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Negotiating With Customers

Negotiating With Customers

Course Description

One of the skills that account executives use on a regular basis is negotiating with customers. To negotiate successfully, it is essential that account executives be able to accurately identify customer needs and have a detailed knowledge of the tools that they have available for meeting these needs. They need to be well versed on the features of the rates that they offer and how to use these features effectively in meeting customer needs. They also need to be aware of the products and services that they offer and how these products and services can be combined with rates to create solutions to customer problems.

Learning objectives

Customers frequently ask for rate reductions that are a win-lose alternative for the utility, with the customer winning and the utility taking the loss. Account executives need to know how to parry a request for a rate decrease and how to turn it into a win-win alternative that benefits both parties. Account executives need to be able to present these win-win solutions effectively to customers and demonstrate how the customer benefits from these solutions. They also need to know how to close and formalize a deal. This workshop is designed to provide account executives with basic training in the art of negotiating deals with utility customers.

1. Identifying customer needs

2. Identifying the tools you have available to meet customer needs

a. Rates

i) Energy charges

(1) Flat rates

(2) Blocked rates

(3) Seasonal rates

(4) Time of use rates

ii) Demand charges

(1) Coincident peak (CP) billing demand

(2) Non-Coincident peak (NCP) billing demand

(3) Ratcheted demand

iii) Power factor adjustments

iv) Purchased power adjustment clause

v) Minimum bills

vi) Facilities charges

vii) Interruptible rates

viii) Real time pricing

b. Products and services

3. Win-lose alternatives

4. How to parry a request for a rate decrease

5. Identifying win-win alternatives

6. Bundling rates with products and services to meet customer needs

7. How to sell profits rather than products

8. Determining when you have room to give the customer a break

9. Closing the deal

10. Formalizing the deal with contracts and tariffs


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