3 Bad Habits Holding Your B2B Negotiations Back

Olin Hyde
September 1, 2016

B2B selling is only partly based on the product you’re selling. The rest of it is based on the service you give. 76% of consumers see customer service as a representation of how companies value them. Most B2B lead generation guides will talk about customer service in generalized terms. What they won’t tell you about are the mistakes you’re making.

This guide is going to explore some of the bad habits holding your B2B negotiations and your exploration of new leads back. It could just change how much money your company is making.

You Listen to the Story Not the Facts

The most experienced B2B negotiators will be good listeners. They’ll find it easy to listen to their target audience and spend a lot of time building up a relationship with them. They’re not actually interested in the stories being given, though. What they want are the facts.

Most stories you’ll hear during B2B negotiations are exactly the same, at their heart. The subject matter and the context could be different, but the same solutions will solve the same problems. The trick is knowing how to look through the story to see the straight facts.

For example, the heart of every overnight success story is solving a problem. You recognized a problem and you provided the solution to it. This is the simple business formula that will make you successful today. Apply the same simplicity when listening to your customers and you’ll get a lot more leads.

Separating the facts doesn’t come overnight, so it may even be worth taking a negotiation skills training course.

You See What You Want to See

Building a business isn’t about sticking to the status quo and sticking to what you know. It’s about challenging your beliefs. One of the main behaviors of successful entrepreneurs is they have managed to adopt the habit of always challenging their beliefs.

Questioning everything will lead to you innovating faster and seeing your industry for what it really is. Only believing what you want to believe will stop yourself from identifying with the leads you’re speaking to. Keeping an open mind will enable you to come up with a tailored solution for everyone.

You Can’t Take Criticism

This is by far the biggest mistake of all. Failing to take criticism is problematic because it’s the only way you’re ever going to learn and better promote your products and services. Someone who criticizes you may be trying to help you grow to the next level.  If you get angry and emotional you’re never going to take what they say to heart.

Most great entrepreneurial success stories come from learning a valuable lesson. These entrepreneurs would have never learned these lessons if they were unable to take criticism.

It’s also one of the hardest bad habits to break because most entrepreneurs have a healthy dose of ego. An ego can be a good thing because it encourages you to challenge the conventional. The problem is when that ego goes too far it blinds you to improvements. You start to think you’re always right and you can do no wrong.

So how do you begin to take criticism in the spirit in which it was given?

You should value everyone’s opinion, until they give you a reason not to. The easiest way to look at your customer reviews. These could be reviews given directly to you or reviews of your products on public platforms. Most people will look at all the good reviews and ignore the one or two bad reviews.

Smart entrepreneurs will look at these one or two bad reviews anyway. They will believe there’s something they can learn there. It’s true these reviewers may have nothing interesting to say, but they could also have a huge amount to say. You don’t know until you approach that criticism with an open mind.

Last Word – Take Some Time to Reflect

The most important ritual you can go through is to self-reflect. Not enough people are able to disengage from their usual lifestyle to do it. Instead, they’ll be so plugged into the 24-hour lifestyle they won’t be able to look in the mirror until it’s too late.

An hour per week spent reflecting on your performance is far more powerful than spending every waking moment hard at work. You could just learn about something you’d never even thought of.

What do you think is the worst habit people have when selling to other businesses?

Further Reading

Lainey Mebust
July 10, 2020
Lainey Mebust
June 24, 2020
Lainey Mebust
November 22, 2019