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Good Sales vs. Good Negotiations

Often viewed as being skills that are very closely linked, salesmanship and negotiation are two distinct talents with many of their own areas of expertise. Both share many skills that are linked to one another, but they also have many skills that are quite different. Along with that, the goals of salesmanship and negotiation are often quite different.

Much research has been done into what skills help to make a person good at sales and negotiation. For salesmanship the traits most often cited are creativity, passion, integrity, tenacity, and commitment (McCall, n.d.). Whereas for negotiations the characteristics most referenced are honest/ethical, perceptive, realistic/rational, convincing, and self-controlled (Connors, 2006).

Of these two lists the most closely related areas between them would be integrity for sales and honest/ethical for negotiations. This is somewhat obvious for both, because in either endeavor you will not last long if you are thought of as being unscrupulous. Both are also linked in that sales requires the creativity to find non-obvious solutions to problems (McCall, n.d.) and negotiations requires the ability to be perceptive, to see the root of the problems on each side and find a common solution for each parties unique goals.

They also have many areas that may be at odds with one another: The salesperson must possess passion, tenacity, and commitment, whereas the negotiator needs to be realistic/rational, convincing, and self-controlled. If taken too far, passion and tenacity can often come to a heads with being realistic/rational and self-controlled. Also, what can often be different between the two is that a negotiator is most often not looking for what is best for one party, but instead for all parties involved, even if that means it is best to walk away from a deal altogether. On the other hand, in sales quite often the salesman is simply striving to make the sale regardless of whether it is the ultimately the right solution for the other party or not.

The question then comes to whether a person can be great at both salesmanship and negotiation, and there are certainly a select few that can be. For some it is possible to be passionate and yet look at a situation realistically and in a rational manner, just as it is possible to be self-controlled and tenacious. Unfortunately, for most people these traits are not available in proportions that allow them to be great at both. As for the author of this paper, he is good at neither sales nor negotiation, but if forced to pick what he is better at, he leans toward being a negotiator. This is in the sense that, he wants all parties involved to walk away with at least some of their goals met, if not all of their goals.

In this modern generation, it is also an advantage for sales people to use CRM. Is the CRM cloud-based or self-hosted? Well, it depends on your preference. There are CRM software that are cloud based and there are some that are self-hosted. 

As with nearly any skill, both sales and negotiation can be learned and practiced, but most often as with many athletic sports, being a great salesperson or a fantastic negotiator comes not only from training, but from innate God given abilities. Many people that are lacking in the skills of one discipline or the other can certainly improve their abilities and be very successful in both arenas. But, to become great at either or both of them takes more than any amount of training or practice can ever achieve.

Allen

About Allen

Allen Grey is the founder of scrambl3.com. He is also a blogger, editor, content manager and the website coordinator of scramble.com. Allen loves to play football on his free time.
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