Tag Archive for Strategy

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!

Wrong words that can ruin your whole negotiation process

Have you ever been in the middle of a negotiation which appears to be going well, only to find the whole procedure suddenly stalls and spins out of control? Often, the answer to this is simpler than you think. There are certain keywords which invoke emotions, often changing a person’s mindset. The following words are all trigger words, and some might actually ruin your negotiation if you’re not being careful.

uring negotiations

Need

“Need” is a fairly unassuming word used regularly in our everyday conversations. The problem in a negotiation is that it starts a thinking process in the other party. “Need” might have been used to show that this is a priority. It brings an image of essential to survive. This can lead to the following question – what if you do not have or get it, does this mean you cannot survive. Ultimately, if you cannot survive you are dead. That certainly bits a new spin on the debate! Suddenly, your negotiation may become stressful with a serious emotional element, and it is no longer possible to make clear business decisions.

“Understand”

The best intentions can start with wanting the other party to “understand” what you are suggesting and how it can improve life for everyone. The problem arises as you spend a lengthy amount of time going through the concepts and ideas, hoping they will understand. In a very good meeting, opponents and collaborators may completely grasp and support your ideas. In an average meeting they might end up more confused than they were in the beginning.

Instead of being able to make a decision they will need to research or get further advice. This means no decision is made and the meeting was a waste of time. If the meeting has gone really badly, the other party will now claim to understand and may do so. In the process, they have thought of ten or twenty objections and issues with your suggestion. Suddenly, you are much worse off than before the meeting.

The issue here is that providing too much information will inevitably lead to objections, these can create a stalemate situation. The more you try to get them to understand the more the natural human reaction of ‘digging your feet in’ happens. A good negotiator will paint a vision of the future and appeal to fruitful emotions to make a decision.

wrong words during a negotiation
“No”

Believe it or not, “no” is not a word you want to say over and over again in a negotiation. “No, we don’t need this”, “No, this is non-negotiable”, “Our final answer is no”. By stressing out on the importance of this word, you create tension. A negative vibe will materialize, and the whole meeting can end badly. It’s best to avoid the word, or at least work around it. “We’re not declining your offer; we’re just taking some time to reconsider it”. Maintain a professional attitude, because you have better chances of creating a mutual agreement.

Negotiation is a skill

You will need to learn to create a vision of the future in the other party, not with facts and figures but with emotion. The emphasis needs to be on positive words, allowing them to see the solution to their problem. Avoid muddling them with words, tactics and explanations. Focusing on the problem will never assist in resolving it. You must ensure they can see your vision for fixing the issues, and give them a clear course of action to take.

All decisions are fundamentally made by ‘seeing’. To make a decision we need to be able to mentally see the solution. It is an everyday occurrence. In our daily lives, we frequently see the answer to a problem; we have a moment of clarity and can see the right path to take. They are all images in our head. To successfully close a business negotiation there should be plenty of references to seeing things; this creates the link to remind the mind that it is capable if envisioning the solution. With the other party now looking in the same direction as you, focused on a fantastic vision of the future you will have completed your job. The details are not important; the results will speak for themselves.

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!

Negotiation tips for women – how to tackle negative feedback

Nobody likes to receive negative feedback and be judged for every little mistake they make; unfortunately, it’s a fact of life we can’t do anything about. Every now and then, we get constructive criticism from the people around us. This form of feedback is meant to improve our abilities, our skills and our perceptions. Experts agree that women get more negative feedback at the workplace than men. Why is this happening? Probably because a couple of centuries ago the work space was not meant for a woman, and whether we like it or not, some business fields are still made of 80% men and 20% women.

Negotiation tips for women

Ironically, women are not that sensitive after all. Some are tougher than men; and since modern society believes in equal rights between men and women, it’s now easier than ever to tackle negative feedback through negotiations. As long as women have the nerve to fight back, their negotiations techniques can help them ward off bad evaluations. Determination is everything you need to make yourself noticed.

Maintain control

Do yourself a favor and don’t start to cry at the office. Rather than make others pity you, it’s best to accept whatever they said and move on. Maintain a professional attitude – that will hurt them more than if you had burst into tears. Unlike men, women struggle to control their emotions. Although negative feedback can hurt, you have to be tough. In some circumstances, your boss might want to test your strengths to see how much you can take. If you get upset or defensive, the whole situation might worsen.

Every meeting should be seen as an opportunity to learn, and if your boss or supervisor is criticizing you, maybe you should revise your attitude. It’s really important to take notes when someone gives negative feedback. Accept whatever they have to say with dignity and don’t show any signs of weakness.

Negotiation tips for women

Why did you get negative feedback?

If your boss is giving negative feedback, it’s probably because you did something wrong. Ask for clearance in order to understand your mistake and do whatever’s necessary to fix it. There’s no shame in messing up, so just because you’re the only woman in a team of 10 co-workers, it doesn’t mean you’re responsible for everything. Speak up and don’t let anyone assume you’ll start to cry. “What did I do wrong? Is there any way I can fix this? I would love another opportunity; I know I’m better than this”.It’s really important to maintain a positive attitude. You made a mistake, that’s fine. Embrace it and move on.

Prove that you’re valuable

Although it’s not that easy to tackle negative feedback, it’s not impossible either. Have a one-on-one meeting with your boss; talk about your ambitions and highlight that you’re most committed person he’ll ever meet. “I’m going to work harder to prove you wrong”, “I’m driven and determined, I just need another chance at making things better”. When a supervisor or manager observes you’re eager to fix your mistakes, he will see you have a lot of potential. He might even realize that negative feedback was necessary to get you out of your comfort zone.

