Tag Archive for dialogue

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!

Power sources that you can use in expected/unexpected situations in negotiations

Power sources in negotiations are perceived as genuine authority traits with the sole purpose of influencing the final outcome of a deal. One-sided power is extremely rare, and to make sure that the power balance stays consistent throughout the meeting, business people are used to switching from one side to another in the hopes of altering the result. Understanding how power sources in negotiations work is vital, if you want the meeting to end in your favor. The tricky part is that one can use these power sources in expected/unexpected situations in order to win, and there are various factors that influence them.

Negotiation

Control your behavior

Behavior is the number one attribute that you can use to your benefit in negotiations. The way you behave will directly influence an opponent’s perceptions about you. Power in negotiations can only be achieved when you are in control. Ergo, the way you act and interact with others is critical. Someone who’s aggressive and who wants to control a business negotiation can easily lose that power if the other party calls their bluff.

Most negotiators are more powerful than they think. There’s a connection between someone’s power source and their self-esteem; apparently, confidence gives you viable alternatives. In business marketing for example, the way you communicate influences an opponent’s opinion about you. Advertising your products by negotiating a deal can be extremely challenging if you don’t know the ins and outs of your business.

Don’t let emotions ruin negotiations

We are emotional creatures. Whether we like it or not, we have emotions and sometimes there’s no way to control them. However, one of main power sources in negotiations is known as emotional intelligence. It’s the ability to control our feelings in situations where we want to appear professional. The business field is one of those situations. As long as you can understand and manage your emotions, there’s a high chance to spot your opponent’s feelings and use them in your favor.

The marketing and advertising domain is one tough and competitive business field. Only the strongest and most courageous people can make it. Success can only be achieved if you can manage your destructive emotions. While it’s difficult to think when you’re anxious or envy, marketers are often put in unexpected situations they just have to deal with.

Analytical skills are vital in business

Marketing professionals must have excellent analytical skills. They will be reviewing all kinds of reports based on statistical analyses such as market share, market size, competitive activity, and consumer demographics. It’s paramount that you learn to interpret and understand the data in order to come up with a sensible strategy and negotiate the best deal.

 

The importance of negotiation in Deals

Another source of power in marketing is creativity. You have to find a way to do things differently. Competition is fierce in this domain, and to really appeal to the senses of a negotiator and convince them to invest in your business, you must think outside the box.

Status – use your position wisely

Your formal position in a company can help you close a good deal. A marketing manager for example, is at liberty to call the shots, make decisions, agree to a certain business plan or not. As a power source, you have to use your position the smart way. Don’t abuse your status – that’s the golden rule here. Influence decisions, offer alternatives, negotiate better outcomes by offering alternatives, but give up the bossy attitude.

Every company executive with an important position can negotiate using power sources. The more you know about your business (and their business) and higher chance you have to reach a good deal. Knowledge is power in any business domain. It’s all about using that knowledge wisely.

A business negotiation is based on two main factors: the quality of the business relationship between all parties involved and the predisposition to bargain. When the parties involved are good communicators, it means that the power sources used are meant to satisfy their requirements equally. Are you ready to use power in negotiation wisely? As long as you’re not abusive of your status, chances are you’ll end up with a lot more than just a deal; sometimes, building connections can be more valuable than winning a 90% share of a negotiation.

By Steve Brown and TheGapPartnership!

7 Reasons Networking Can Be a Professional Development Boot Camp

Glenn Llopis Glenn Llopis, is the President/CEO of the Glenn Llopis Group,  Founder of the Center for Innovation and Humanity and Founder of the Center for Hispanic Leadership: Institute for Talent Development. Mr Llopis is also a contributor in Forbes where he mostly writes about business leadership and workplace innnovation. In this article he points out the importance of networking. Enjoy reading this article!

How many times do you say to yourself that you need to meet more people? That your circle of influence needs to be strengthened?  That your skills and talents have yet to be discovered?  Your career requires you to network and in today’s marketplace you must be more active than ever.  But networking requires planning. An approach that is strategic and measurable; that you can learn from each time you introduce yourself to a new crowd or reacquaint yourself with an old one.    If you are strategic and view networking through an opportunity lens, it can serve as a powerful professional development boot camp experience.

Networking demands that you test your ideas, hone your ability to communicate and improve your executive presence. Networking is a full-time job and the more time you dedicate to it – the more you will learn what works for you and against you.  The more you procrastinate, the more you will find yourself disconnected from the opportunities that may potentially advance your career or allow you to meet the right people.  Procrastination will take you back a few steps and you will lose the competitive edge that comes with meeting new people, gathering knowledge, and observing others that have mastered networking.

Networking is not easy.   For some, it’s like having to take a required class in college that you had no interest in, but had to complete in order to graduate. Remember, in business and in life – success is earned from learning how to do things that you don’t like doing.

