Negotiating – Smart V Stupid

Experience has shown that some of the typical approaches in negotiation are very smart… or just the opposite. Here are ten of the most common, starting with the smart ones.

Start Positively with Compliments

Smart negotiators realise that the atmosphere they create will impact in the other’s perception and behaviour. Make it clear that your intention is to find the best deal for both of you. Rather than positioning each other as competitors, see each other as partners working together to solve your mutual problem. Just like a mountaineer needs a partner to reach the highest peak, you need each other to achieve the best mutually beneficial agreement.

If you can include an appropriate compliment, it will not only fast-track your rapport-building, it will also introduce positive labelling. It has also been shown that by positively labelling someone, you can influence them to act more that way. So, if, for example, you were to compliment them on being so understanding, it might just cause them to try to be more understanding!

Make Them Aware of Your Preparation

Your preparation is often the most important work you do in a negotiation. Thorough preparation gives you the foundation to make your offer with confidence and the leverage to unsettle the other side.

If you know something that they don’t know you know, use it early. Some negotiators will hold back this information, saving it as ‘ammunition’ to use if the other party becomes difficult. You will get better results if you reveal this information early – before offers are put on the table. Doing this surprises the other side, causing them to doubt the quality of their preparation. If I can compromise your confidence in your preparation, I create doubt about the validity of your offer which was based on that preparation.

Ask Their Opinion Before Making Your Offer

Most negotiators can only ascertain the other side’s reaction to their offer after they have put it on the table. Once an offer is made, it cannot be retracted. Smart negotiators do all they can to test the other’s opinion before any offer is tabled. They create a conversation where neither side makes any commitments, they just share ideas and reactions to better understand each other’s interests and priorities. They might use a line like, “I’m not looking at any commitments yet, but how would you feel if we put this with this in a package that includes… “

Once either side puts an offer on the table bargaining starts – and information sharing stops. So, you need to get as much information as possible before you start bargaining.

Refer to the Authority and Influence of Others

It’s unrealistic to expect anyone in a negotiation to accept the other party’s figures, so you need to find an authoritative source you can both agree on.

If I try to change your thinking in a negotiation by confronting your ideas, it is likely you will just become more entrenched in your ideas as you argue against me. It has been shown that I can influence your thinking by pointing to the actions of others whom you see as similar to you. Identifying any such reference points is part of a smart negotiator’s preparation.

Tie-Together a Package with the Maximum Perceived Value

It is virtually impossible to negotiate a win-win outcome over a single issue. Use your preparation and your non-committal discussions with them at the opening of the negotiation to create an integrated package with the maximum perceived value; remembering that something that has high perceived value to them might actually cost you very little.

Conversely, there are many stupid negotiation behaviours.

Start Aggressively with Criticism

Some negotiators start out with the thought, “I’m going to show them what a tough negotiator I am.” Research has proven that when I perceive you as being competitive, I become more competitive, I am less likely to share information with you and I become less flexible with my offer(s). Not a smart way to start!

Table Your Offer Early

Moving too quickly into bargaining will limit the chances of finding the maximum possible value for a deal.

Undermine Their Offer and/or Authority

It’s okay to question their offer, but putting it or them down will only result in a negative response.

Play Your Cards Close to Your Chest

This is negotiation – not poker! Failure to share information (that could have in no way compromised either position) is one of the main reasons for poor agreements.

Irritate Them – To Get Them to Do or Say Something They’ll Regret

Only works with very inexperienced negotiators.

Demand Answers After You’ve Backed Them into a Corner

Okay, so you’ve out-negotiated them with you clever ‘traps’. Now you have someone who resents you and you have to work with them to make this deal generate value.

When negotiating, you have choices… choose the smart ones!

Presentations to Non-Profits for Car Wash Fundraisers

Giving a business presentation to a nonprofit group is very similar to what a sales team does when it pitches its services, ideas or innovations to a corporate Board of Directors. Having done many business presentations in my life it came natural to meet when I was asked to talk to a PTA or parent teacher association about an upcoming fundraiser in which my company would be assisting the washing of cars.

