How many times do we struggle to convince management and ourselves we have a good deal in the pipeline? Throughout our sales careers, we tend to get overly optimistic, convinced that we have this really great deal in the pipeline. We take our customers’ word as perfectly true each time and are surprised when we lose the deal, especially to no decision. In this post, we will introduce you to the process of building a scorecard and the High Value Trades (HVT) needed to effectively negotiate opportunities in the pipeline. These concepts are from Never Split The Difference: Negotiate as if Your Life Depends On It by Chris Voss. I highly recommend you read this!
What is the HVT Roadmap?
The HVT Roadmap is a set of matched trades in ranked order:
On the left side, list out what your customer asks you for and on the right side, make a list of what you need from the customer. The trick to this technique is to rank these items, starting on the left side with the items that are the easiest for you to provide to your client at the lowest cost to you and the company. Continue down the list through to the hardest thing you can give them at the highest cost.
The easiest items that you can provide are marketing materials/literature and the hardest is usually a discount that costs you money and a lot more work in the end. Continue to build this list, testing each item; is a demo easier and less costly than doing a Proof of Concept vs. a proposal? These items need to line up in terms of value.
On the right side of this roadmap is a list of things you need from the client. This is a list of the things the client can give to you that can be confirmed in writing or physically measured. The fact that someone tells you they have budget during a discussion does not have the same impact as confirmation of the budget in writing. The key is to be patient with your prospects but once the discussions evolve into a deal in the pipeline, you need to be impatient and test them at every step. It’s important to remember that your prospects are not shy when asking you to do work so do not be shy in asking back!
The right-hand side of the list needs to have the same number of steps as the first to have a matched set of HVTs. These items start with the earliest requests in the sales process to the last item. As you can see this is a simple score card that increases in value on the left and in time on the right. Each time you give the customer an HVT you add the corresponding value in points so number 1 is 1 point and number 20 is 20 points. This will ensure you have a roadmap to keep your deals moving.