Why did you get negative feedback? If your boss is giving negative feedback, it's probably because you did something wrong. Ask for clearance in order to understand your mistake and do whatever's necessary to fix it. There's no shame in messing up, so just because you're the only woman in a team of 10 co-workers, it doesn't mean you're responsible for everything. Speak up and don't let anyone assume you'll start to cry. "What did I do wrong? Is there any way I can fix this? I would love another opportunity; I know I'm better than this".It's really important to maintain a positive attitude. You made a mistake, that's fine. Embrace it and move on.  Prove that you're valuable Although it's not that easy to tackle negative feedback, it's not impossible either. Have a one-on-one meeting with your boss; talk about your ambitions and highlight that you're most committed person he'll ever meet. "I'm going to work harder to prove you wrong", "I'm driven and determined, I just need another chance at making things better". When a supervisor or manager observes you're eager to fix your mistakes, he will see you have a lot of potential. He might even realize that negative feedback was necessary to get you out of your comfort zone.

Negative feedback can lead to success

It’s never easy to receive negative feedback, regardless of your career stage. Both men and women get upset and defensive when someone criticizes their work. Surprisingly, negative feedback is a great opportunity for you to learn, grow and surpass your boundaries. An employee who can take bad feedback with pride will probably become an excellent leader someday. It’s important to take risks if you want to succeed; he who has never taken a risk in his life can’t move forward because he can’t move pass his mistakes.

Usually, when a manager gives negative feedback, it’s because he cares. He sees something in you that you can’t. Young employees take bad feedback negatively; women in particular, often feel attacked and insulted. It’s wrong to assume that your boss has something personal with you. Rather than complain, did you ever think to negotiate? Bargain for what you believe in, let your boss know you’re the best and that his negative feedback will help you grow and make a name for yourself.

Comvort Professional post by Jason Phillips and TheGapPartnership.com!

Listening – a must-have skill at negotiations

Steer clear of conflict -Negotiation Comvort

Negotiating deals and doing everything that needs to be done for the success of your company can be a dreadful task. The key to having a thriving business is to bargain – as an entrepreneur, you should master all the basic techniques, and also find a way to build a personal style. Listening is one of the smartest ways of winning negotiations. For some, it’s just a trait that shapes one’s personality; for others, it’s a golden tool that can do miracles when used appropriately.

How come listening is so important at negotiations and what can people do to develop sound listening skills? First of all, thriving negotiations rely on the continuous exchange of information. Because we’re talking about “a process”, it may take awhile to develop. CEOs and entrepreneurs in general, shouldn’t expect counterparts to reveal everything up front; at least not in the first 15 minutes.

Listening MarCom Negotiations- Comvort

Listening in MarCom Negotiations

The key to having a fruitful negotiation is to ask questions and be an excellent listener. The information obtained from an opponent must be used wisely. Write down everything they say, underline allegations that should be backed up by solid evidence, and don’t hesitate to ask for clearance. Active listening helps people create options; ergo, it will be easier for them to compromise and land a win-win deal.

Be polite, don’t interrupt

A good listener must not interrupt when the other party is speaking. In case you want to clarify some things or ask a question, it’s best that you write it down. Concentrate and give the other party your undivided attention. When they’re done, feel free to address your questions. It can be extremely dicey to stop someone from speaking because they could reveal valuable information.

Speak with your body and let them know that you’re listening. Nod your head to approve, maintain eye contact, smile and remain calm throughout the entire negotiation. This will prove to the other party that you’re paying attention, which means they feel comfortable in your presence – they might even reveal some more information.

Have an open-minded attitude

Active listening skills and an open-minded attitude are both necessary for the proper process of negotiation. Let your opponent finish his presentation and be ready to offer feedback at the end. Ask for clarifications about points you didn’t understand and think in the best interest of your business, too. By understanding the speaker – who can be an investor, employee or a client – you understand the reason that lies behind certain choices. This should permit you to talk about negotiations, without fearing that some of the information is wrong or wrongfully perceived.

Steer clear of conflict -Negotiation Comvort

Steer clear of conflict

A negotiation doesn’t have to be about getting what you want in proportion of 100%. It’s impossible to persuade an opponent to give you everything and remain with nothing. Bargaining for something should be about working things out, making concessions, and finding mutual ground. The resulting deal should benefit both of you equally. For that to happen, business individuals must be willing to listen. Let an opponent gauge your attention, and use the information received to your advantage. Don’t engage in conflicting relations as nothing good can come out of a stressful negotiation process. In order to become the best negotiator, use the following tips:

  • Assess your communication style – self-awareness helps people leave a long-lasting impression
  • Attentive listening to the speaker – nod your head to show that you’re being attentive, and find a way to earmark thoughts that are being distractive. Ignore outside factors like noise and focus on the words and body language of the speaker
  • Let your body language speak and use it to prove that you’re listening as well
  • Don’t interrupt and be respectful
  • Turn to negotiation training to hone your skills

While it’s certainly a good idea to listen to opponents during a business negotiation, you are not advised to take for granted everything they say. The information should be accurate, so be sure to check dates and numbers, too, just to be on the safe side. Wait for your turn to speak, share ideas and talk about compromise. Win-win solutions doesn’t just mean that you’ve landed a good deal; it means that you’ve got yourself a business partner too, someone who may be able to help you in the foreseeable future.

 

By Jason Phillips and TheGapPartnership.com!