It was amazing to me how the word got out around town and soon I was giving presentations to nonprofit groups all throughout the community and surrounding communities. There of course were all sorts of objections and questions from parents. Such as; how many chaperones will be needed, what do you get out of it, how much money will we make, why should we do a carwash fund raiser?

The funny thing is that we would make no money doing these fundraisers and yet I was defending the carwash fundraiser business plan for their nonprofit group. I learned a valuable lesson that day in that is sometimes not what you are selling or in this case giving away; people have to see your motivation or they do not trust you.

It is the same when giving a business presentation. If you offer to your products or services too low of cost and they don’t see what is in it for you they are not interested because they think you are tricking them. It was amazing to me that people could not see what was it for me.

Exposure for my business and a chance to give back to the community which has treated my business so well for so many years. What’s wrong with that? Do you know what happened after the fundraiser? They gave $200 to each other crew-members who volunteered that day to work with the kids. Because they still could not understand why we were helping the community. Go figure. Consider all this in 2006.

A Few Unique And Original Xmas Present Ideas

With Xmas coming up, people around the UK are beginning to consider what they can buy each other for a present. However, it can be hard to think of original ideas every year, and some people feel a considerable amount of pressure to ensure the gifts they purchase are up to standard. Instead of leaving everything to the last moment, it is always advisable to begin deciding what to buy as soon as you can, and making your purchases early to avoid the Xmas rush. Here are a few unique and unusual present ideas, to enable you to get a head start with your Christmas purchases.

For the lover of animals in your life, you could give them a gift that is truly unique – the chance to adopt a polar bear! The pack contains a certificate of adoption, a soft polar bear, photo, fact sheets, and newsletter, and will help support the WWF in their important work to help save this beautiful species.

A bottle of personalised malt whisky and set of glasses would make a fantastic present for a scotch connoisseur, or anyone else who likes a little tipple during the Xmas period! Alternatively, for a wine lover, you could give a Laithwaites wine tasting evening for 2 people, offering a laid back experience and the chance to try up to 25 different types of wine.

For a really extravagant, one off thrill seekers experience, surely there would be nothing better than the opportunity to race a REAL Formula One grand prix car, to make this Xmas really unforgettable. The lucky recipient will receive a full days experience, which includes personal tuition in a variety of race specification vehicles, culminating in a drive in an actual grand prix car.

Alternatively, a Segway race experience for two, or dumper truck racing experience, could make for an equally unique, but rather more cost effective choice.

If you are wanting to buy a gift for a pregnant loved one, a Mum-To-Be Photoshoot could make for a fantastic indulgent gift, with trained photographers available at a variety of places across the UK to create a special memory.

Chinese Flying Lanterns, also known as ‘wishing lanterns’ are quickly becoming more and more popular, and it is no wonder why. Seeing them climb slowly into the night time sky, glowing mysteriously for approximately 20 minutes, is an astonishing and wondrous experience, making these a fantastic way to celebrate a special occasion.

Wondering what to buy for a chocolate lover? A Thorntons chocolate hamper would surely be a wonderful present, comprising milk, dark and white chocolates with fudge, toffee and nougat. You wouldn’t go wrong with this amazing gift made by the definitive chocolate maker. A cheaper but equally special alternative would be a Thorntons ‘Favourites’ Hamper, which gives great value.

A grow your own Manchester United football pitch would be the perfect gift to give to a football fan, which contains everything needed to grow a replica football pitch, and includes the same seeds that are used on the Old Trafford football pitch!.

With touch screen phones becoming more and more common, sometimes it is frustrating when it is cold to find that they do not function if you are wearing gloves! The solution is a pair of specially designed touchscreen gloves, which would be a great present for anyone with an iPhone or similar device.

Last but not least, if you were considering giving a designer fragrance as a gift, why not buy a design your own fragrance experience instead? This offers you the opportunity to design, name and wear your very own fragrance, just like the stars!

Hopefully you should now have a few more ideas about what Christmas presents to buy for your friends and relatives, to make this year really memorable. Happy shopping!