Archive for: May, 2023

How to Write Powerful PowerPoint Presentations or What Was I Thinking?

May 30 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

You have a lot to present and you want your slides to be well written. You believe that sentences should be well constructed and points must be powerful. What’s more, you want the entire script on your slides for one of the following reasons:

  • you don’t want to forget anything
  • you need it all to keep you on track
  • your audience needs to see everything so they’ll understand everything and be impressed
  • your audience expects it
  • your manager wants it
  • you don’t know what else to do.

Whatever your reason, get over it. If you want power in your presentation, if you want your audience to be excited and persuaded and ready to buy, the source of important information must be you-not your slides. Indeed, if you are counting on your slides to be more than a visual support that reinforces your message, you are weakening the muscle of a powerful technology.

So, you’re reading this article hoping to discover how to write for the screen. What were you thinking?

Perhaps you’ve heard me say it before, but it is a truth worth repeating. You are the presentation; your PowerPoint is only an add-on. Put another way, you are the host of the party; PowerPoint is the art on the wall.

The power in PowerPoint comes not from the all tricks it can do or from all the words you can jam onto the screen. It comes from the technology’s effectiveness as a conveyor of images. As a visual aid, PowerPoint gives you the opportunity to be a great presenter. As a graphic addition to your presentation, it can simplify, highlight, emphasize or underscore what you are saying. But as an information vehicle, it fails miserably. In fact, research tells us that the more text you put on the screen for you or your audience to read, the less likely you are to make a solid, human connection with them–and it’s the human connection that moves people to accept what you have to say.

Do NOT put a single sentence on your slides–unless it’s a brilliant quote worth saying again. Do NOT go for clever marketing buzzwords or jargon or jazz. You know this stuff cold. This is your subject and you could talk about it for days. A few keywords will keep you on track.

If somebody else is delivering the presentation, send them “talking points” for each slide and tell them to practice until they are comfortable and fluent and easy to hear.

Oh yes, I know what happens. When you search through the PowerPoint templates, little boxes direct you to your keyboard and almost demand that you fill in the blanks. It’s hard not to start typing. Don’t do it!

Think visuals, not text, because the more text you include, the less effective your presentation will be–and that’s bad for sales. What on earth were you thinking?

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Making the Balanced Scorecard Presentation Simple

May 29 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

There are so many theories that have been emerging in the world of business today. This emergence of theories will not end any time soon because there will surely be more and more theories and business practices emerging. However, not all of them would be as effective as they claim to be. There will be successes, just as there will be flops. Still, the balanced scorecard would never be one of the flops because time and time again, this business tool has certainly proved itself. The sad thing, on the other hand, is that not too many people understand the balanced scorecard in full depth. This is why the balanced scorecard presentation is an important aspect to tackle as well.

The presentation of the balanced scorecard is very important, especially when you are presenting the tool to people who are not familiar with it at all. You might think the presentation of the tool should not really matter since you will be presenting this business aspect to people in the business industry as well. But the tool is not used by businessmen alone. In fact, professionals of various industries do make use of the balanced scorecard. This is the great thing about the scorecard, that you can use it in just about any industry, to get accurate and balanced measurement of performance. For instance, the scorecard can actually be used in the clinical setting. There are metrics to be implemented to check just how productive and effective certain aspects in a certain clinic are. Law firms also make use of metrics, to check productivity and effectiveness as well.

So, how do you make your presentation of the balanced scorecard friendlier, so to speak? This is quite easy. The key here is to make your presentation as simple as possible. Even if the tool is not too difficult to understand, the tool still comes with a lot of business jargon. This would be a breeze for businessmen, but for lawyers, this would be a little troubling. Thus, simplicity is the key here.

Present the aspects of the balanced scorecard in the simplest manner possible. The aspects that the scorecard contains should be quantifiable or measurable. This is because it would be difficult to interpret something that cannot be measured in the first place.

You also have to explain why it is necessary to stick with just a few metrics for your balanced scorecard. Many people think that it would be better to use a lot of metrics on the scorecard so that the measurement process would be made more thorough. This is not true at all. In fact, using numerous metrics would just make the process all the more confusing. There would be so much data to be processed that compiling all of these interpretations can leave people scratching their heads.

