Archive for: May, 2023

Overcoming Palpitations Caused By Pending Presentations

May 30 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

Many charismatic and commanding professionals are reduced to quivering wrecks when having to speak publicly to small or large audiences made up of people they either know or do not know. Whatever shape or size their public platform takes, they are unable to switch their mindsets positively. Their regular daily aptitude to speak cogently and confidently evades them. They feel isolated by their fears. They battle on, hoping against hope that the day will finally dawn when they do not transform in to the human equivalents of Donald Duck or Mickey Mouse whilst presenting.

In modern working environments, you don’t have to be a Senior Manager of an organisation to be asked to give a presentation. On the contrary, it is not unusual to finding yourself being asked to present during job interviews, making it all the more imperative that you tackle the fears that you share with many people. Your employment prospects can potentially hinge on your ability to deliver an engaging presentation – or not. And if you are lucky enough to bag your dream job, chances are that that there will be much of the same to follow, both internally and externally. You will be far from out of the woods, but you are not alone!

Reluctantly and very understandably, many professionals at a variety of different levels call loudly for presentation training and coaching. What the pros have leant from experience and understand intrinsically is why people like you are stricken with terror when faced with presenting. Whatever your own personal reasons might be, anyone’s and everyone’s reasons generally stem from a natural reluctance to sound silly.

This is a human universal that blights many people, whether during an informal chat with friends or in the workplace. You might be loathe to venture your ideas and opinions in case others don’t agree with you or fail to value your contributions – so you keep them to yourself. You are afraid of sounding stupid or showing yourself up as a charlatan who doesn’t know what they are talking about. Keeping it zipped is preferential.

You might admire those people who seem to ooze uber confidence and have inimitable knacks of always quipping in with dazzling one liners at just the right moments. Remember that they are often faking and quaking, too, but have conquered their inhibitions. Presentation training and coaching professionals know this and can share with you practical techniques to unlock your hidden potential, engage your audiences and move forward in all aspects of your life.

At Presentation Guru, we offer presentation training and coaching that goes far beyond the giving a humorous talk before sending you on your way. Our twenty years of experience in the art of presentations has not only benefited FTSE 100 companies; our deep insight has challenged and influenced the training of trainers. We do not claim to be the cheapest, yet we do pride ourselves in being market leaders. Our time served methods and techniques constitute your very own box of tricks to banish your presentation butterflies and jettison your jitters.

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Cheap Christmas Presents – How to Buy the Best Presents Cheap

May 29 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

Let me lay it out for you here. With prices going through the roof, Job security going through the floor you do not want to pay through the nose for Christmas presents. Right? You want to get cheap Christmas presents.

Let me tell you, in this current financial climate you really do not want to bend over backwards finding money for presents when you really need to save money. No one is going to call you scrooge if you listen carefully to what I am going to tell you, on how to get cheap Christmas presents.

I can feel your pain. I was in the same position until I had a bright idea. What can you do? I know you’re impatient to find out where you can get cheap Christmas presents without breaking the bank or emptying your pockets. So just bear with me a minute and I will show you.

First let me tell you. If you do not want to wait until the last minute to get your cheap Christmas presents. If you do, this will not work. Do get caught in a stampede and end up paying through the nose. If you buy them a few days early you will get a bargain and laugh all the way to the bank.

OK so that is out of the way, lets get down to business. Are you ready? This is so stupidly simple. Take a deep breath. Ready?

First of all find the category of cheap Christmas presents that you want. Say you want kids cheap Christmas presents or a boyfriends cheap Christmas presents. Then find the top ten items in this category.

OK you’re shaking your head saying what is this. Well hold on I’m going to tell you, and show you how to get cheap Christmas presents too.

Here is the clincher. Shops, stores, malls everywhere are desperate to make sales. They are feeling the pain too although they are trying hard to hide it. So what are they doing? They are chopping prices off the most popular Christmas gifts to make sales. Yes, the most popular gifts can be had the cheapest.

Now you’re starting to see the big picture. You really can have your cake and eat it. You should be rubbing your hands together by now. So how do you do this? How do you get cheap Christmas presents?

Let me give you an example. Melissa & Doug Alphabet Train Floor Puzzle is in the top ten toys at this very moment. The list price is $12. It took me 5 minutes to find it at just over $9. Now that may not seem much but it is nearly a 25% saving. I do not know about you, but 25% will do me just fine, it’s a start.

Now I do not expect you to break open the champagne, but if you do this for all the cheap christmas presents you will have the last laugh.

OK so now you’re on a roll here. How do you find this stuff?

All you got to do is find the top ten cheap Christmas gifts in each category. Then break it down further to the best price. There are a few websites out there that tell you what the top ten items are in each category. You just have to find them.

Now I am going to give you a link to a site that does this. Do with it what you will or if you want you can search over the internet for the top ten toys. Then break it down to the best prices. Either way you now know how to get cheap Christmas presents.

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How to Prepare PowerPoint Presentation to Use As Speaker Support at a Conference

May 28 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

The basic principles are simple: The script should be written first. Then KEY POINTS can then be pulled out for SPEAKER SUPPORT. By writing the script first and extracting the key info/bullet points, we avoid displaying the entire script on the screen chapter and verse. (When this happens, the ‘School Black Board’ scenario comes into play, where the teacher writes so small that the class can not read or remember the salient key points. We all remember the results in ‘switch off’ and paper aeroplanes flying around the room!

