Archive for Management

Tips to plan and execute a successful conference or customer Event

Great things do not just happen. A great event does not just go perfectly without serious planning before it all starts. Conferences and customer events are very interesting but not so easy to plan especially if you are keen on everything being perfect during the event. However, nothing is ever impossible. You just need to make your research and find those tips that are worth considering so that you might be able to plan memorable events that will make you feel proud of yourself. Take some time before the event to plan everything in detail and leave no room to unwanted surprises that might just ruin everything you have worked so hard to achieve. The success of every event is always in its details, do not forget it!

Tips Comvort Blog

Establish the Target Audience

Before planning anything for the great conference or customer event you have in mind you should clearly define your target audience. Once you have established this, you will be able to take proper decisions concerning the format of your special event, the prices to be spent, the location where it should all take place, how many people to invite or expect to be there, what kind of programs to include in the event as well as all the details related to any other special moment you may think of planning for your guests.

List Everything You Consider Important

Now that you know the kind of people to target for your conference or customer event, it is time to go forward and establish the next important details. Try to imagine how everything should happen and make a list of all the important details. Do not leave anything out because even the smallest detail can be very important and you do not want a conference fiasco just because you forgot about something. Think of the program content, details related to lighting, transportation and even parking when this might be an issue. No matter what kind of details might come up in your mind, write them down because it will be all on you if anything might not go well. When the event is great, the credit will also be attributed to you, the conference or the customer event planner.

Comvort Blog tips

Establish the Clear Purpose of Your Event

Whenever you are planning an event, you should have a clear purpose for it in your mind. It cannot greatly achieve more than one purpose so it needs to be a clearly defined one to bring you desired results in the end. Just try to focus on what your message should be through the planned event or what you actually want to promote through the event: the services of your company, the new product of your client, a certain type of business, etc. Also, is this an event meant to raise money somehow or for any type of cause? Everyone involved in organizing the event should be aware of this purpose so that you might all be able to work together and help the event achieve its main purpose.

Be Aware of Limitations

It is more than obvious that your goal is to plan the perfect conference or customer event but this does not mean that you should just lose it. Be aware of limitations at all time and be ready to face any challenge that might arise. Be realistic because if your expectations will be higher than it might be possible to achieve you will never feel like you have done a great job. Analyse the things you can plan for the type of budget you have available as well as the amount of time in which you are required to plan the event. Not to mention the importance of the event venue in Suffolk. You cannot achieve more or less than what the venue of the event allows you to achieve. Make sure you do not invite more people than you should because it is never comfortable to have the crowd unable to understand why they came there.

Planning the perfect conference or customer event is challenging but not impossible. With the main purpose of the event in mind, in a perfect event venue in Suffolk and with every detail carefully considered, your event will be a blast.

 

Professional Guest post by Denny Averill (WildernessReserve.com)

How do you have better conversations with people all over the world?

Communication is key to success. The world is more connected than ever before and sending an email is done in less than a minute. Even though communication has never been so instantaneous, you may still face some communication challenges.

By hiring a Comvort agency, you benefit from local teams positioned globally that have a wealth of experience communicating and dealing with your market.

Follow a few of Comvorts handy tips to overcome your specific cultural communication barriers:

The Swiss pursue non-aggressive, minimal bargaining methods, using their standards of quality as negation tools. This secures them good deals while maintaining a friendly business relationship.

In Hungary they hinge around unpredictable styles veering between co-operation and raising problems, before everyone talks at once to secure agreement on several points.

In the Netherlands, The Dutch corporate culture proceeds at an analytical pace without overt haggling or rushing, through which they lay solid factual foundations before establishing business consensus.

The Chinese use meetings as information gathering sessions, though final decisions are made elsewhere. They often play the ‘huge market’ card and fight for win-win solutions.

The Hong Kong business culture values time as highly as results and so eloquence is supported by quick concessions to close a deal faster.

omvort - Worldwide-international-communication

Australians prefer conducting business in a frank conversational style, to achieve friendly agreements reached through creative solutions and mutual comprise.

In Israel they are often highly logical. In business, they prefer direct approaches with clearly outlined proposals, before finalising deals supported by pragmatic conclusions.

In the UK they prefer to build up to professional matters, first establishing a rapport after and after that tend to stall while negotiating.

Professional Guest post by Agency OWB-UK.
Comvort Member since 2009.

*(Source: http://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/global-communication-tips)

Pitch Perfect – Are you prepared for an international pitch?