Lastly, you also have to explain the necessity of planning after the balanced scorecard is implemented. The measurement process would inevitably present certain areas in the business that need improvement. Planning should then take place to seek appropriate solutions for the different problems that would occur. This way, the scorecard, and your balanced scorecard presentation itself, would fulfill their purpose.

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Letting the Presentation Get in the Way of the Sale

May 28 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

Salespeople devote tremendous amounts of time and energy in creating compelling presentations. The problem is, most of this is more impressive to you and your company then the prospect.

If you are a salesperson I can guarantee you are not happy with this article so far. And I bet as a manager or executive, you are scratching your head. Better yet I bet you’re saying, well in some businesses that’s true but in ours, the better our presentation, the better our chance of getting the business….wrong!

Presentations are certainly important in some aspects. Some sort of demonstration of the usage of your product or service is imperative at some point. The problem is in most of our organizations we put so much time and energy into creating a way to tell the prospect why they should buy our product, we often forget to find out why they would. The presentation of our best “features and benefits” is an assumption that what we perceive as our real assets may mean nothing to them! (remember what happens when we assume!)

What’s more, your competitors are doing the exact same thing -giving the same kind of presentations and making the same claims. If you are saying to yourself right now, “well Greta’s right but we’re different and our competitors can’t claim they do what we do” then answer me this, if you are so unique and your presentation is so compelling then why aren’t you closing every deal? Better yet, if it’s that good, fire all of your sales people and just send you presentations to every decision maker in town!

. The old adage of sales was, cold call someone and browbeat them to get the appointment. On the appointment ask a few questions but then get right down to your presentation. Once they see that, they’ll be sold. Trial close or send them a proposal and wait. And how’s that workin’ for ya?

So what needs to be done to make your presentations great? All of the pre-work before you present anything. And maybe after the pre-work you will decide not to present at all. Really.

Here are some very important things to do when selling. First, stop selling! What? Yes that’s right. What I mean by that is the old adage I talked about earlier is typically what we see. Stop that now.

Begin with prospecting through referrals. Cold calling is typically not your best source for good prospects. Networking and referrals are the #1 way to get to the right person and get there quicker.

When you do get someone on the phone begin with the end in mind. Let them know what you do and why you are calling them. Do some research ahead of time so you will be able to develop good questions. Let them know If at the end of your conversation it makes sense to get together then you can set that up, but if it doesn’t that’s OK too and you can end the call there.

If you get an appointment go into the appointment armed with your research on the organization and some thought provoking big-picture questions that you have prepared.

A pen and pad is all you will need here. After asking those questions and really learning about their issues, summarize those to make sure you have understood them, have a discussion upfront about the investment it might take to solve the issues they have and if you can present a viable solution, what would happen at that point.

Here is where you can present but only present the solutions to the issues they have, not everything that you do. People are “selfish”. I don’t mean that negatively but they just look inwardly first at how they will be affected with this solution. If there is some wonderful feature that isn’t necessarily wonderful to them, don’t present it. The more you present, the more they have to go back and think about how they might use it. There will begin your long selling cycle scenario.

So spend more time in preparing for each call and do the real work at the beginning. Don’t depend on some great “dog and pony show” presentation to do the work for you. Most people know who they will choose before they even see the presentations. Make your best impression from the great questions you ask, not your company boasting.

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Sales Presentation Skills – Make More Effective Live and Video Presentations – Part One

May 27 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

Making a sales presentation, whether live or on video doesn’t have to be the gut wrenching experience you may think. By following a few guidelines, you can develop the sales presentation skills necessary to make presentations that are powerful, focused, deliver your message and leave your audience believing that you are the definitive authority on your chosen subject.

Notice the word focused. I can’t emphasize enough that to deliver an outstanding presentation you must be focused, almost laser-like from beginning to end. How many presentations have you heard, or seen where you started wishing the speaker would “get to the point already”? or, in the case of the internet, you click off what you thought was going to be a video chock full of useful information?

Sound familiar? Do the presentations and/or videos you make suffer from these common problems?

Typically, what this all boils down to is a lack of focus on the part of the presenter and the ability to stay focused on the subject material through out the presentation. This becomes particularly important if you are developing a video for the internet because you have very little time to establish your rapport with the viewer, and the length of your video is relatively short.

For the purpose of this writing I am going to talk about content…I realize that with video presentations all kinds of technical issues pop up. But lets face it. In the end it’s all about content. We’ll save technical aspects of video presentations for a later article.