Your goals as a speaker are to make listeners engage your audience so that they listen. To get them interested and involved, include effective visual speak support as detailed below. It’s generally accepted that we acquire 85 percent of all our knowledge visually. Therefore, a presentation that use Speaker Support slides is far more likely to be understood and retained than one just an oral speech, no matter how dynamic the speaker is.

Slide Creation

Less is more! – Remember it is Speaker Support – Keep the slides concise and to the point – Maximum of 8 lines of text. You need to make sure everyone can read the slides as illustrated above.

Use the layout provided in the PowerPoint template for your title page and for all slides. Pictures say a 1000 words so try if you can to use images rather than just text. Also remember to leave a safe empty area around the margin of the slide. This is known as ‘video safe’, some of your important information may bleed off of the screen when projected using a rear projection system if you don’t. And remember that presentation slides are a summary, they do not tell the entire story. That’s the job of the you, the presenter! Your slides should provide an aid to the audience as they hear you present. Slides are not a script that the presenter reads to the audience.

One of the best features about PowerPoint presentations is the “build” capability. You can focus the viewer’s attention on each specific item as you add bullet points line by line. The bulleted items “wipe on” in from the left, right, top, or bottom. Although try to not get too carried away with the animations it’s not a cartoon show, so think ‘subtle but effective.’


When creating charts try to think from the perspective of your audience. Is all of the information within the chart necessary and totally relevant? Chart messages must be concise, uncluttered and memorable. Use of colour to differentiate and clarify the message is vital.

Using Colour

Be sure to use a colour palette of five or fewer colours for an entire presentation, because too many colours can be distracting.Always bear in mind the slides are going to be projected. It is often better to use a dark background with light coloured text allowing optimal contrast and legibility when projected. Reverse this rule for OHP’s. Also use consistent colours for similar elements.

So Remember use light text on a dark background for presentation in a darkened room.

Use dark text on a light background for presentation in a bright room.

Don’t use light text on a light background (e.g., yellow text on a white background).

And don’t use dark text on a dark background either (e.g., red text on a blue background).

General Slide Tips

Remember that the slides are for the benefit of the audience, not the presenter. Do NOT read from a slide.

Try not to design the slides for the printed page, your handouts can come later.

When Saving your finished presentation, bear in mind there may be other speakers creating and supplying presentations for the event. If each speaker calls his/her presentation conf.ppt for example it makes co-ordination of all the speaker support material virtually impossible for the event producers. Name the presentation/s so that there can be no ambiguity in this regard using your name and company as well. Bring backup on a pen-drive in case of administration error, and you’re presentation being left on the office server by mistake!

By following these guidelines the results will be more professional and better looking, which will ultimately reflect on the speaker and the event as a whole.

Good Luck with your presentation, and I hope you achieve your goal.


Aaron Emmett

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47 Ways to Improve Your Sales Presentations

May 27 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

The ability to deliver a great sales presentation can make the difference between hearing, “Thanks, we’ll think about it” or “Sounds great, let’s get started!” Here are 47 strategies that will help you improve your sales presentations and close more sales.

1. Before your presentation ask, “What’s changed since the last time we spoke?”

2. Start your presentation by summarizing your understanding of their situation.

3. Adapt your presentation to the customer’s natural personality style (Driver, Influencer, Supportive, Analytical).

4. Don’t waste the customer’s time by talking about aspects of your business, product or service that have little or no relevance to their specific situation.

5. Do not force your customers to be passive bystanders. Get them involved in the presentation.

6. Involve and engage them in the entire sales process. Use questions. Ask them to share their thoughts and comments.

7. Encourage your prospect/customer to pick up the product, touch and feel it. This creates an emotional bond and is a powerful way to engage them.

8. Practise your presentation. Develop your presentation skills so you can keep your customer’s attention.

9. Record your presentations on audio and, preferably video, so you can review them. This can be a painful process but it is definitely worth it.

10. People like to hear their name so learn your customer’s name early in the sales process and use it during your conversation. Use their name when you want to make or reinforce a specific point. This approach can help you gain and keep their attention.

11. Develop a natural style. Watch top performers present their product or service and pay attention to what they do well. Then incorporate what they do well into your style and make it your own.

12. Use your own words—don’t recite from memory.

13. Create responses for frequent questions but be careful not to sound like your response is rehearsed.

14. Put yourself in the customer’s shoes. Learn what is important to them. Position your product/service to show them how it will save them money or time, increase their sales, reduce their expenses, make their life more enjoyable, less stressful, etc.

15. Focus on discussing benefits rather than features. Most sales people fall into the trap of presenting just the features of a product but people buy benefits.

16. Address the question, “So what?”

17. Increase the number of presentations you make. The more people you talk to, the more sales you will close.

18. Pace your presentation. Racing through one presentation just to get to the next one will not generate customer confidence or loyalty.

19. Be conversational. Speak as though you are talking with a friend.

20. Maintain your natural tone and pitch. I’ve noticed many sales people raise their voice an octave or two when they are talking to customers. Your sales voice should be the same as the tone you use with your friends and coworkers.

21. Pause before responding to a question. Give thought to your response and avoid spewing out a response.

22. Believe in your product or service. If you don’t, your customer won’t either. Your confidence increases when you believe in what you sell.

23. Be passionate. Your passion for your product or service must shine through in your presentations.

24. Be prepared. Preparation is THE more important aspect of a success sales presentation.

25. Plan your approach and establish your objectives before each sales contact.

26. Learn everything about your product and be able to answer any question that you are asked.

27. Invest the time learning about your company and know what separates you from your competition.

28. Learn how to present yourself effectively. Take a Dale Carnegie course in public speaking or join a local chapter of Toastmasters International. The investment will pay for itself immediately.

