Successful Negotiations

Negotiation is finding the best solution to a certain problem or situation. So whether it is in the boardroom or bedroom, courtroom or living room, we all face situations where we have to negotiate about something. Negotiation may involve two or more people. The process entails putting all options on the table and finally coming up with an answer.

What makes negotiations challenging is when the other person or persons have totally opposing views from yours. Another factor that makes negotiations quite difficult is when both or all options are good, but then you have to come up with only one solution.

Success in negotiation is not only getting your “preferred decision” approved but keeping everybody on the negotiation table at peace with your preference.

With these in mind, here now are the steps to successful negotiations. These steps can be applied to personal negotiations (spouse, children, family members, friends), corporate negotiations (board members, staff, leaders, union, congregation), or sales negotiations (whether one-on-one or group).

1. Understand where each person on the negotiation table is coming from.

This can be done by doing your research. Find out everything you can about them and how they feel about certain situations, then, incorporate all these in what you will present during the negotiation.

2. Study and understand what the bottom-line is: What is the main problem? What needs to be achieved?

The success of negotiation lies more in the pre-negotiation phase than the actual negotiation. If you do your homework well, chances are you will have a good presentation. Study all angles and be sure to cover all these.

3. Plan your presentation or talk based on the information you gathered.

The person or persons you are negotiating with should not feel threatened by your preference. Instead, they should see you as an ally more than an opponent.

4. When presenting your side, let everyone know that you are there with everybody’s best interest in mind.

You have to let them know that you did your research and that you know what each one’s concerns are. Tell them that all these concerns are incorporated in what you are going to present.

5. Be ready for feedback, reactions, and oppositions.

Before you present, let the people on the negotiation table know that you will only entertain questions or reactions after you finish presenting your side. Be very objective and avoid being emotional when you are dealing with oppositions. Always let the opposing party know that you understand where she is coming from.

6. Be open for some changes or modifications of your views and preferences.

Be willing to listen to their views and make the necessary adjustments.

7. Find a common ground.

Look for a common denominator that everyone can agree to.

If you are a Christian, be careful not to put yourself in situations where you have to compromise your belief or the Word of God. Don’t even get into any partnerships or business deals with those who are not fellow believers or those who will not use God’s Word as the ultimate standard.

Learning about Presentations from Robin Williams

In the feature film RV, Robin Williams plays an advertising executive. His boss orders him around and it looks like Robin will be put out to pasture. Showing no respect to Robin, the boss orders him onto an assignment. To make a presentation in Colorado, Robin must cancel his family’s vacation plans. Hawaii is out. An RV trip to the mountains is in. He is ashamed to admit to his wife and kids that the trip is anything but an attempt to reestablish some quality time in a family that has become fragmented.

Robin stays up at night writing the presentation and fires it off from a mountain peak when he is able to find a signal strong enough. He abandons his family to make the presentation and only then finds out that his boss has brought along a replacement for Robin. Robin is only a backup. The first-string guy fumbles and Robin must step in.

After meeting the clients and noticing their reactions to the first-string guy’s emphasis on profits and money, Robin takes a different tact and talks about nostalgia, love and the environment. He saves the day, and the account.

Whenever I have to make a presentation, I always leave myself some wiggle room. I’ll switch horses in mid-stream if I have to . . . and sometimes I even plan it that way.

Recently, I was to review a fund-raising video with a client. I played the rough draft version of the video they had approved. They were happy. They loved it. I could have walked away and finished the production, but instead I said, “But, that’s not the video I recommend for your fundraising event.” In editing, I had fallen in love with a single interview. I was unable to use any “soundbites” from that interview for the approved video, but with a few simple edits, I was able to use the interview itself as a heartfelt fundraising presentation. There was not a dry eye in the conference room after I played the video.

I was confident with both videos, but if the client had hated the first video, I would have redeemed myself with the second. The client loved them both. The interview video was played at the big fundraising event and they were both distributed on DVD and placed on the web. My budget was increased slightly and the client was extremely pleased with their two fundraising videos.

When making presentations, you must know your clients, you must listen to your clients and by all means you must watch your clients during the presentation. If you need to make adjustments, don’t make them lightly. But if you sense that something else is needed to make the client happy, stay loose and try a little adjustment.

How to Present Your Offers With Love So Your Audience Will Love Your Offers

Last time I shared four practical tips for how to develop a compelling offer – Make sure it’s a desirable topic, craft a juicy title, add on a tempting bonus and get clear on the value before you settle on the price.

Today I want to begin talking about how to present that offer in the most appealing way.

People prefer to accept help (and hiring you is one form of accepting help) from those they know, like and trust. So whether you’re reaching out to a potential client through an online promotion or through a one-on-one conversation, establishing rapport is the first and most crucial step in the process.

Instead, many heart-based business owners mistakenly focus on what they think of as “selling” when it comes time to present an offer. And that actually goes against their spiritual beliefs and values.

I totally get it. I used to get caught in the same trap, thinking that marketing and selling my expertise was something entirely separate from delivering it. The problem with that separation is it automatically takes you out of your place of strength (that centered and connected place you come from when you’re in the flow of working with a client).

Trying to create rapport with a potential client when you’re not feeling connected to your purpose means your head may be engaged, but your heart is not. You’ll likely find yourself:

*) Avoiding talking to people about your products and programs for fear you’ll be rejected
*) Sitting in front of the computer staring at that promo email you’ve written, knowing it’s not what you want to say but not sure how to fix it
*) Putting out a desperate “Oh God, please buy!” sort of energy that sends people scrambling in the other direction

Well, we certainly don’t want that!

If this happens for you, the good news is I’ve got a simple strategy for centering yourself in your power as you engage in any kind of “selling” interaction.

When you sit down to write a promo email, or pick up the phone to talk with a prospective client, or meet someone at a networking event, say these words to yourself:

* I’m so glad I’m here. (this creates excitement)
* I’m so glad you’re here. (this creates gratitude and anticipation)
* I know what I know.” (this creates confidence)

From there, you won’t have to feel like you’re selling, you’re just connecting – both to your purpose and to other person.

When They Feel the Love, They Love What You Have to Offer

You have a purpose here on the planet – to share your gifts and your special brand of transformation from a place of love and service. The more fully you step into the power of your True Self in your business, and come from that place as you talk with potential clients about what you have to offer, them more they’ll love you and find your offers irresistible.

So it’s both the simplest, and most vulnerable, thing to do. Be you. Yes, even when you’re “selling.”