Developing the sales presentation skills needed to make more effective presentations is not overly difficult, but will require a bit of work on your part. What I am going to do is lay out a format that you can follow that will allow you to focus on your issue(s), and stay focused on your issue(s), regardless if your presentation is 5 minutes or 50 minutes. No more putting together a couple of pages of random notes or cue cards and reading from them! This format has served me well and I know it will serve you well too!

In a nutshell the format is based on the rule of threes. That is, the presentation topic is divided and subdivided into three parts with previews, speaking points and recaps, (or summaries), at the end of each group of three in the main body of the presentation.. This makes it easy to present material, it makes it easy to comprehend material, it cuts down on questions, (or reinforces points in the case of a video presentation), and it lends itself very easily to any length of time you wish.

Here’s the format.

  1. Tell ‘Em What You Want To Tell ‘Em
  2. Tell ‘Em
  3. Tell ‘Em What You said

May seem crazy, but that’s it! Well, it is a little more complicated, but describing it in this manner makes it easy to remember.

Coming in Part 2 we will begin with the first of the three threes…Tell ‘Em What You Want To Tell ‘Em.

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Use Presentations For High-impact, Low-cost Marketing

May 27 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

I teach a method of presentation development that I call Tell ‘n’ Show. Tell ‘n’ Show covers the 3 areas of a presentation: content, design, and delivery.

Increase the impact of your slides

Text-heavy, bulleted slides are deadening. Audiences immediately think, “It’s boring,” and they tune out. You can lose your audience’s attention in the first few seconds this way.

People are essentially visual and remember visual images better than text. There are a number of good sources for free images. So, get rid of bullets on your slides. You should not, I repeat, should not, put everything you say on your slides.

Yet, many presenters do just that. A slide should not be a teleprompter. It’s meant to be a visual aide, and nothing more. If you don’t have anything to show, don’t show it.

Research shows that the brain doesn’t multitask very well, and specifically doesn’t deal with visual and audio inputs at the same time. If you have your text on the slide, people naturally read it. But if you’re speaking it out loud, they aren’t listening to you. Really. You might as well stand silent and go click, click, click and just let them read.

Instead, remember that you are the presentation. Your slides are not the presentation.

The Tell ‘n’ Show concept

Before you start your presentation, write down your goal, research your audience, figure out 2-3 points you want to make, and how you’ll show those points. Will you have a theme? For example, the theme of this tip is “high-impact, low cost” – it runs through everything I write. You write all this down before ever opening up PowerPoint.

There’s more to organizing your content of course – thinking about how to persuade an audience, keeping their interest, getting them to act, and so on.

It’s strange, but true, that although companies use a professional designer for their Web site and printed brochures, they often do their presentation design in-house. Yet the presentation is often the last and most direct means of marketing to a potential customer, just before the sale. Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.

Nevertheless, budgets are limited, and I teach people how they can get professional-looking results even though they may be artistically challenged. I also teach people how to deliver in a way that connects to the audience, for maximum impact. After all, the presentation should be about your audience, not about you.

Expanding the reach of your presentations

You can see that by using some simple principles you can increase the impact of your presentations at little or no cost. But you can do more. You can take a presentation you give in person (or create a new one) and make a self-running presentation. Viewers can control it, or it can run automatically with set timings. Often it loops over and over.

You can use a self-running presentation at a trade show, in the lobby of your offices, and so on. Moreover, you can convert it to a video format and put it on your Web site. In this case, you would probably convert it to Flash movie format, an SWF file. I’ve found that iSpring Free is a good, free product that does this.

You can create a presentation for use as a self-running presentation, and put it on a computer where people will see it, or on your web site. By doing this, you’re getting more impact at no extra cost. More impact, because more people are seeing your presentation.

What else can you do to get your presentation in front of more people, to increase its impact? You can post presentations to presentation-sharing sites, such as:

  • SlideShare.net
  • AuthorStream.com
  • SlideBoom.com

Posting is free and on these sites, millions of people can find your presentation. You can add keywords so people can find it when they search, you can include your URL, and you can then embed the presentation on your

site. Perhaps others will pick it up and embed it for you. You can even narrate it. A slidecast is a presentation that includes narration. 