29. Remember that every sales presentation must have an opening, body, and conclusion.

30. Develop the ability to clearly present yourself. People want to buy from salespeople who demonstrate confidence and poise.

31. Write out the key points of your presentation and practise them until you can clearly articulate your unique selling advantage.

32. Show your customers that you differ from your competitors; don’t just tell them.

33. People don’t always believe what they hear, particularly from someone who’s selling a product or service. Use testimonial letters, offer written proof, or give them brochures or pamphlets.

34. Reduce the risk factor. Show people tangible evidence of how they will benefit from your product or service and they will be eager to do business with you.

35. Be aware of your words, tone and body language. Most sales people deliver their presentation verbally and neglect to use their hands, arms and facial gestures.

36. People believe what they see more than what they hear. Provide copies of written testimonials and endorsements. Even better, offer video testimonials.

37. Relax. If you are rushing through the sales presentation in order to try and close a sale, your prospect or customer will feel it and they will resist.

38. Differentiate yourself from your competitors by knowing the value of your product or service.

39. Differentiate yourself from your competitors by being able to present your value in terms that are relevant to your customer.

40. Give people a reason to buy from you instead of your competition during your presentation.

41. Know what products your competitors carry and how they differ from yours. How are your products different?

42. Knowledge is power when used appropriately. What makes you stand out from your competition? Do you know what your competitors offer? Why should someone buy from you versus your competitor?

43. Think before you speak. The pause will give you time to process the information you just heard. You can then think of the best way to position your response.

44. Vary your tone of voice. Many salespeople unconsciously slip into a monotone during their presentation.

45. Record a mock presentation and listen to how you sound. Make notes about what you don’t like and take action to improve.

46. Be enthusiastic. Most sales presentations lack the energy and excitement to motivate someone to take action.

47. Never mislead a customer. If you don’t know the answer to a question, don’t fake it. Be completely honest in all your dealings, all the time.

Integrate these ideas and strategies into your next sales presentations and you will see a noticeable improvement in your results.

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Senior Finance Executives: Are You Struggling to Convince Your Boss in Your Presentations?

May 27 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

Learn how to turn your technical presentations into engaging message-based presentations that get your boss’ attention and will cut your presentation time in half

Technical ability alone will not help senior finance executive’s get promoted

Many senior finance executives in China have risen the corporate ladder on the back of their solid technical ability and operational skills. They have been able to ride the massive growth in China over the past decade by combining a strong technical grasp and an aptitude to understand their client’s needs in compliance and financing.

These senior executives are often held up as future country or regional Chief Financial Officers (CFOs). However, one significant obstacle awaits many finances executives – their strength in technical issues. Many senior finance executives are too focused on the details, the process and procedures. So when presenting to CEOs, board of directors or overseas directors, they are frustrated by their inability to get their point across without being bombarded by direct questions, interrupted constantly in their presentation and feeling of being harassed by senior management. While technical skills got them to where they are today, they can’t take them any further in their careers.

It doesn’t have to be that way. They don’t need to be stuck here forever.

Senior finance executives who can present effectively are highly marketable

Presentations to senior management often cause nerves and tension in any presenter. Many technical presenters – especially in finance – are naturally introverted and when faced with A-type personalities they are often talked-over or easily interrupted. However, by learning some important skills in presentation creation and delivery, even shy and quiet presenters can learn how to get their point across to their CEO in a concise, crisp and engaging way. Importantly, their presentations can be delivered in a much shorter time – which both the senior finance executive and the CEO and directors appreciate! Having a reputation as a CFO who both understands the business and can deliver sharp presentations is a great asset to career promotion. Once learned, these skills deliver a fantastic return-on-investment year-in, year-out.

So if you are currently stuck by delivering overly detailed technical presentations to a group of frustrated senior managers, you are not alone.

Too much information often kills the effectiveness of your presentation

If any of the above sounds familiar, don’t worry, you are not alone. In fact, you are in good company. Most senior finance people have similar issues. Being technical experts means you are focused on process, procedure, the small nitty gritty details of data. All of which is essential – and desirable – in finance executives. However, when you reach the C-level, these technical skills become less important as the core task of an executive is to make decisions and communicate them throughout the organisation. All highly effective executives are superb communicators and presenters. Today, when hiring decisions are made on the CFO or CEO role -the ability to engage with internal and external stakeholders is one of the most important competencies.

However, as a finance expert, you can’t be expected to automatically know what it takes to create message based presentations that engage your audience in the shortest possible time – you are not an advertising company. The good news is that help is here and you can learn these skills.

Advice from The One Minute Presenter

To take a step away from being a technical expert and learning the craft of an effective executive communicator, you first need to understand taglines.

What is a tagline?

Taglines are short catchy marketing phrases which sum up the promise of a brand (or product or movie), and are designed to be memorable and easily passed through a target audience. A good tagline can stand the test of time and become synonymous with a company or product. The 1975-2005 “Don’t leave home without it” from American Express and the 1988 “Just do it” from Nike taglines show how the power of taglines can carry over into building the world’s most valuable brands.

What is your tagline?

Take a look at your next presentation. Use these steps to form your tagline:

1. Write down your happy ending in 25-50 words.

In other words what do you want to achieve at the end of the presentation. What do you want the audience to think, feel and do. Be as specific as you can.

