Archive for Management

Ability to negotiate properly – how critical is it to your day-to-day business activities?

win win negotiation

There’s a misconception about top-notch business negotiators – people often assume that just because they have the best skills, they’re hostile and adversarial. That’s not always the case since having sound bargaining skills matters is critical to your daily business activities. In the business domain, you can’t survive just by saying “yes” to every proposition that you receive. Proper negotiation abilities are vital because they help you hone your business skills.

There have been many studies performed over the years on this matter, and they show that business people who resent negotiations are 60% less capable of success. If the rest of the people in your company would know to negotiate better it could greatly impact your company’s bottom line.

Outcomes must be determined before the beginning of a negotiation

It’s paramount that you understand exactly what your expectations are prior to entering a negotiation. Thus, you’ll know exactly if you can push forward or stop. Having a clear perspective of your bottom line averts you from manipulating or abusing counterparts. Furthermore, as long as your outcome is clearly defined, you’re on the safe side and you’re not at risk of saying “yes” to a deal that seems unacceptable.

Understanding the audience is critical

In negotiations and marketing, knowing and understanding your audience is critical. For that to happen, you must do your homework. How much information do your know about the person sitting across from your table? Before entering a meeting, you should find out more about their past deals. Did they have any issues with former clients? Are they open to negotiation? Do they have a rock solid reputation? Maintain eye contact and be prepared for anything. Engage in a conversation and keep your cool; it’s a sure way of knowing the person with whom you’re dealing with, not the business guru.

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Negotiation

Know your value – it will help you negotiate with a lot more enthusiasm

Many entrepreneurs are competent, trained individuals. They can achieve great things because they’ve got all the ingredients they need to attain greatness. Unfortunately, most of them are unaware of their true potential. In business, this can have dreadful consequences. Have your goals engraved in your head and adhere to your principles. Never let anyone intimidate you and stay focused if you want to make it in the business world. Having sound negotiation abilities is vital for your daily endeavors. You’ll have to persuade and convince employees, customers, and investors that you’re a capable and consistent individual. Provided that you know and understand your true value, you can do that.

Active listening – a vital skill in business negotiation

Generally speaking, business people are enthusiastic speakers. They want to say a lot of things and they want to say it fast. Unfortunately, they’re so focused on making themselves heard, that they forget to listen. Only the most skilled business persons can understand how important it is to listen. Active listening can provide you vital information about a counterpart, not to mention that it makes you appear calm and calculated. This is a good thing as nobody likes to negotiate under duress.

Active listeners are present and they never get caught up in the details; they allow the other party to talk and basically, they focus on what they’re saying. As opposite to average listeners, active listeners know every important fact, claim or allegation the other person has said.

Never get emotionally involved

As long as you can aim high and not get emotionally involved, you have an almost 100% chance of closing a good deal. Successful business negotiators are hopeful and confident in their abilities. You can get more as long as you have the nerve to ask for more. Only those who aim high become true experts in their field of work. The problem with most negotiators is that they get emotionally involved too often. They end up losing their temper and start screaming or shouting.

Don’t let an opponent get under your skin with plain words or an aggressive attitude. Fight back by remaining calm. It’s ok to be disliked, although it’s not ok to accept attacks and unethical remarks. In special circumstances it’s best to just walk away from a deal rather than risk damaging the integrity of your company.

By Jason Phillips and TheGapPartnership.com!

Emotions – how to use them perfectly at negotiations

Emotions and empathy play a vital role in negotiations, whether in business or in politics. Emotional awareness can steer prejudices and it can also give self-control. Sometimes, classic negotiation skills fail, and to demonstrate poise and control, one must use inner emotions to land a good deal. Experts argue that emotions have no place in negotiations because they make people seem weak. However, it is possible to control emotions and use them to your advantage. Many people fear negotiations, and rather than finding a way to deal with their inner feelings, they clank up. Here are some excellent guidelines to help you put emotions to good use in a negotiation.

