You should always negotiate with a BPO services provider, as much as you can. There’s always room to bargain from initial proposal. But, as established in a previous post, silence can be an effective negotiation tactic. There’s a handful of ideal opportunities when you’re better off staying put, and here are three more to consider the next time you consider a quote:
1. When The Other Party Makes A Counter-Offer
Have you ever felt stonewalled? It’s unpleasant and frustrating, and you’re at a disadvantage the first few minutes after you’re given the cold shoulder. This is but natural, since there’s an expectation for immediate response in communication. The trick is responding with a meaningful pause, long enough to cause the other party to flinch.
Silence in negotiation is an acquired skill, though. If you’re corresponding in person, supplement your silence with a nod of acknowledgment. If it’s a phone conversation, stall with hanging responses like “I see…” or “I understand…” Reserve this tactic for the most important terms in the negotiation.
2. After The Initial Small Talk, Right Before You Talk Brass Tacks
Pleasantries are important in business correspondence. You need to build rapport with a BPO services provider so you’re relaxed the moment you talk details. However, the challenge is in the transition; how do you bridge the gap between small talk and real talk? It turns out silence (or short pause) could be the only transition you need.
The brief lull in conversation gives both of you breathing space. It also allows you to effortlessly shift gears, as soon as possible. Bide your time and wait for your prospect to resume the thread, though. If you have initial terms and proposals, best wait what the other party has in mind. You can then adjust responses in your favor.
3. Immediately After You’ve Presented Terms To A BPO Services Provider
This complements the first point; you should give your prospect ample time to compose a response. In turn, you’ll also pick up queues from the other party (in face-to-face conversation). Do you see disappointment or relief? Rethink your strategy according to the response. It’s a given face-to-face correspondence is preferable to text, audio, even video chat; you’re missing out on all those non-verbal cues if you don’t meet your prospect in person.
If silence is too much and you need to break the ice, you can pitch pointed questions instead. Loaded questions like “What are your comments on our proposal?” or “We sent you terms yesterday. Any thoughts?” catch your prospect on guard. This puts the burden of response on your prospect.
It’s possible the BPO services provider you’re considering is fine with the terms. Aren’t you thankful you didn’t open negotiations by offering a discount? Develop silence as a staple tactic and you’ll notice an increase in meaningful, favorable negotiations. It takes a while to learn, but it’s second nature with persistence and practice.