2. Take a break and come back to this paragraph.

Highlight key words or phrases. Now imagine you only had time to deliver one sentence to your audience. Keep the value and meaning of your message. Rewrite it in 10 words or less.

3. Put this aside for several hours or longer.

Come back and see which words really sum up the essence of your message. Pick out your key words or phrases.

For The One Minute Presenter, our nine word tagline is “successful business presentations for a short attention span world”. We use two key phrases: successful business presentations and short attention spans.

You now have focus in your presentation. This will help you structure your presentation framework. You can check your supporting points, and choice of visuals (charts, graphs, statistics) against your key words. Ask yourself, “How does this support my key words?”

With practice, you will be able to quickly get to your key words(s) in a shorter time. It will be a challenge the first few times you try this exercise. Stick with it. You need the focus to capture and engage today’s audiences. The clearer your message, the more effective your presentations.

Be aware when you present your ideas

Make your message tangible. Don’t make your audience work it out. If you make them think during a presentation, then while they are thinking, they cannot be listening to your subsequent words. Dr. John Medina, author of Brain Rules, vividly demonstrates how the human brain is ill equipped to handle two processing tasks simultaneously. “Driving while talking on a cell phone is worse than driving drunk.” This is because the human brain uses something called the attentional spotlight. The attentional spotlight, according to Dr. Medina, cannot multitask which means cellphone-talking car drivers have the same reaction time (when stopping) as a drunk driver. So don’t make your audiences think! Do the thinking for them. Know where you want to take them, shape a clear concept of your overall message, use stories to engage and bite-size your content with slogans, soundbites and taglines. Puzzles are great for long train and plane journeys, but not for successful business presentations.

Many CFOs have benefited from The One Minute Presenter coaching

I work with many CFOs from multinationals around Greater China. Just recently, after helping one senior executive to understand how to create a message-based presentation from their technical data, she told me that her presentation to the board of directors went much more smoothly and took less time than previous years. Importantly, she was interrupted much less with sharp questions. She is now able to apply these skills in other areas of her work, such as conference calls, client meetings and internal senior manager briefings.

So what now?

If you are ready to take a step up in your career, and want to learn how to be a more powerful communicator, then visit and download a free chapter on how The One Minute Presenter system works to help you develop more executive presence.

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Best Practices In Negotiation: Strategies Detected = Strategies Rejected!

May 23 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

I was just looking over the client list of a well-known negotiation guru, and I noticed the name of a Midwest-based corporation.

A smile spread over my face. I was doing business with one of this company’s executives, when he tried to pull an obvious negotiation prank.

Can’t recall exactly which tactic it was, but my response was golden, in more ways than one:

“Nice try,” I said slowly, with a big grin. “Now whose technique was that: Karrass, Cohen, or Nierenberg?

“Uh, So-and-So,” my counterpart admitted impishly, clearly embarrassed the ploy missed its target response by a mile and actually boomeranged.

Not only did he lose on that deal point, but he was chastened about introducing other tactics from that moment, forward.

This is the problem with conventional negotiation training: it’s conventional!

Many of these tactics have been around so long, and they’ve been publicized so broadly, that their effectiveness is diluted. Sometimes, the residue is even toxic to the deal making at hand.

If someone thinks you are gaming them, they may close their minds and their wallets on the spot. We know from psychological research that seeming strategic shuts down communication by creating defensiveness.

When negotiating, strategies detected are strategies rejected!

For instance, one negotiation master advocates “nibbling,” which is requesting a small item, like a free shirt or blouse to go with the suit you’re about to purchase.

To kill this gambit, all the retailer has to do is say: “Nice nibble, but that won’t work, here. Now, did you want the suit, or are you just playing games?”

In fairness, just because a technique is old and a little timeworn doesn’t mean it won’t work, at least somewhere. For instance, when you’re dealing with utter novices at bargaining, you might get lucky.

But what happens when you’re interacting with well educated professionals, the millions that have read all the familiar books and taken the decades-old classes?

That’s when you need “Best Practices in Negotiation,” which means newly conceptualized, and uncommon practices. Stealthy moves that fly under the radar.

If your counterparts and negotiation experts aren’t using new strategies, openly detect-and-reject the old. Tell them, “Sorry, that’s just not going to cut it, with me!”

When they blush with embarrassment, you’ll know you’ve won!

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Short Sale Negotiations 101

May 22 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

Short sale negotiationcan be emotionally draining and physically exhausting. Though to call it stressful is a grave underestimation, you should brave the countless calls, appointments and even misunderstandings. There will be an end to all of these; you will eventually get your deal closed. Just think of the benefits that a short sale investment can do for you and you can be inspired to make the negotiation part tactical despite the possible brain drain you will be experiencing. If you are investing in short sale, you will be buying a pre-foreclosure property for much less than the homeowner owes his mortgage lender. You are getting a good deal while still doing a few people some favors.

Be persistent

Sometimes it is difficult to get through to a lender’s negotiator. There may be a different one meeting you on the next appointment. You wonder if the lender does not really want you to get the short sale deal. Do not stop trying to get through, however. Make sure that you do get through by insisting that you talk to a supervisor and not just anybody from a particular department. This way, you do not need to keep explaining or reiterating what you have already told the first person that you were advised to talk to.

Be frank

It is time to know all the facts about this particular short sale deal. This means that you have to ask all the pertinent questions, with no holding back. There is no sense setting up a short sale negotiation when you are not even bold enough to state your side of the deal and to ask about or express some of your fears. Your fears could be either substantiated or completely erased.