Nervousness – a feeling that can be controlled

Believe it or not, nervousness is a feeling that can be controlled in a negotiation. Make your anxiety become curiosity by attentively listening to your opponents. Pay attention to everything they say, as body language, words, and variations in their vocal tone can help you make an opinion. An observant negotiator is able to spot opportunities for mutual agreements, so it’s certainly a good idea to ward off your concerns and focus on the facts. According to some experts, when you’re deeply attentive, the mind “forgets” about feelings such as nervousness and concern. For a negotiator to attain emotional balance, he must ward off all his fears by focusing on the speech or presentation of his opponent.

Take a break

Experienced negotiators know how to cool off when things heat up in a negotiation. Taking a break is one of the most effective ways of dealing with your emotions. There are times when deals don’t go as planned, and although you are not nervous in the beginning, you may start developing some feelings of angst as things move forward. Skilled business people have the capacity and the expertise to intimidate an opponent. They can throw your confidence out the window in a matter of seconds. In this scenario, it’s best to ask for a recess. A short break will help you calm down; your team should be there for moral support, too.

Emotions

Anger can be an asset

Provided that you use anger strategically, it can become your strongest weapon. Some people are more productive when they’re angry; they have better ideas and they’re not afraid of dealing with unpredictable circumstances. In some scenarios, anger can be used as an indicative of your toughness. An attitude that’s hard-hitting may intimidate an opponent, and therefore your persuasion abilities will be greatly improved. As much as we want to believe that anger can be an asset in negotiations, it is important to know your limits. We’re talking about a feeling that can scare business partners and associates when it becomes too extreme.

Anxiety – the perfect recipe for success in business

Anxious people usually end up losing negotiations. Why? Because it’s simple for an opponent to sense that you’re afraid. Fear leads to a wealth of other unpleasant feelings, and in the end you may agree to a bargain that can’t possibly benefit your company. Don’t let your nerves get the best of your when negotiating, and use your anxiety to reap great benefits. Generally speaking, important decisions entail increased levels of hesitation, and trying to come up with a mutual agreement may lead to apprehension. Be lucid and don’t let emotions interfere with your logical way of thinking. The best way to make your anxiety help you win negotiations is to forget it exists.

While anxiety, anger, and nervousness are perfectly understandable emotions people feel in a negotiation, we can’t say the same thing about fear. Ironically, fear is more common than the other three, and it usually has dreadful effects on your self-esteem. Do you usually feel your heart pounding at the mere thought of bargaining with someone? You may be afraid of negotiations, and this unpleasant emotion won’t help you build connections and close good deals. If you can’t control your emotions when dealing with employees, investors, and customers, you might need some negotiation training; the best way to control emotions is to block them out of your system. Fear is a useless emotion in business. There’s absolutely no reason for you to be afraid of your opponent. Rather than let fear affect your judgment, focus on the facts and be rational.

By Jason Phillips and TheGapPartnership.com!

Is it true? Lying in negotiations is legal

win win negotiation

Negotiations almost always have an element of deception. This may take the form of dodging a question, answering it in a misleading way, or outright lying. At the simplest level, most negotiators won’t come out and tell the truth about a question like “what’s the bottom line?” A more complex version of misrepresentation is injecting secondary issues that don’t really matter in order to get concessions on important things. When lying in a negotiation moves beyond that to include factual inaccuracies and misrepresentation, it’s obviously not ethical, but is it legal?

negotiation

negotiation

Fraud and the law

In any business deal, both sides are out to make the best possible deal. Self-interest in itself is normal, and not a problem. However, if fraud has occurred, then it could be a legal issue, and the injured party could have grounds to sue. The basic definition of fraud is when one party knowingly misrepresents a material fact, the other party relies on this statement, and is damaged as a result.

For example, if a used car dealer resets the odometer on a car so that he can sell it as “new” when in fact it is used, that is a misrepresentation. The fact that the car is used instead of new is material to the buyer, who relies on the odometer’s evidence and believes that the car is new. By purchasing the car for inflated new-car prices, the buyer suffers damages. There are a few different elements that are required in order for this to be fraud, and each of them is explored below.

  • Knowledge

In order for it to be fraud, the person who makes the misrepresentation must know that they are doing so. If a different person reset the odometer and the salesman did not know the car had been used, then he was acting in good faith by telling the buyer the car was new, and it would not be fraud.

