggle to retain their business over the years. As any healthcare consulting company can tell you, this problem can easily sink even the most prosperous of firms.
Value-based negotiations change this dynamic. Instead of a negotiation leaving one party feeling like they have been taken advantage of, both parties benefit from the arrangement. This shows that the AM can be trusted to behave ethically and apply their market knowledge to their customers’ benefit, establishing them as a trusted advisor with whom the organization can consult whenever a new solution is needed.
In short, value-based negotiations position AMs as helpful resources first and salespeople second. It is this shift in priorities that makes this model so attractive to customers.
Building the Skills to Demonstrate Value
Implementing a value-based negotiation strategy clearly has both short- and long-term benefits for AMs, but putting these principles into practice requires some additional legwork. AMs without the proper skill set to identify customers’ needs and tailor their approach to those requirements may miss the mark.
Our specialized key account management training workshops teach AMs how to drive fruitful sales interactions with both existing customers and new leads. The material is made according to advanced instructional design principles and covers topics like planning negotiations, gauging the other party’s motivations, and creating an effective proposal that highlights the value of a product or service in relation to the customer’s goals. By the end of the course, participants will have been exposed to all of the techniques necessary to perform effective value-based negotiation and practiced those techniques in hands-on role-playing activities that closely simulate real-world challenges.
Shift to a Win-Win Strategy Today
Whether you are an AM interested in sharpening your negotiation skills or a healthcare or pharmaceutical executive looking to upgrade your team’s sales performance, The Brooks Group’s upcoming Value-Based Negotiations workshop can help you meet your goals. Contact us today to learn more about our program or to enroll in any of our industry-leading sales or executive training courses.