Move on

If you have experienced some disappointments through the negotiating process, forget about it and move on. Be level-headed enough to try to make the negotiation move forward instead of stall because of some little misunderstanding. Quit the deal if there are really some serious problems that you would rather not deal with. There are other legitimate and more profitable short sale investments out there.

Have agreements done in writing

Have a contract signed by all involved. Your agreement and decisions based on your negotiation should not be done orally alone. All the agreement that resulted from the negotiation must be done in writing. Your negotiations will be all for nothing if one of the involved will later on deny the deal being closed.

Take notes

Write down every detail of your negotiation in case you have to go to court later on. When and where did you meet during your appointments? How did the other party handle the deal? Take note of the names of the people you have been talking to during the negotiation process.

Work with a deadline

This may seem less important compared to the other short sale negotiation tips but sticking to a deadline is also important. You sure do not want the negotiation process to go on forever. You may find yourself already losing out in the deal even before you have bought the property. All involved should work with a timeline to avoid having time wasted.

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A Roadmap to Negotiating in Major Accounts

May 21 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

Because of the complexity of the negotiation itself and the significance of getting it right, the actual plan for a major account negotiation must be developed with care. In any major account, if the sales team does not develop a well-conceived and coordinated negotiation plan, they are playing Russian roulette with the long-term relationship with the customer and with the profitability of the sales opportunity.

In major accounts, the negotiation process is complex with many false starts, barriers along the way, and from time to time unanticipated good fortunes. Very few, even the most talented, can navigate the journey without a well-developed road map.

Let’s review one four-part framework that can provide guidance for developing that road map:

1. Delineate the major issues. In major accounts there is not just one issue that requires negotiation. So, the first step in designing the negotiation plan is to delineate and verify that all the issues are on the table. Sometimes the customer will explicitly spell out the issues in a formal “letter of response” to a proposal or presentation. Other times the clarification of the real issues requires a series of interactions with the customer over an extended period of time.

2. Understand the customer’s position. Once the major issues have been identified, the next step is to be clear about where the customer is coming from on each of the issues. It is critical to have a “best approximation” answer to three fundamental positioning considerations:

Priority. What is the priority of the various issues and what is the rationale driving that priority?

Consensus. What is the customer’s position on each of the issues and what is the degree of consensus among the key players on that position?

Flexibility. How wide or narrow is the “Zone of Flexibility” for the position on each issue and are there any issues where there is no room for negotiation – a/k/a “Showstoppers”?

The answers to these questions must be analyzed within the context of the overall business strategy of the customer. This perspective provides the insight into “why” the customer is taking the positions they are taking. Without the “whys” the subsequent concession discussions will likely turn into nothing more than a back and forth bargaining hassle rather than a creative problem solving negotiation.

3. Establish your position on each issue. Your sales team must address the three fundamental positioning considerations – priority, consensus, and flexibility. When creating your position there are, however, two additional considerations the sales team should address.

Creating creative alternatives. All the issues being negotiated are not equally important. Ultimate success will be determined by how two or three issues are handled. Success on these issues will be driven by your ability to develop creative alternatives that are viewed as a win for both parties. In a complex negotiation, there is no substitute for creative problem solving. And, the good news is generating creative solutions is not the gift of the few – it is usually the hard work of the many.

Anchoring your message. The importance of anchoring your position is a notion that is consistently underscored in the negotiation literature – and rightly so. It simply recognizes the old adage about “how you say it is as important as what you say.” Whether a glass is perceived as “half full or half empty” all depends on how one frames talking about the glass.

In a sales negotiation anchoring is about determining how your concessions on a given issue are presented in a way that justifiably emphasizes the value of those concessions. The key is avoiding the trap of making anchoring some mystical art.

Perhaps the most practical and, coincidentally one of the best-supported, phenomenon in anchoring relates to the idea that individuals generally do not evaluate concessions in an absolute sense, but rather as changes with respect to some reference point.

So the anchoring challenge boils down to selecting the most effective reference point. Is it: the status quo, a prior contract, a deal reached by a competitor, or some industry standard? But in the end, anchoring is simply about how you help your customer understand the value of your concessions. And, remember that anchoring will always occur, so if you don’t do it; the customer will.

4. Develop a strategy for building the value of your concessions. It is difficult to over emphasize the importance of this best practice. No concession – whether it is on price, technical support or any other issue – has a fixed inherent value. Top negotiators build and verify the value of a concession before they offer it. This notion is particularly important in major accounts.

Different people in a major account may have differing views about the value of a concession. Also additional value may be derived from a ripple effect in a different division or in the future rather than present timeframe. So, one piece of your concession strategy must be a plan of action for getting the right message, to the right people, at the right time so that the value of your concessions will be optimized.

The least desirable outcome is offering in good faith a significant concession, only to find out, after the fact, that it had very little value to the customer – hence, the deal was lost. The best situation is to provide a concession of significant value to the customer that “costs” you very little. The moral of the story: being smart about customer value is just as important in a negotiation as it is in any other aspect of selling.

©2011 Sales Horizons™, LLC

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Do Happy Negotiators Make Better Negotiators?

May 20 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

Why is it that some folks consistently negotiate better deals that are smoothly implemented by participants, while others seem to walk away from bargaining feeling fleeced and flummoxed?

I believe the level of contentment and overall satisfaction we leave negotiations with is roughly equivalent to the contentment with which we entered

Or, as author Robert Pirsig once mused, “The only Zen you’ll find at the top of a mountain is the Zen you brought up there with you!”