However, purposely avoiding knowledge that would be deceptive could be illegal, too. For instance, if a dealership had a regular practice of doing this, but salesmen purposely didn’t ask that question in order to avoid the harmful knowledge, it could still constitute fraud.

  • Misrepresentation

Usually, you have to make a specific untrue statement in order to count as fraud, and if you just don’t say anything about a topic you are on safe ground. However, if you are asked specific questions during a negotiation and avoid answering by saying something like “I’m not sure about that,” it can be a problem. Current law outlines various exceptions where not saying anything can be construed as fraud, so be careful in this area.

Negotiation ComvortBlog

Material fact

As discussed, most people do lie about something during a negotiation, like what their bottom line price would be. However, that is generally viewed as a preference, rather than a material fact, so there is no legal issue with that. However, if you bring up other lies to try to close a deal, it can be an issue. A classic example is a realtor who pressures a buyer into a quick decision by saying there’s another potential buyer who’s offered to pay asking price that day, when in fact no other offer exists. Courts have ruled that this lie could be deemed a material fact.

When lying is legal in negotiations

Can lying in negotiations be considered “ethical”? To some extent, diverting the truth and beating around the bush just to get what you want is perfectly legal. It could be immoral, yet many people see business negotiations as a battlefield, where one party has to lose for the other to win. When you’re bargaining for something, or you’re trying to persuade an opponent to buy something from you, it’s natural to use some sort of manipulative techniques to win. As long as you’re not deceitful, your small white lies are not really considered illegal.

Business negotiations are just like poker games. You should never reveal all your cards to an opponent. Yet, there’s a difference between not sharing information and sharing wrong information. Unlike lying, which is unethical when it is brought to extremes, bluffing is perfectly ethical; the secret to a good bluff – never get caught.

 

Spanish version

 

By Jason Phillips and TheGapPartnership.com!

5 points that can help strengthen or refresh negotiation strategies

Life is full of negotiations, both in work and in your personal life. At work, you may be negotiating a business deal with a client. At home, you may be negotiating with your teenager about borrowing the car and what time to be home. However, even though we all face negotiation situations in our lives, few people have ever been trained in the skills required.

Negotiation

 

1. Don’t make assumptions

It is easy to assume that you know what the other party in the negotiation wants and needs, but your assumptions can leave you with either an incomplete or incorrect understanding of the situation. The truth is that you cannot really know what their situation is and what they are thinking, unless you ask them. Rather than making assumptions, a good strategy is to start with a blank slate.

Ask open-ended questions, and let the other person explain what they need and why. This will lead you to a better outcome than relying on incorrect assumptions. Assumptions are bad for business as they’re usually used to fill in missing information. Also, these claims can’t be proven, as opponents can easily take you for granted.

2. Practice your listening skills

Too many people don’t really listen. They ask a question, but rather than listening to the answer, they are already planning ahead to what they are going to say next themselves. Listening is a critical skill in negotiation – perhaps the most important skill of all. Ask your questions, and then practice active listening as the other party responds. Rephrase key points back to them to make sure you understand correctly. Ask follow up questions where needed. The information you gain can be valuable.

3. Keep emotions in check

Emotions can cloud your thinking, making it less likely that you will arrive at a rational decision. If you get emotional during a negotiation, it gives an advantage to the other side. As much as possible, try to set your emotions aside, and deal with the negotiation logically, making decisions based on facts, not feelings. If you find yourself getting emotional, try to step away from the table for a break, so that you can regain your composure before proceeding.

Control your body language as well; nervousness and anxiety lead to excessive sweating, shaking, and mumbling. Stop biting your lip and have the courage to look your opponents in the eye. Talk less if you’re too nervous to state your mind, use short sentences and only answer questions when somebody ask you something.

4. Don’t be desperate

If you are seen as being needy or desperate for a deal, then it gives the other party an enormous advantage. They will perceive that they can ask for any terms or concessions they want, and you will give in because you are desperate to close the deal. You are no longer on an even playing field – you have given the other side an advantage. In order for you to achieve a better outcome, you need to avoid seeming needy. Remember that you want this deal, you don’t need it.