You can turn your presentation into video format and post it on YouTube and other video sharing sites. You have the same options for using keywords, your URL, and embedding. You can use SWF format that I already mentioned, or another video format. I use a program called TechSmith Camtasia , which isn’t free, to convert presentations to video formats.

Another way to expand your reach and therefore your impact is to give webinars, that is, web seminars. Most sales webinars are free to the participants and you usually have to pay for the service, although there are some free options. In this case, people hear what you’re saying through their phone or directly through their computer’s speakers and they see presentation slides that you control as you speak. A commonly used, low-cost solution is GoToMeeting. Another one is Glance . The free option is DimDim, but be prepared for slower response times in certain cases.

Are you making the most of presentations for your marketing?

Presentations are an important part of the marketing process. When you create clear, visual slides, your presentations will have more impact. When you repurpose them for a self-running show, your Web site, webinars, and sharing sites, you vastly expand their impact. All this at little or no cost.

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Negotiation Strategies That Can Not Lose!

May 23 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

Negotiating can be a tricky business unless you have some good tools to use. Here are some of the best negotiation strategies so that next time you’re buying something, you can not lose!

1. Preparation. This is one of the most important parts to any negotiation. If you know much about what the other party might do, you’ll be steps ahead! Get prepared for any counter argument and remain logical. Using emotion to manipulate during a negotiation shows ability, but it’s fairly unprofessional. Make sure you’ve got all your counter arguments in order so that you can bounce back quickly if things are going badly. Also, make sure you know as much as possible about the subject being discussed before you go in!

2. Stick to the point. This is the key to any negotiation and if you use this strategy you cannot lose. Often times people will try to bring in other factors that, although they’re often important, they will open up the door to negotiating for other things. This is something you absolutely want to avoid. Stick to the point and don’t let the other party bring up any other points that are not valid. If the conversation goes in a different direction, simply acknowledge that the point exists, but it’s not relevant to the point of the discussion. Bring the conversation back to the point as quickly as possible and avoid distractions.

3. Give and take. This is a win-win strategy that if you employ will give you credibility and also potentially create a long-term relationship. Often when negotiating you’re already in some kind of relationship, and the outcome of the negotiation will determine where you go from here. So if you win some aspect of the deal, it’s a good idea to make sure the other person also gets what they want in some way too. This way you both get better from the experience, and you can go ahead to come back to do another negotiation later!

4. Define what you want clearly. If you know what you want, you’ll be more likely to get it. Ask yourself (or your client) what you want to achieve and define it clearly. Then ask yourself “How am I going to get it?”. These to questions will be the centre of your argument and define your approach. Stick to the point and make sure you are professional about it.

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Discover the Salary Negotiation Secret That the Employers Don’t Want You to Know About

May 22 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

There is a secret on the Internet for all those about to negotiate their salaries. A secret that the employers don’t want the employees and job seekers to know about.

Most of the free information about salary negotiations is published by job searching sites and blogs. The truth hidden from employees and job seekers using this information is that it is likely to prevent the employee or job seeker from getting a high salary.

The sites providing this information have no interest in revealing knowledge that really would benefit the employees and cost too much money (in high salaries) for the employers.  

Why is that so? Well, have you ever asked yourself why this information is provided for free? The job searching sites are managed by profit seeking companies. They have costs to be covered and investors expecting dividends. So – why provide this information for free?   The answer is not that if employees or job seekers get this information for free, then they will buy something else on these sites. In principle, all information and services on these sites are free for the job seeker.  

But, who are then paying for the services of these sites? Who are their paying customers? Who are paying their bills, paying the salaries to their employees, paying the dividends to their investors?  

It is the employers, of course. The employers hire these companies to find employees fitting their needs. A profit seeking company sells its services by satisfying the needs of their customers. The employers are the customers of the job searching sites.  

So, do the customers (the employers) of the job searching sites have an interest in the employees becoming really good at negotiating their salaries? Of course not. And, does that not mean that the job searching sites don’t have any interest in the employees becoming really good at negotiating their salaries? Of course it means that.  

But, why are they then providing any information on salary negotiations at all? And in addition – for free? Well, there is a simple logic behind this: They publish all this information to be found and to get high ranking from the Internet search engines. Being highly ranked by the search engines means getting a lot of visitors to their sites. Getting a lot of visitors means getting a lot of job seekers. Getting a lot of job seekers means having a great service to provide to the employers. Having a great service to provide to the employers means one and only one thing – profit.  