If 2016 is the year that your business is expanding internationally; you will no doubt be speaking to local customers and regional stakeholders with a vested interest in your new outreach. This unfortunately comes with an all-new set of challenges.

Comvort will assist in your preparation for such an event, offering industry leading insight and feedback on your pitch. Begin with this handy checklist as we make this process a whole lot easier:

Research the company – The more you know the better. Observing their company culture and mission statement will give you a better understanding of how you should approach and address them. Focus on your body language and tone of voice, placing particular impetus on conveying enthusiasm and confidence. This is especially important when everyone in the room might be not be speaking the same language. This is something you can easily practice in the mirror.

Establish objectives – Do you want to make a quick sale now or spark an interest that will later lead to presenting your ideas in front of key decision makers? Be sure to spend time building a relationship and establishing objectives, particularly in countries that value long-term partnerships.

pitch perfect Comvort

Prepare yourself for cultural gaps – A prime example of this can be American business people often being uncomfortable with silences in conversation and will tend to keep talking or engaging in ‘small talk’ when they’re listening to the proposal of another party. When preparing for an international meeting it is a must to read up on the local culture and avoid any potential awkward moments.

Take your time doing business – In the western world we believe in and apply the common expression “Time is money”, however Asian cultures do not share this approach to time and processes can be slower in comparison.

Speak clearly and avoid jargon, slang and idioms – Stick to Standard English. Not everyone has heard of and understands expressions such as ‘that’s a piece of cake’ or ‘kill two birds with one stone’. Also give your audience an occasional pause, allowing them time to take notes and catch up.

Use visual aids & handouts in your presentation: This allows your audience to receive your message on a number of channels and will increase effectiveness.

Bilingual staff: If you are regularly conducting business on an international stage it might be worth hiring a bilingual member of staff. Ensuring that your pitch’s insight and advice is communicated in in a fluid and cohesive manner.

If you have any further suggestions to optimise any international pitch, please let us know in the comments below!

Professional Guest post by Agency OWB-UK.
Comvort Member since 2009.

Believing these 9 myths about negotiation prevents you from growing

People who are not used to negotiations are afraid to negotiate because they’re influenced by several common myths of the trade. These are ingrained and widespread, yet this doesn’t mean they’re true. Believing unfounded allegations and claims with no meaning can stop you from growing in business. Nobody knows everything at the bargaining table, and this is a fact. But you must learn to mold your demands, expectations, and needs in order to close a successful deal. Here are 9 myths you might want to avoid though.

1. Negotiation is about winning or losing

This is probably the most common myth about negotiations. A lot of people wrongfully assume that bargaining for something is about winning or losing, and that there’s no other alternative. Well, there is and it is called a win-win solution. Successful deals can happen even when all the parties involved compromise to reach an agreement.

Tips 9 Myths

2. Negotiation is a natural-born skill

False! It can’t be a natural-born skill. Negotiation is a skill that has to be learned in order to be mastered. The more you bargain with people and close deals (good ones and bad ones) the higher chances to have to gain experience and become a professional. A lot of people wrongfully presume that excellent negotiators are born and not made. They’re wrong! One needs years and years of practice before they can master this art.

3. Negotiators must be aggressive to win

Another myth that has been debunked over and over again; aggressiveness can help and it is often used by business people to take charge and intimidate opponents, but this is not the best approach to use when you want to win in negotiation. An assertive attitude can backfire. It could have many negative effects, thus convincing opponents to disagree and even walk away from a negotiation.

4. Lying can help you get out of a challenging situation

Believe it or not, a lot of people lie in business. This practice is used when an opponent has questions for you that you can’t answer. Making stuff up and bragging with unreal achievements has negative effects in the long term. Telling lies, or resorting to some other unethical negotiation strategies, will eventually make an opponent lose trust. Why should you put your credibility and reputation in jeopardy when you can just be honest?

5. Being nice means you are naïve

There’s no such thing as naiveté in business. And yet there are people who believe that nice guys end up last. That’s not the case. A kind, optimistic and positive attitude at the negotiation table doesn’t exude innocence; it says a lot about a person’s character. He/she may be nice on the outside, but likability can’t be translated into stupidity. Let’s not judge people after first appearances!

6. Negotiation is about winning more money

No, it’s not! Unfortunately, many still believe that walking to a business negotiation is all about getting more money than your opponent. Negotiating also means giving non-financial things up to get non-financial incentives in return; certain companies would rather end a deal with a mutual collaboration, a long-term partnership rather than receive more money, walk away and never speak to that company again.