People who know themselves, have clear and sound goals, and are fundamentally at ease, comfortable in their skin so to speak, make the best negotiators. This flies in the face of our stereotype of the best bargainers; those sly, slick, and secretive souls that we may expect to meet at car dealerships or at opposing tables in a courtroom.

I teach negotiation in extension programs at UC Berkeley and UCLA, and I bring my techniques to private companies and to public agencies and nonprofits, as well.

Usually, folks that attend are grateful that they learn how to save money when buying, leasing, or even gracefully withdrawing from financial commitments to cars, homes, and the various loans that encumber them.

Attendees also learn how to be more astute businesspeople and to negotiate more pleasant and effective work rules with their organizational peers, bosses, and subordinates.

I present no fewer than 101 tips, or as the title of the course calls them, “Best Practices in Negotiation”(TM).

So, what’s the problem, especially if occasionally everyone checks the box on my evaluations saying “I WOULD recommend this class to other people”?

The problem is, no let me rephrase that, the challenge is that everyone that attends a class, reads a book, or listens to CD’s, is trying to negotiate more than a good deal here and there, though they may not be aware of it.

People are seeking BETTER LIVES.

Having a classier car or a tonier abode and a few custom threads can position you for an enhanced feeling of contentment, to be sure. But what is it that will be your ticket to the “BIG H,” to overall happiness?

And can this ineffable state of being result from your negotiation skills?

Not only can happiness be negotiated, but it must be, as I see it, especially if you want to be effective in your worldly negotiation encounters.

All effective negotiations start with self-negotiation, with doing what is commonly known as “goal-setting.”

What do you want from life and from the negotiation you’re about to enter?

What are you willing to accept? Is it the mere “get-by,” as Zig Ziglar labels the bare minimum?

Is a pittance sufficient for you?

Or, do you typically hold out for something substantially more advantageous in every department; a better job, better school, better health insurance? And occasionally, do you insist on receiving the very BEST available goods, services, and outcomes?

Let’s get personal.

Millions of folks find themselves trapped in damaging or deficient interpersonal relationships, from which they feel there is no release or escape. Day after day, week after week, and year after year, they stick it out in circumstances that are nothing less than punishing.

How come?

Very possibly they believe they deserve no better, and if they took their emotions into the relationship-marketplace, they’d strike out and be rewarded with an even worse bargain than what they’re fleeing from, at home.

These folks have a self-worth problem. They have at least tacitly, “negotiated” poorly in the space between their ears, placing a depressed value on their appeal. The result is an “I’m not worth very much” assessment that they wear on their sleeves that resembles a billboard to outsiders, including our fellow negotiators.

But before we pity them or dismiss their plight as something we cannot relate to, consider how we might be doing the very same thing, simply in different contexts.

You’ve been slaving away at a job that pays you far less than you’re worth. Why?

You’re driving a battered old car that bleeds you dry in repair costs and riddles you with fear of untimely breakdowns.

“But it’s paid for!” you justify.

Not really. It’s still depreciating as it ages, and those repair costs are payments, made to mechanics and to parts stores instead of to banks, but they constitute ongoing costs, nonetheless.

You could lease or purchase a great car for little more than the average monthly cost of repairs and gas guzzling. But you’re accepting your current, more miserable state as permanent.

About a year ago I was seeking a car, and I took a serious look at various iterations of the Ford Mustang. Since I was a kid, I’ve always admired their style and power, so I went shopping for a convertible.

I found what I sought, in sultry black-on-black. Cool ride!

When negotiations came around, I was dismayed to find that I’d have to cough up $500-$700 a month for a 36 month lease, given the equipment I wanted.

“At these prices,” I remember telling myself, “I could drive something BETTER!”

Despite my efforts to bring down the costs, I walked out of one Ford dealership after another. And they let me walk, gladly!

I took a look at the Mercedes-Benz web site. Lo and behold, I spotted a sleek, sexy CLK 350 Mercedes Convertible for only $595 per month, plus tax.

Incredible! Impossible! Unbelievable!

But true.

Within a few days I was driving one on a lease that requires only a 27 month commitment, not the 36 month term I was facing at Ford. Plus, the car I negotiated for is loaded with optional equipment. No extra charge!

The Mercedes is a $60,000 automobile, and the Mustangs I tested bill out at about
$40,000 each.

How can a Mercedes with a 50% higher price tag cost LESS?

Its lease price is lower because its resale value is comparatively much higher than the Mustang’s.

Am I happier with a high-status, high-performance, gas sipping Mercedes (30 mpg+ highway!) than with a nice, but not quite equal, Mustang?


What’s the moral to the story?

When you’re negotiating with yourself, setting goals, always at least ask yourself: “Can I do better than this?” Or, as Tony Robbins recommends, ask this question again and again: “How can I improve this?”

We sell ourselves short in countless other ways.

You know you should go back to school and finish that degree or certificate, but you’ve been procrastinating. With a higher credential, you could qualify for better jobs at your current company, and beyond.

But you’ve made a deal with yourself which is one of the worst kinds. It has no due date, no enforcement provisions, and no clear and substantial penalties for noncompliance.

You’ve told yourself, “I’ll get around to doing it-some day.”

Would you accept it for a moment if a boss said he’d pay you “something” when he “gets around to it”? Of course, you wouldn’t.

It’s preposterous, yet we cut these loosey-goosey deals with ourselves all the time, when we choose to procrastinate. And when we procrastinate, we’re aware of our self-sabotage, at least unconsciously, and we despise ourselves for it.