So, are you surprised that all the salary negotiation tips on the job searching sites are so brief? That the information is so scattered? That you are never able to get an overview of the quite complicated process involved in a salary negotiation? That this information, in its briefness, gives an impression that a salary negotiation is a quite simple thing and that all that is needed to get a high salary is an article containing 5 salary negotiation tips?  

When you realize that this information is not published to help the employees and job seekers but to attract traffic to the job searching websites, these facts about most of the “free” information about salary negotiations on the internet can come as no surprise at all.

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Reduce Credit Card Debt Negotiation – Do it Yourself Debt Negotiation

May 21 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

A credit card debt negotiation is a process is for those who have a burden of credit card debt. In order to reduce the amount of debt, make sure that the balance is paid right away. When a consumer cannot pay for the discounted loan amount in full, the services of a debts settlement company is needed. A debt settlement company to help us to negotiate more affordable monthly bills. A successful negotiation can in fact lower your interest rates and your overall balance (even you might have multiple cards) will be reduced to a more affordable monthly payment. Getting a discount to up to 60% of your total loan amount is also possible.

The credit crunch of 2009 has left thousands of American individuals and businesses establishments are seeking negotiation as a means to deal with high interest fees and reduce their balances to a more desirable amount which they can afford to pay. Credit card debt negotiation has been helping Americans deal with their debt problems.

Credit card debt negotiation is just one of the ways that helps people to get out of debt. Although debt negotiation with your creditors to reduce your debt does have an impact on your credit score negatively, it is still a better move to make than filing for bankruptcy. A debt settlement stays in the record for about 5-7 years while bankruptcy will leave an indelible mark on your financial records.Creditors would want that their borrowers pay a discounted amount on their debt rather than going for bankruptcy so that they get nothing at all.

Reducing debt interest seems to be the only means for people who find it difficult to pay their credit card bills. With credit card debt negotiation one can just manage to a debt which will be reduced to about 50 % or so.

A debt negotiation is an arrangement between the debtor and the creditor, in which the debt is paid for less than the full amount owed. This program stops you from making payment to creditors. You can ask the creditor to lower down the interest rates with lower payoff of around 40-50% of your total amount of debt.

Debts that can be negotiated upon are known as unsecured debts. They can be personal loans, credit cards, medical bills, old phone bills etc. those which cannot be negotiated upon are negotiable are home mortgages and vehicle loans. When trying to reduce credit card debt negotiation try and save your credit as much as possible.

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Commercial Lease Negotiating Strategies and Tactics

May 20 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

Seven ways for tenants to improve their chances before and during commercial lease negotiations.

Many tenants will openly admit to me they are poor negotiators. These people I can help. Its the business owners, retailers and tenants who think they know it all that invariably won’t do any homework. At my seminars, I teach tenants that good preparation is an excellent substitute for brilliant negotiating…so do your homework. This is your assignment:

Adopt a “Negotiate To Win” mindset. Many tenants get so focused on not losing their shirt they don’t even try to win. When the CBC television network asked me to appear on their Venture program I agreed. A crew of four followed me around for half a day filming and interviewing me in action. Most of that footage was left on the cutting room floor but one statement that made it to air was this “there is nothing wrong with negotiating aggressively”.

Tenants need to realize that the landlord’s realtor or leasing agent is negotiating to win – and tenants can (and should) do the same. I’ve actually had tenant clients discourage me from getting them too good of a deal or it might spoil the landlord/tenant relationship. No wonder some tenants are paying too much rent in poor locations. You don’t have to apologize for negotiating aggressively if you speak and act professionally.

Determine what motivates the landlord. There are many different types of landlords such as financial institutions, pension funds, local developers and even small family property owners. You need to determine or find out who the landlord is and what their long-term goals are if you expect to have successful negotiations. For example, some landlords prefer the security that comes with a national tenant. Other landlords will want to maximize cash flow – so if an independent tenant will pay more rent than the national chain store they lease to the independent. While many landlords willing participate with flexible tenant incentives such as free rent and allowances this is not always the case. If you learn that a landlord for a particular property always insists on a personal guarantee and you are not prepared to give one then having this information in advance from the landlord’s leasing representative is helpful. Gathering information about the landlord will save you hours and even days going down what turns out to be the wrong path.

