Tag Archive for Client

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.

Negotiatio

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!

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!

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!

How marketing Initiatives Sharpen Your Organisation

Advertising is a facet of marketing and separate from other marketing concepts. Although most individuals use these terms interchangeably, it is important to remember that these business terminologies actually have specific distinctions that using one term in lieu of the other is like calling apples “oranges” or vice versa. Doing so is misguided or ill-informed.

So what exactly differentiates advertising from other marketing activity? To put it simply, while advertising can be mostly concerned with branding or imaging, other marketing is geared toward directly tapping target clients for the purpose of sales generation. Advertising can be about making a good first impression. Other marketing, on the other hand, is fueled by an organisation’s desire to do business.

 

In these times of economic flux, it is not always easy for organisations, especially smaller ones, to sustain both advertising and other marketing efforts. Marketing often requires major investment, and is apparently counterproductive to cost-reduction initiatives, which most businesses are keen on nowadays. With this said, it is crucial for organisations to prioritise, with objectivity and a sense of practicality. Zeroing in on business development with limited funds call for creativity and persistence—these are competencies essential to marketing. Arguably, marketing should be favoured as opposed to just advertising, at least during times when both cannot be sustained financially.

Here are ways to strengthen marketing efforts:

  • Get to know your market:

Sales simply mean having people to pay willingly for whatever you are offering. For these potential customers to even entertain shelling out their hard earned money in exchange for your product or service, they must, first and foremost find your offer/s personally relevant. Producing market-specific or market-relevant products or services is the first step to business development. This can be done by accomplishing thorough market research that will not only create an exhaustive profile of your target market, but also, reveal their specific wants and needs.

  • Employ multi-media marketing:

Customers access information from all types of media; from television to laptops to mobile devices. The options run the gamut. For your business development efforts to be noticed by prospective customers, it is best that you keep up with their communication proclivities. It is not enough to sustain marketing efforts via email marketing when employment of social networks can be just as competitive and results-driven.

  • Referral:

Although this can be considered as a traditional marketing approach, it is never obsolete. Referral marketing is a reliable means for a business development driven organisation to actually reach its target customers. There are many strategies inherent to this approach, including Pay for Performance, Incentive-Centred Referrals, and the likes. Moreover, make sure to reward, or at least show some appreciation toward failed referrals. A simple thank you email or note will do and this does not require monetary investment.

  • Networking:

One way to ensure that business development is on full-throttle is to engage every team member in the initiative. This means that everyone should be in-the-know with regards to current marketing efforts, and are equipped with at least the basic sales competencies, so as when they are out doing business or personal functions, they can efficiently take on even unexpected sales opportunities.

 

Text by Nicholas Hill, a modern thought leader and international Trainer of strategic leadership skills and management training.

Managing Director & Principal Trainer for The Hill Consultancy Ltd.

@nicholashill

Customer Reference Programs: Making satisfied customers talk

What do you offer your leads after a trade fair? Ideally, he is presented with a reference example that leads to instant conviction.

Using satisfied customers as references for PR & Marketing

When it comes to convincing new customers, references still form the crucial basis. This is something every marketer and every sales person is aware of. Especially after trade fairs best practices and case studies are vital instruments in turning new contacts into new customers.

Satisfied customer! Yes!

If companies are yet reluctant to integrate satisfied customers in their Sales and Marketing Communication, this often has one reason: fear of the customer. Because the customer might be currently unhappy. Because he could be bothered by the request for support. Because he might not agree with the text of a reference brochure. Because the customer’s communications department will not release information anyway. Because there is no one who could write a substantial text, not to mention interviewing the customer at eye-level. Or because….Well, of course: these are all serious obstacles blocking the way to a reference flyer, a success story press release or a best practice video.

But here comes the good news: These obstacles can be overcome by experience and planning. A professional reference program presents the right solution. Integrated in the sales process, it brings order, transparency and commitment into communication. If someone is well informed, then nothing goes wrong. – At least, this is what I have experienced: After successfully closing reference projects, our customers are always happy – as are their customers, too.

Annegret

 

 

 

 

 

 

Text by Dr. Annegret Haffa. @drhaffa
http://www.haffapartner.de
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