Networking requires 100% commitment.   You don’t need to be naturally outspoken to be successful in networking environments.  However, you do need to be prepared to deliver value when called upon. In other words, when it’s your turn to say something – make it count.

Networking is a responsibility and it requires active behavior.  You must be extremely engaged about what others are saying.  It’s not about you, but about how well you integrate your voice and perspectives into conversations. What matters most to those who are listening? Your audience will serve to help you connect the dots of opportunity and potentially act as an enabler for you.

The best networking takes place when you don’t know the title or influence of those you are networking with.  Most people don’t like networking because they don’t feel safe in environments where you are forced to meet new people – especially those who may serve in roles of greater influence and power.

But when you are focused on communicating with a person and not a title – it always amazes me how confident people grow.  At one conference, I remember participating in a discussion that included several highly influential senior executives.  In the group, there was a younger person who wasn’t aware of the titles that the people in the conversation held.

This person was funny, shared great stories and was highly articulate. When she asked for our business cards, she realized that one of the people in the group was a CEO of a Fortune 100 company. She quickly responded in shock and began to apologize for her opinionated and outspoken behavior.  Though she felt obligated to apologize, there was no need to do so.

When we are just ourselves, we are most natural in how we express our points of view. We are most effective at communicating and establishing a positive first impression.  Hierarchy or rank shouldn’t define your approach and style; it should only make you more aware of the types of topics or issues that should be discussed.

Networking is both an art and a science.  But in the end – networking should be fun, exciting and a rewarding approach to advancement. The more you network – with a positive outlook – the more you will learn.  And if you’re always learning, you are growing and thus developing yourself – especially your interpersonal communication skills.  Once you have become a pro at networking, you can begin to share your experiences, tips and tricks with others.

Here are 7 reasons networking can become a powerful professional development boot camp:

#1: Peer-Learning.

While in a networking environment, you can learn a tremendous amount from others. The power of observation is in full force. Think of networking as a focus group. Be aware of what works best for you and what doesn’t.  Learn how to improve by observing those around you.

#2: You Must Always Be Ready.  

Networking can’t be forced. If you try to force it, it rarely goes anywhere. Engaging in dialogue with new people requires you to be quick on your feet and ready for responses and reactions to the conversations around you.  If you are caught off guard, you may find yourself in an uncomfortable situation.  Be active and ready for engagement.  You are either an active networker or not. There is nothing in the middle. We know what happens when people fall asleep at the wheel.

#3: Take Notes While You Network.  

Just as when you are being trained for something, retention comes from taking good notes.  Gather intelligence about yourself and others.  Think of yourself as part of a think-tank.  Be diligent and take note of what you are contributing and how you can improve.  I have learned that people take notice when you are taking notes and it opens the door for more spontaneous conversations.

#4: Ask Non-Traditional Questions.

When you are being trained, you may be asked to apply new knowledge to a situational analysis. This is a great way to apply what you have learned immediately to a real life scenario.  In networking, apply your knowledge in the form of non-traditional questions.  Get people to discover something deeper about what you know by asking them a question they wouldn’t expect. For example, at a conference I once spoke following a world renowned economist, who was presenting his views regarding economic recovery.  Before I took the stage, there was short break and we found ourselves in the green room together.  So I asked him the following question: “How can we all be so optimistic about economic recovering when we – the people in the United States – have not been taught how to survive?”  A non-traditional question led to a relationship that remains strong to this day.

#5: Put Your Personal Brand to the Test.

Networking is a discovery platform and a great way to give your personal brand more exposure.  Always be prepared to unleash your identity so that others will remember you.  Be careful that you are not overly deliberate or focused solely on self-promotion. But seize the opportunity, too. When you walk away from the conversation, those around you should know the following about your personal brand:

  • Your enduring idea.
  • What differentiates you from others.
  • The experience you leave behind.
  • Whom you serve.

#6: Continue the Conversation.

If the dialogue and exchange were worthwhile, invite those you have met to continue the conversation.  This can be done both onsite and online (or both).  To get started, send a follow-up email with a link to an article or whitepaper that supports something they were interested in.  Or you can expand upon your conversation by sending a presentation that showcases your unique point of view while supporting their ideas and ideals.

Reconnect at lunch, invite them to another networking function, or get connected online via LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+, Facebook or another favorite social networking tool.  You can also invite them to join your LinkedIn or Facebook group.  The point is that in taking the lead to continue the conversation, you are the catalyst for opportunity. You are testing the longer term relationship that can form from the networking encounter.

#7: Hold Yourself Accountable.

And finally: Follow-up, follow-up, follow-up.  Each conversation is an opportunity and only you can gauge it. Think of yourself as a project manager responsible for identifying the next steps, who is responsible for what, and defining the outcomes and desired results. Being accountable will help you to sustain the momentum that you have built up in the first six steps.

Our special thanks to Glenn Llopis for sharing his article with us.