Feeling worse about ourselves, procrastination induces us to lower our performance standards, and to sap our expectations regarding what we can put into and get out of life.

What happens to you, if you place a low value on yourself and you suddenly find yourself negotiating not in your mind, with yourself as a partner, but you’re sitting across the table, negotiating with your boss for a raise in pay, or trying to get a loan from your banker?

How will you behave, and how does this differ from the moves that a happier, more confident, positive-imaged person will make?

(1) You’ll be likely to cave in on various positions, even if you’re only nudged gently.

(2) You’ll make concessions, without requiring concessions, in return.

(3) You’ll cut your prices too much and too fast, precipitating dire deals.

(4) You’ll agree on impossible terms, and then regret it.

(5) You’ll compromise your interests, without conscious awareness.

Boiling this down, happier negotiators are better negotiators. They’ve already done the essential preliminary work of straightening themselves out before they get underway with their negotiation counterparts.

And by winning at negotiating, they set into motion a positive cycle of achievement that makes them even more self-confident, while incentivizing them to set yet higher goals.

So, when and where do negotiations begin?

They always begin with us, with our goals, and with our self-image.

Align these properly, and you’ll probably be happy, arriving at and then leaving the negotiation table with more of what you really want and need.

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To Be a Top Negotiator – Just Behave Like One

May 19 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

Negotiating is the ‘poor cousin’ of ‘selling’; simple as that.

It is highly probable that you would prefer not to have to ‘negotiate’ if you can do a deal using your standard terms and conditions. This reluctance to negotiate is most likely if you are from somewhere outside the classic negotiating centres of the World, like South America, Middle East and Asia. For people in these places ‘negotiating’ is a way of life. For most of us (mainly Caucasians) however, negotiating can seem like a nightmare…a sort of verbal game of chess or poker in which our every move is being read by some clever, cunning opponent. He who blinks first loses’ and all that stuff.

Well, if you’re fool enough to enter into a negotiation without knowledge of the basics you will get crushed. On the other hand, the basic behaviours of successful negotiators have been researched and are very easy to copy and this is what this article is all about. There are four basic things that top negotiators do all the time and four things that ‘average’ negotiators do which top negotiators avoid getting dragged into doing.

Before we get into the four ‘do’s and four ‘dont’s something needs to be said. Because it is a cold hard truth that, in business, if you ‘sell effectively’ in the first place, you probably won’t have to negotiate. Effective selling is based on finding out what a customer wants to buy (in other words the specific problem he wants solved) and then focusing, laser-like, on that alone. Most sales are messed up to the point at which a negotiation is required, because the seller couldn’t or wouldn’t shut-up talking about all the other spurious benefits of his product.

The golden rule of effective selling is: ‘Never miss a good opportunity to shut-up’.

But let us say (unhappily for you) that the straight-forward sale has been messed up and you DO now have to negotiate. First of all it is probably not, “all about the price” as so many of my clients tell me. Most negotiations are about value and not price. If you sincerely believe that price (and price alone) is what it is all about then you probably need an article on ‘haggling’ rather than negotiating.

The word ‘negotiation’ implies an ability and a willingness on your part, to vary your terms in some way. It is highly unlikely that you will make any progress at this stage by just standing on your side of the negotiating table (hypothetical or not) making demands and digging your heels in. So start by using the most powerful persuasive tools you have: “Questions”. The first behaviour of top negotiators is that they ask a lot of questions.

A ‘question’ gets you information. And you can’t start ‘negotiating’ and investigating areas in which you might be able to vary your normal terms, until you get an idea of what is going on in the head of the other side. A top negotiator never makes a statement when she could ask a question. A top negotiator constantly seeks Information, Information, Information before and during every negotiation. A top negotiator will always be thinking, “Why did he just ask me that?” and will be saying things like, “Suppose we could offer you that concession…then would you be prepared to agree our contract period?”

Always think ‘questions’ rather than statements whenever possible.

Each question will potentially raise another agreed point or result in a rejection on the way to finalising the whole deal. There can be many such twists and turns on the way to a successful outcome. So the second ‘top-negotiator’ behaviour is to regularly summarise and agree the items covered so far. Failure to do this can and often does de-rail complex negotiations if summarising is either omitted or left to the very end. We, on our side of the table believe that something has been settled (sometimes days ago) only to discover this is not the understanding of our counterparty. Summarising throughout and at least once an hour, is the second noticeable behaviour of top negotiators.

Having advised you, a couple of paragraphs ago, to ask questions rather than make statements, I’m now – for the third ‘top-negotiator behaviour’, going to back up a little and tell you to open up a bit too. Many of the executives I teach to negotiate, tend to take the ‘ask questions’ theme to the extreme and virtually refuse to give away anything when the other side asks them questions. This is not what it’s all about. In fact a top negotiator learns to treat both questions and answers like ‘negotiating currency’.

Of course, before sitting down to negotiate, he will have decided what information can be released to the other side and what highly confidential and sensitive information cannot. But having decided what can be given away, he is quite careful how it is done.

He will often, having answered two or three questions in a row from the other side, say, on being asked a fourth question, “Well OK…now we’ve answered three of your questions, if I answer this one as well I will need you in turn two answer three important questions that we have and in particular…..”

So the process of asking questions and surrendering information is played very carefully…nothing is given up unless something is gained in exchange.

The fourth and final ‘top negotiator behaviour’ is the way in which impossible requests are handled.

For most of us, faced with an unexpected outrageous request from someone we would like to do business with, our reaction is an outright immediate rejection: “Oh please!…you REALLY can’t be serious with that request…the answer is NO!”