Tips 9 Myths negotiation

7. Win-win deals are for losers

Associating win-win deals with loss is a mistake. In fact, a mutual agreement can bring a lot more benefits than a win-lose. Some companies want to negotiate in the hopes of building connections; In this case win-win deals means that you compromised but have invested in a long-term cooperation that could help you become more famous and improve bottom line.

8. Negotiation has clear rules one must follow

There’s no exact recipe for success in business negotiations. Yes, there are strategies one may choose to use, but most of the time people go with their gut. They act on an instinct, although they do with poise, determination and professionalism. It is important to enter meetings prepared; but success is not guaranteed of you adhere to the rules without adapting to a given scenario.

9. Negotiating is simple/difficult

Some people dread negotiations, others love them. In either case, you are never advised to take things for granted. A negotiation may seem easy/difficult on the outside, but prior to jumping in make sure you are prepared with facts. That’s all you need to succeed. Making assumptions can have a lot of negative effects. A certain deal may appear easy to close; be careful and whatever you do, don’t lose your temper.

 

Professional post By Jason Phillips and TheGapPartnership.com!

Talk less and listen more – key to ace negotiations at your business deals

Negotiation is an art that very few people can understand. It’s a special skill that influences lives, so only the toughest will master it. Dealing with customers, investors and suppliers is easier said than done, especially in the business environment. The secret to winning negotiations is to “read” your opponent. Assess body language and become an active listener if you want to land the best deal. Negotiating with business partners demands fortitude, commitment and patience. Do you have what it takes to win? Here are some tips to help you ace negotiations when closing business deals.

Listen more

Shut up

Talk less during a business negotiation and you’ll have a lot to win. Too much chitchatting can backfire when you’re trying to close a good deal. The more you talk the better chances your opponent has to beat you with your own guns. It’s amazing how much useful information you can obtain from someone just by keeping quiet. Allow your opponent to start a conversation and don’t interrupt him; pay close attention to his allegations, and if you sense that he’s making unfounded questions, ask for clearance.

Be the one to do the talking

If on the other hand, you’d like to do the talking, make sure your words have meaning. Studies have shown that the brain goes into a trance when facing verbal barrage. During one-on-one negotiations, this can work beautifully. A lot of business negotiators are good at talking; but that’s it. Their speech doesn’t have meaning, and they often end up mentioning facts and figures that don’t exist or are irrelevant to the negotiation in questioning. Talking that is meant to fill in empty air is not good for business, so whatever comes out of your mouth has to be backed up by solid proof, each and every time.

Do your homework

One can’t ace business negotiations if the information held is not solid enough. Good negotiators will never enter a meeting unprepared. It’s important to have the data in order to feel in control. Solid information gives you bargaining power, and the more you know the higher chances you have to persuade opponents to compromise. However, try not to confuse compromise with manipulation, do whatever you can to reach common ground. Mutual agreements foster relationships and solid relationships with trustworthy business partners can help your business attain worldwide recognition.

Use open-ended questions

Open-ended questions makes opponents believe that you’re willing to listen and learn. Avoid questions that begin with a verb, such as “Is this ok?” or “Is the offer on the table good enough?” and go for questions like “How do I make this better?” or “Are there any changes required in the current offer?” This way you leave room for improvement. Your opponent will notice that you’re willing to learn and further negotiations are in order, too.

Avoid lies at all costs

Nothing good can come out from telling lies when negotiating a business deal. If you don’t know what you say, talk less and allow your opponent to take the lead; but under no circumstances distort the truth because sooner or later someone will notice you just told a lie. Stay focused on facts and if there’s something you don’t like, say it out loud. Negotiating is directly linked to collaborating, so you shouldn’t be ashamed of the things you know nothing about.

body language

Pay attention to body language

Some people talk with their body language, and in business this can either help them, or destroy them. Nervousness and anxiety lead to an erratic behavior, while calmness and composure make you look professional and experienced. Assess your opponent’s behavior by allowing him talk first. This will give you an idea about his personality, as well as his general opinion about the business deal on the table.

There’s no exact recipe to winning negotiations. However, there are ways of turning a business meeting to your advantage. Enter negotiations prepared with information, talk less and listen more. Engage in a conversation and maintain a professional attitude; let opponents sense your business spirit but don’t raise your voice to exude power. Build a connection by looking for things you’ve got in common. It’s ok to let your guard down and relate to business partners, as long as you don’t forget the scope of the deal.

Professional Post By Jason Phillips and TheGapPartnership.com!