Negotiating – Why Am I So Afraid?

Picture the scene: You have a spring in your step as you follow the secretary into the conference room for your 9:00 meeting. You know this is going to be a perfect way to end the week. Today you will walk out with a signed contract worth millions. You are confident that after a few minutes of conversation you will have them eating out of your hands and that they will not only sign the contract, but be grateful that your company is willing to provide them with such an amazing service. Your eyes scan the conference room as you enter. You notice the freshly polished wood of the conference table. You see that the luxurious leather chairs are occupied by serious, well dressed and obviously uptight executives. Your attention is drawn to the huge clock on the wall which says it is 9:10. You are painfully aware that you are both late and under dressed. You thought everyone observed casual Friday. Your palms are sweaty, your ears are ringing and your heart is racing. Then, you wake up.

Do you have an unrealistic fear of negotiating? Most of you don’t negotiate with customers face-to-face and if you do, it’s rarely in a situation like I just described. A customer is calling you. You don’t know when the call will come or exactly what the customer wants to negotiate. You don’t know if the customer will be nice and understanding or if he will sound angry and make unreasonable demands. You need to be prepared for the unknown.

Recently, a customer asked a CSR why she was willing to lower his rate only after he said a competitor gave a better price for service. The response was, “I’m still new at learning how to um to um have people stay with us when people call and cancel. I’m still learning how to keep people with us. And I’m not exactly sure, from my higher ups, how to keep my people. So, I would just like to tell them I’d like to drop your payment so I can keep you with us.” Her statement was very telling. Are you expecting your team to negotiate without providing them a strategy and training? There is something worse than not negotiating at all. It is expecting your team to negotiate without any guidance. Bad deals cut into your profitability.

What you can do right now

• Determine what types of customer calls will involve negotiating for both existing and prospective customers.

• Sit down with your customer service and sales representatives and have them write down what they are afraid a customer will ask.

• Educate them on your bottom line. Your team should understand what is profitable and what is not.

• Give clear guidelines on what the first response should be to someone who is price shopping or wanting to cancel over price. Provide not just the concept, but the right wording to use which helps prevent misinterpretation of your direction.

• Empower your team to negotiate. That means they need to know what they can offer in the form of a free service, discounted rate or incentive.

• They need to know when it is okay to walk away from the negotiation. Be clear on the protocol to escalate to a manager or bring the sales representative into the negotiation.

• Role-play using the questions they fear customers will ask along with specific responses.

Good negotiation isn’t about being tricky, it is all about preparation.

Business Negotiating Techniques

Business negotiating can play an important role in our professional pursuits, the techniques involved can even be of help in our personal lives (outside of the office.) The truth is, we can even be negotiating without realizing it – it is an action that we do naturally from day to day. Perhaps you went to the mall over the weekend and asked for a reduction in the selling price of a faulty item, maybe you had some ideas of how to change something in your office.

Negotiating doesn’t have to be difficult, but how effortless it can or can’t be, depends on a few factors. One of the main factors will be how much is at stake and another factor that can make it a challenge is your mood – if you are upset or angry then negotiating can seem like the highest of hurdles. If you have low self esteem and the person or group you are negotiating with is full of confidence – this might be greatly intimidating for you.

The purpose of this article is to reveal some of the secrets to good business negotiation skills so that you can use them as you need – when in confrontation with colleagues or customers – or even with the big boss! You might also find that the advice here will be of use in more personal situations too.

Introduction To Negotiating

Simply put, negotiating is when two or more persons/groups will discuss their different needs and aim to come to a solution that satisfies either party. Negotiating is not a process that sticks to a set of guidelines and each case could be very variable when compared to the one before or to the next. How the situation develops will depend on the people involved and what skills/ideas/attitudes they have. What negotiating isn’t, is a conflict. Too many make negotiating faults by believing they are under pressure to get the results swayed towards their ideas – using intimidation, force and even anger. Ideally, all involved should accept that the outcome will be favorable to both sides.