However, skilled negotiators never give such an instant knee-jerk response.

Instead they spend time, before they say NO, explaining the situation and never give advance warning that a rejection is coming up.

They will give an explanation first and say something like, “Reducing the contract period to one year is a very interesting proposition, John. As you know, the way we operate in this market sector is to offer every customer exactly the same 3 year contract. As you have already said, we are quite flexible on price, size and color so that your needs are fully accommodated. On the other hand the contract period is kept the same for all so that no customer can accuse us of ‘horse-trading’. If we vary it for one customer we will lose the trust of all the others who will inevitably find out. So for this reason I hope you can understand why the contract period must be the same for all.”

This willingness to give a clear explanation before rejecting a request, usually results in a more ready acceptance than a straight ‘NO’ followed by an explanation if required.

So your four desirable negotiator behaviours are:

1) Seek information and ask questions constantly
2) Summarise regularly to avoid late misunderstandings
3) Be prepared to surrender information but always exchange it for reciprocal favours
4) Explain the background to something you must say ‘no’ to before you say, ‘NO’

On the other side this article are the far more common behaviours which you may find yourself drifting towards and which you should try to reduce or eliminate.

The first of these is the natural human desire to argue. After a day or so ‘negotiating’ the teams are getting a little tired. Suddenly ‘somebody’ says something ‘daft’ to which the obvious reaction is something like, “Oh do shut-up!” The problem is somebody does actually say it! “Don’t you tell me to shut-up! I’ve been sitting here listening to your drivel for the past 7 hours!” “You’ve been listening to MY ‘drivel’ …I like that!” “Look here, I want to say something!…We came to see you in good faith and……” and so on and so on. A slow, spiral descent, into a negotiating black hole.

The automatic charge and counter-charge of a classic argument, each trying to out-do the other, will not get you anywhere.

In short: Arguments can be ‘fun’ but they are not persuasive negotiating behaviours: AVOID.

The second ‘poor behaviour’ indulged in by average negotiators is the speed at which counterproposals are produced in response to the other side’s suggestions. To explain the folly of doing this, a negotiator must appreciate one particular facet of human psychology. That is that the point at which another person is least receptive to another person’s idea is if he has just presented one of his own.

So, if a counterparty has just presented a proposal: “How would it be if we agreed to a five year deal with your company and all our servicing is guaranteed to go through your workshops?” and you reply… “Well maybe….but we were thinking of a completely different approach…..” , then you are already en-route to a pretty well guaranteed disagreement in the next few minutes.

As a top negotiator you can avoid this ‘average behaviour by ALWAYS being seen willing to consider and discuss the other side’s suggestions – however crass you may think they are – before introducing any counterproposal yourself.

The third poor behaviour is the false notion – beloved of untrained business-persuaders and amateur negotiators- that facts are persuasive. The result of this folklore is that, the more somebody disagrees with you or fails to accept your proposition, the more facts you pile up in order to prove your point. Alas this is not what happens in the collective mind of those in the other side of the table.

The more facts that are brought in to support a proposal, the more confused the other side becomes and the more – horror !! the more the price or the cost will become the central feature.

Knowing this interesting ‘fact’ however can provide you with an interesting and effective negotiating lever.

Next time you need some way to demolish or weaken a proposal from the other side simply act as if you are not convinced by the initial argument. You will find, inevitably, that another suporting fact will be produced. But you still act ‘unconvinced’. Keep this going: “I’m still not sure that this is a good idea”.

You do this until four or five new supporting facts have been produced.

You will then discover something very interesting is happening: each new fact produced by the other side is successively weaker than the one before. It won’t take long, therefore, until a very weak supporting fact is produced. At this point you say, “Hang on just a moment….are you really saying that you can’t deliver on Saturday because we only open Monday to Friday?..well that’s easy we will get somebody there to meet you! So there’s actually no serious issue.”

You will discover that it is very rare for a counterparty to reverse back into their previous stronger supporting facts and you win the point. Just beware of being trapped into this ‘ploy’ yourself.

Finally, when it comes to unhelpful negotiator habits, there’s the old standby which, alas, is spoken by nearly every business executive on the planet at some time every day. We negotiators call it an ‘annoyer’.

An annoyer is an annoying phrase or sentence thrown into the mix in a misguided attempt to give the other side confidence. The two most common are, “To be honest with you…..” and “Look we are offering you a really great deal here”.

In the first case, the psychological effect on the other person (or persons) is, “So are you saying that up until now you haven’t been honest?”

In the second case, telling somebody that you (in your opinion anyway) are making a ‘great offer’, has a very negative effect on the counterparty mind. Far from convincing the other side that you are making a generous offer, it actually implies, in one sentence, that you feel that the other side is not being ‘great’ if they reject your offer.

Both of these ‘annoying’ phrases and others in a similar vein are aimed at increasing confidence. But they have a very bad effect on other people’s perception of you as a negotiator.

So in summary, whilst incorporating the previous top negotiator behaviours take good care to avoid the following average behaviours:

1) Defend and Attack arguments of any sort
2) Your own counterproposals introduced, without first discussing the other side’s proposals
3) Too many facts to support your proposals
4) Using very common and unintentionally annoying phrases.

Being a top negotiator isn’t difficult if you behave as you should. Sometimes you won’t win -that’s life- so when the deal looks daft from your point of view be prepared to walk away. And the more times you are prepared to walk away you will be amazed how often the deal chases you out of the door.

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