Ask questions – but watch what you say. Asking questions is simply the most useful activity you can engage prior to actually starting negotiations. Is the building for sale or conversely how long ago did the landlord develop or acquire it? Who really is the landlord and who makes the final leasing decisions? Ask which tenants recently moved in (or out), seek them out and interview those tenants. Be prepared to lead the initial leasing interview by asking pertinent questions. It’s also a good idea to prethink your answers to possible questions they will ask you. What you say and how you say it will help you or hurt you. Try to be friendly without being too informative. By telling the landlord’s realtor that your current lease is expiring in six months, that you like the location she has just shown you; or that you’ve just purchased a franchise for this area you may be prequalifying your tenancy in their mind. Ask probing questions so that you will become an informed negotiator.

Avoid purely emotional decisions. A lady called me one day to inquire about our lease consulting services. She went on to tell me that just prior she had met with a local mall manager and looked at space for lease. Even though she didn’t know what the landlord was asking for rent she wanted to lease the space and made her desire very clear to the mall manager. She loved the space and was determined to have it whatever the price. Keep your emotions in check to avoid being taken advantage of by the landlord. I admit that the majority of the decisions we make as humans are emotional decisions. Your intuition can be extremely helpful at times and should not be ignored. However, a tenants ability to weigh these emotions quietly on the side and make calculated decisions that will ultimately prove most effective in the overall decision making process.

Ask for more than you want. A retail tenant whom I have subsequently negotiated several Lease Agreements for was pleasantly surprised to hear that I had successfully negotiated the first 12 months free of rent on his five-year shopping center lease. I was hoping you would get me at least three months free, how did you do it, he questioned me with excitement. I replied by explaining that originally I had asked for 18 months of free rent, then settled for 12 months. The point is, most landlords will counter-offer your proposal so ask (or more precisely – negotiate) for more than you need, expect or want. This also applies to tenant allowances, the deposit, rent reductions and so on. Another tenant told me she needed a $500 per month rent reduction to make her business viable. I opened negotiations with the landlord asking for a $1000 per month reduction. We settled on $800 per month, saving the tenant $48,000 in rent over the next five years.

Walk away from the negotiating table. Once you’ve invested days, weeks or months negotiating on a particular site it’s hard to walk away from the negotiating table, but more often that not this is when the real negotiating begins. Some of the best deals I’ve gotten for tenants was after the deal fell apart or after we walked away. Most tenants can afford to walk away from a potentially bad deal, but few can afford to make a five or ten year mistake. If you are feeling unsettled about the deal I recommend you take a cooling off period of a few days before signing the Offer to Lease or Formal Lease Agreement.

Consider delegating the negotiations. When I wrote my book Negotiate Your Commercial Lease I hired a person experienced in the book industry to negotiate the terms and conditions of my publishing contract. Even though I am a skillful negotiator I recognized that I was emotionally involved – unfamiliar with the industry and that I couldn’t afford to pay “stupid taxes”. This is the money you waste making unwise decisions. Consequently, the end result was much more in my favor with a lot less stress than had I stumbled through it myself. A professional Lease Consultant can help you with lease negotiations, site selection, document review or simply provide you with ongoing consulting. In my opinion it is a grave mistake to let a realtor represent you if that realtor’s fee is being paid by the landlord. It’s virtually impossible to serve two masters, which is why as a Lease consultant I exclusively work for tenants.

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Overcome the Myths of Negotiation

May 19 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

Wouldn’t it be great if every client agreed to all the terms of a sale, no questions asked and no negotiation required? Although most people answer “yes” to this question, any salesperson knows that negotiating a sale is never that easy. And while negotiation is one of the most commonly practiced functions of communication, it is often the least understood.

Because most people don’t understand the dynamics of negotiation, they may get nervous or apprehensive about the process. Even professional salespeople get sweaty palms and anxious stomachs before sitting down at the bargaining table. The trouble resides in all the myths associated with negotiation. But, regardless of what you’re selling, you can make the inevitable sales process more productive when you understand and overcome the following seven myths of negotiation:

Myth #1– In order to be a successful negotiator, you must be an SOB. Mythbuster– This statement is completely false. In fact, most people become SOBs in sales situations because they are poor negotiators and must resort to ruthlessness to get what they want. In reality, effective negotiation has a great deal to do with the attitude you bring to the table. If you approach negotiation as a win-or-lose battle, then that’s exactly what you’ll get: a battle. You’ll struggle against the other party, waste time and energy defending positions, and resort to sneaking things past your counterparts. Then when it’s all said and done, you’ll probably come away with less than if you’d have treated the negotiation as an opportunity for everyone involved to profit.

