Archive for 29 August, 2014

How to create a newsletter that is a good read

Whether it targets customers, colleagues or other interested parties: an e-mail newsletter can be an extremely effective communication tool – provided that it is opened and read.

However, for a newsletter to be opened and read, or even – in the best case – to be looked forward to instead of just flooding the inbox, there are two important basic rules:

1) You shall not bore!

2) You shall not spam!

If put into practice, this means that a newsletter is not a waste product of old, existing texts; there needs to be an editorial staff in charge! Its contents need to be tailored to its reader’s interests and the topics covered should be both, informative and entertaining for the recipient.

Effective Newsletter

To ensure that the newsletter is a success, the first step is a precise definition of the target group.

Who do I want to reach, who should be receiving information?

Who should know what about the organization, the company?

In the second step, there are two questions to be answered – which, admittedly, is not always easy:

What are the target group’s interests?

Which content will provide additional benefit to the readers?

What will entertain or amuse the target group, which contents should be included in the editorial plan?

Lastly, use a proper style of writing and an appealing and reader friendly layout (a no-go is bright font on dark background, for example), and there is your newsletter that is a good read.

P.S: Integrated links provide additional benefits. Also, readers like to be entertained – however, please do not (!) desperately try to be funny.

Dr. Annegret Haffa

Dr. Annegret Haffa

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Text by Dr. Annegret Haffa. @drhaffa
http://www.haffapartner.de
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Win-Win Negotiations: Way of transforming them into reality

Win-Win Negotiations

For decades, people have been talking about win-win negotiations, but this type of positive outcome has not always occurred in reality. Often, negotiations still involve an antagonistic approach, where one party has to lose in order for the other to win. A 2013 survey of market shows some encouraging news. It seems that more businesses are finally realizing that a positive, collaborative approach can yield better long term outcomes.

Win-Win Negotiations

Win-Win Negotiations

A shift towards a collaborative approach

More are more business executives are pursuing a collaborative, partnership-based approach to relationships with suppliers. This is a change from the older, aggressive approach where business people tried to drive the hardest possible deal, usually at the other party’s expense. Though there have been negotiators who took a win-win approach before, they were typically the exception, not the norm.

Old-style negotiations relied heavily on defensive, compliance-based contracts that featured negative incentives for non-performance. These contracts were designed to reduce risk for the buyer, and transfer that risk to the supplier. Today’s contracts are more balanced, and include positive incentives, shared responsibilities, and shared benefits. Businesses today recognize the need for innovation, flexibility and continuous improvement, and these are increasingly allowed for in contract negotiations.

The role of negotiators is beginning to change. Talented negotiators now are not just skilled in gaining an advantage over the other side. Now communication and facilitation skills are coming to the forefront and negotiators seek to build consensus with the other side, rather than just scoring points. They work on creating an environment of trust between business partners, where both sides can pursue shared objectives.

 

win win negotiation

Win-Win Negotiations

 

Reasons for the shifting style of negotiation

One of the reasons for this shift is that more negotiators are looking at the overall outcome and business bottom line, rather than just the parameters of an individual deal. With pressure to show profits and growth, they are realizing that developing relationships and partnerships can be more effective than maximizing the profits of each deal on its own. The success of a deal is no longer judged in isolation, when the contract is signed. Instead, a longer-term view recognizes the value of sustained relationships.

Another shift is that the buyer in a negotiation no longer always has the greater power. In some industries, such as mining, utilities, automotive, or oil and gas, the suppliers can have the upper hand. Shortages in supply, technology, and skilled labor can shift the balance of power. If the buyers want to be seen as a favored customer, then they need to take a different approach to negotiations.

A third factor that is driving this change is that contracts are more complex than ever before. No longer are cost, quality and time the only factors, as in the traditional view of a negotiation. Today, there are also concerns with sustainability, regulatory compliance, and reputation risk. There are many different stakeholders to consider, and agreements can be complex and difficult to arrange. Developing an on-going relationship with valued business partners can be more effective than handling each deal as a one-off negotiation.

win-win negotiation

Win-win negotiations – your ticket to success

Believe it or not, win-win negotiations come with a wealth of benefits. First of all, all parties involved are more relaxed when entering a meeting whose purpose is to reach mutual ground. However, just because the parties involved want to collaborate and create a relationship, this doesn’t mean they will agree to any offer. Mutual relations are excellent in business, as long as they can bring valuable benefits to all the parties involved in the negotiation.

Win-win negotiations can bring a lot of benefits to your business. Companies that want to make a name for themselves and get recognized should compromise more to reap benefits in the long term. Take all the time you need to make a decision, counter offer if you’re not feeling comfortable with a first offer, and be ready to argument your claims. Not every business individual is a skilled negotiator; yet, you can always opt for negotiation training sessions to perfect your abilities and master the techniques. Stick to your guns no matter what, maintain a professional attitude, and you will have great chances of reaching a mutual agreement with your opponents.

R.G.