Negotiating Techniques

Let us have a look in more detail, the potentially successful business techniques of negotiation. First, you should use appropriate questioning to find out what the other parties needs are and what they dislike about your need and want for change. Take time to make sure that you fully understand their needs and if you must, use what we call ‘listening responses’ to clarify the situation. An example might be “If I am correct, you want to ensure that…”

Following this, it will be time to share your concerns and ideas. Don’t make the fault of only declaring what you want, but always back it up with reasons as to why you want it a certain way. You have to give the other party a chance to understand your reasoning. You could discover through this, that both parties are aiming for the same goal or outcome, but their approach to reaching that goal is different.

Have your plan B’s and C’s at hand should you require them. Negotiating is all about discussing possible means of coming to an agreement, so you do need to be little flexible and have your options worked out beforehand. Take this one step further by detecting what the response of the other party might be and the solution to their responses.

Never allow anger or intimidation to get out of hand in business negotiating – you don’t want to upset others. You are looking at possible solutions to make everyone involved reach satisfaction with the outcome. By no means should you try to intimidate others into thinking that their needs are questionable or wrong in the first place.

Presentation Techniques: The Fundamentals and Purpose of a Great Presentation

Making presentations is the foundation of every growing company. Department heads use them to be able to submit reports with flair while newly graduates use them to vamp up their resume in order to attract more employers. Whatever the position, there is always the necessity to have good presentation skills.

Fundamentals of Good Presentation

Good presentation outlines a type of company, department or person. Whatever is shown determines the image, representation and branding of an institution or an organization. Anyone who knows how to cook the right presentation with the techniques always has an edge on professionalism and is always a potential asset. But knowing the elements of a good presentation is not as easy as frying scrambled eggs. So there should be a guide on how to go about it.

There must be a high level of confidence from the person presenting for the show to be successful. Having a unique personality who knows when and how to execute the words and tune in the punch line on the right estimation is always a plus. To do this, knowing the complete details in the presentation by heart and also anticipating possible critics is important.

While confidence is vital, learning significant technical skills is also crucial. Self-reliance is nothing when someone does not know how to control a PowerPoint, openoffice, keynote or windows movie maker. Whatever the career path is, being a true professional means understanding all the information related to the presentation and also going out of the way to acquire new skills.

Facilitating a Presentation

Just like a department meeting, there is always a designated person to show the presentation. While brainstorming sessions also need it, normally, presentations are more used after all the information is gathered. When this happens, the rest act as the audiences while the facilitator takes the role of the star.

For informal meetings, common for non-corporate settings, listeners are free to ask questions while the presentation is going on. This is where the information of the presentation can be altered. Facilitators should be ready to be able to paraphrase all the details handed out. So, it is good to make sure that the words on the presentation are in bullet form and the texts are not less than 10 points. This is to give a chance for the audience to read all the items on screen.

For a more formal setting where the facilitator needs to complete the presentation before questions are encouraged, making the presentation exciting and energetic is critical. Liveliness keeps the audience awake and allows them to take note of every point given. No one wants a listener to repeat the presentation after everything is shown, right? This is where animations, audio syncs, cool images and other visual aids are greatly of use.

Main Functions of Presentation

Presentation is important in every company setting. Staffs are required to prepare presentations for monthly, quarterly and annual reports especially in a corporate business. The boss assigns practically everyone with this task, randomly, so it is important to be prepared all the time.

Also as equally important in business or marketing companies, presentations are used to discuss summaries of the number of sales per employee in a given time. When some departments need to present significant changes on the sales plan, they also need to make a presentation.

Applicants for a multimedia position also need to prepare a presentation to serve as their virtual portfolio. Instead of handing out a large book, they can save it on a CD and hand it to an interviewer. Multimedia companies all have computers; anyway, so it is more convenient for the Human Resource department to review portfolios on screen rather than carrying those heavy clear books one by one.

With all the functions of presentation given above, it is evident that the main purpose of presentation is really to communicate with the target audience and persuade them to agree with the report using visual and textual techniques.