Myth #2– Negotiating is synonymous with fighting. Mythbuster– Fights generally break out when people can’t negotiate effectively. When you understand effective negotiation, you can actually head off misunderstandings and conflicts that may arise in the process. You’ll know how to settle issues with customers without fighting. And in many cases, you’ll be able to mediate conflicts, misunderstandings, and stalemates between other people and groups.

Myth #3– Negotiating is a talent reserved for shrewd businesspeople, experienced diplomats, and precocious children. Mythbuster– Anyone can learn to negotiate effectively, without being a genius or manipulative. Most salespeople don’t consider themselves negotiators, and certainly not professional negotiators. Many equate professional negotiators with hard-charging corporate raiders launching takeovers on other businesses, diplomats meeting to discuss the fates of nations, or lawyers settling million-dollar lawsuits.

But each and every person on the planet is a negotiator, and many times without realizing it. When you take time to learn the art of effective negotiation, you actually can get more of what you want. You can forge better and more productive relationships with your clients and all the people around you in other areas of life.

Myth #4– When you sit down at the bargaining table, you must abandon all ethics to get what you want. Mythbuster– Getting what you want doesn’t mean stealing it from others. By understanding negotiation, you can prevent being conned into things you don’t want to do or getting less than you deserve. Consider negotiating for a new sales position. The terms you agree on with the new employer will obviously affect your time with that particular company, and also your time with future employers. The compensation package from one company will set the pattern for the level of income you can command when negotiating with other companies. It’s not unusual for the difference in two people’s earnings to be more affected by their individual negotiating abilities than their experience or talents.

Myth #5– You must have the upper hand to negotiate effectively. Mythbuster– If you think that negotiation involves one group trying to beat the other out of a good deal, then you have an inaccurate perception of the process. Actually, the weaker your position, the better your negotiating skills must be, because you can save a huge amount of money. For example, suppose you’re negotiating the price of a new computer system for your company. The person selling the system knows your current system is outdated and that you must make a purchase immediately to stay competitive. If you can bring the price down $15,000 from what the seller asks, you’ll save much more than the upfront cost. By the time you add interest on a five-year financing plan, you’ll have quite a savings that’s well worth the negotiating effort.

Myth #6– Negotiating is a time time-wasting activity that only clogs the wheels of progress. Mythbuster– When done right, negotiating is an enormous timesaver because it makes everyone work together to find solutions. Rather than struggling through a one-sided sale, it is much easier when both parties understand how to negotiate and actively participate in the process to produce the best results possible for everyone. Plus, enlisting others can help fulfill your plans and dreams.

Myth #7– Negotiating is always a formal process with clearly defined parameters and procedures. Mythbuster– Negotiating is the sum and substance of all human give and take. That’s right; negotiation actually takes many different forms that you may not normally consider. For example, if you and your spouse are deciding who’s going to prepare dinner and who’s going to clean up the dirty dishes, then you’re negotiating. Or maybe you’re haggling the price of an item at a garage sale with the seller; this is also a negotiating process. Chances are you negotiate much more frequently than you think. In fact, any time you’re making a deal or working out any kind of agreement with anyone, then you’re negotiating. And if you’re conducting these daily negotiations effectively, you’ll reach an agreement that satisfies both parties. You can actually improve your professionalism in dealing with all types of people by applying some of the negotiation skills you practice without realizing it.

Busting the Myths of Negotiation Human beings negotiate constantly, so it’s vital to get beyond the negative thoughts that cause us to ask for less than we deserve. And the art of negotiation requires more than just trading off with others to get the things you want. Negotiating is a process of understanding people and discovering ways you can work together to produce positive results for everyone involved.

When you understand the myths surrounding the negotiation process, then overcome these fallacies, you will reap greater benefits from your sales profession. Most important, you’ll come away from every sale completely satisfied for yourself and confident that the other party feels a similar satisfaction.

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