5 points that can help strengthen or refresh negotiation strategies

5. Be ready to walk away

Have a fallback plan in mind before you enter the negotiation. What will you do if you don’t reach an agreement? Is there another supplier you can use? A completely different solution you could implement? When you are prepared to walk away from an unfavorable deal, it puts you in a more powerful position in the negotiation. The other party will realize that in order to close the deal, they will have to come up with terms that you like.

Although classic negotiation techniques can help business people get a good deal, sometimes it’s good to refresh your style by strengthening the technique. Never allow opponents to see the real you, control your emotions, and be honest. Ask for what you think you deserve, don’t hold back! Too many people assume that negotiations are confrontational and stressful. While that can happen, it’s up to you to make the whole meeting laid back and relaxed. Talk gently, maintain a proper attitude, be professional, and find a way to reach a solution without having to use an aggressive behavior.

 

By Jason Phillips and TheGapPartnership.com!

Here are som emore tips to help you strengthen your negotiation techniques.

Are your current negotiation techniques that efficient?

Negotiating skills are important in both business and life. You may find yourself negotiating a business deal, a compensation package for a new job, or the price and options on a new car you want to buy. No matter how much negotiating experience you have, there’s always room for improvement. You just have learned some basic principles first and then devote a lot of time to mastering the art of negotiation. Here are some great tips to improve your skills.

Prepare your plan beforehand

Quite simply, the better prepared you are before you enter the negotiation, the better your prospects of ending up with a good deal. While many people enter a negotiation with their basics figured out (such as maximum price or desired delivery date), good negotiation planning will cover much more than that. Here are a few things that a good plan will include.

  • Make sure you know what you want, and why. The why is important?
  • What are the other side’s interests? What do they want, and why? Try to look beyond the obvious.
  • What do you know about the other party’s negotiating style?
  • What could you offer, that would be worth more to the other side than it is to you?
  • How could you position this as joint problem solving?

What is your alternative to a negotiated agreement? This is your fallback plan, in case the negotiation does not work out. It also gives you an alternative to gauge against any offer they make. Don’t accept any offer that does not beat your alternative plan.

Listen, listen, and listen

Many people are not good listeners. Rather than paying attention and absorbing what the other person is saying, they are already planning their own response. Listening is a key skill for negotiation, perhaps one of the most important. This is how you can dig out information about the other party’s interests that could be useful to you later in the negotiation.

Practice active listening

Respond to the other person’s statements, asking for more detail in places. Also, restate back to them what you heard, with something like “So what you’re saying is that you really need …” This makes it more likely that you will have a correct understanding of what they meant. It also lets them know that you really are listening and paying attention to them. This sends them a positive message, and increases trust.

Think beyond just compromises

What is your approach to negotiation? Do you see it as a game that the other person has to lose in order for you to win? Or do you see it as something that can end in a win-win outcome, where both parties are happy with the result? Many tough negotiators take the first approach, and want to win in the battle against their adversary.

A different approach is to look at the “whys”. Why do you need this project completed by July 1? Why are they concerned that this does not leave enough time for testing? Rather than just looking at the fact that you disagree on the delivery date, you can try to understand the underlying reasons. You may find that there are some common interests that you both have. This lets you turn an antagonistic negotiation into one where you are both seeking to address a shared problem. That changes the dynamic of the negotiation, and can lead to a win-win outcome.

Collective negotiation

Collective negotiation

Work on your technique

There’s no such thing as the perfect negotiation technique. Things can always go south no matter how prepared you are. Regardless of your business domain, it’s important to have a good strategy laid out. Gather as much information as you can about your opponents and be honest and frank when it comes to making demands.

Dominating negotiations in marketing can be challenging. You have to really know what you’re doing to persuade people that your ideas are the best. Communication is vital; remember that; it’s just as important as patience. Let counterparts talk first and listen carefully to everything they have to say. Ask questions to get clearance and be ready to negotiate. Think in the best interest of your organization, and if a deal doesn’t live up to your expectations, walk away.

By Jason Phillips and TheGapPartnership!