Technology advances rapidly in the business world. However, some things will always stay the same. The art of negotiation is as important a business skill as it ever has been. Strong negotiation skills can be the difference between a beneficial compromise and a loss. There will always be conflicts in life, and the ability to solve them, particularly in the business world, is what creates success. What are some important negotiation skills, and why are they so critical?
- Confidence. Don’t be intimidated; bullies know how to get their way. The business world has its fair share of tyrants, as some people intimidate their way to success. Feeling intimidated means you’re already on your way to defeat. People can sense when you’re emotionally not up for the fight, and they take advantage of it.
In the business world, this can mean lost profits, promotions, and opportunities. Don’t allow yourself to be intimidated during negotiation. If the other person appears more confident, understand it’s typically not because they deserve something more than you do; they’re just convinced they do. By bringing this conviction to the table, you can win a negotiation.
- Knowing when to walk away. Some battles are not worth fighting. When business decisions hang in the balance, it’s imperative to know when to walk away. If someone is transparently trying to get their way with no concessions to you, it’s best to exit the negotiation.
- Playing fair. In most negotiations, the goal is compromise. If both parties can understand this and be sympathetic to the others’ needs, both stand to benefit far more. A competition for money or business resources isn’t a true negotiation. In any negotiation, each side has something to offer, and some things they can reasonably concede. Be open, fair, and honest, and you can gain the most from business negotiations.
- People skills. More often than not, it’s not what you say – it’s how you say it. By presenting your case in the right light, you stand to gain much more from any negotiation. Approaching a negotiation nervously or aggressively gives the other party the upper hand. Be calm, civil, and direct. A good sense of humor and open demeanor, as well as being a good listener, go a long way to realize a successful negotiation.
As a business skill, negotiation is here to stay. By prioritizing having good negotiators on your team, you create an environment for business success. Remember, negotiation should be approached not as a competition, but as a compromise that both sides stand to gain from.
A sales plan is integral to any company’s success. The strategy most take is to devise an effective sales plan, which remains the same until it begins to become less successful. This can be an effective strategy for a company looking to maintain present success. However, the best companies in any industries are always growing and expanding. A business serious about success has to think big. One way to push towards greater success is to improve and reevaluate your current sales plan. Fortunately, there are plenty of small changes a company can make without overhauling its approach to sales:
- Monitor analytics. The only way to know what changes will help your company is to look at the stats. Continuously checking up on your website’s analytics lets you know what’s working and what’s not.
- Make a goal. Do you want to expand your customer base? Improve customer experience? Streamline production? Once you’ve analyzed the strengths and weaknesses of your business plan, come up with an attainable goal for your reevaluation.
- Stay up to date online. In today’s world, every company has a social media presence. An under-utilized social media page means lost sales and poor reputation. There are changes every day in the technology world. Staying apprised of these updates allows makes your company relevant, appealing to new customer bases and keeping old customers loyal. Keep up with technology to maximize your company’s potential.
- Focus on your audience. Your audience’s response is how you determine what parts of your sales plan are effective. Your reevaluation is primarily concerned with this response, so make it your top priority.
- Don’t be afraid of change. A reevaluation of your sales plan should be a small update, not taking up too much money or resources. However, sometimes the reevaluation can lead to a bigger realization of a potential untapped market or branding opportunity. In these cases, don’t be afraid to go for gold. A big change can mean big success when it’s relevant and oriented towards your audience’s needs.
- Be patient. Big changes don’t happen overnight. A successful reevaluation of a sales strategy takes time. Proper analysis of your company’s success can only be done by experts looking over a lot of data. Similarly, figuring out what changes should be made with the data in mind is not a quick process. Even small changes take time. By devoting necessary time to a sales plan reevaluation, you stand to bring your company growth and success.
- Get some advice. Shapiro Negotiations offers extensive corporate sales training and negotiation training opportunities for maximizing any company’s sales potential. Professional help with reevaluating your company’s sales strategy can mean big growth.
Many companies will hire a keynote speaker perhaps once or twice a year to deliver a message to their employees or to inspire them in various ways. While planning a keynote speech can be time consuming, it is clear that hiring speakers is beneficial to a company’s success. There are several reasons for this, not the least of which is the novelty of an outside speaker. This and other reasons for the success of outside speakers are listed and considered below.
- Novelty of a New Speaker: Employees often respond better to criticism and advice if it comes from someone they don’t work with every day. If that person has a proven track record of success in their field, employees are more likely to respond positively to the speaker and implement his or her advice. For example, a lecture on the importance of technology will be much more effective if given by Bill Gates instead of by the office IT manager.
- Keynote Speakers are Entertaining: Keynoters are paid to speak. If they couldn’t capture and hold an audience’s attention, they would be out of a job. A keynote speaker may not say anything that someone in your office wouldn’t think of themselves, but what they can do is deliver their information in a fun and entertaining way. Listeners are always more affected by a lecture when it was interesting and catches their imagination in some way.
- Individuality of Talks and Lectures: Each speaker has a specific way they prefer delivering their information, and the variety between speakers is part of what makes their talks effective. If you hire a keynote speaker, do not ask him or her to fit their talk into a specific format that you prefer. This will take away from the individuality and effectiveness of the speech.
- Motivate Your Employees: The point of a keynote or motivational speaker is to get your employees excited about new ideas and to fuel their imagination, helping them become more productive. The success of a speaker can be measured by how much it improves the success of your company and your workers.
- Get a Preview: In essence, a keynote speech is often a teaser for the speaker’s book. By hiring the speaker, a company can determine if buying their book for employees is worth the cost. If the speech goes well, for example, and employees are excited and invigorated by what they hear, then buying several copies of the book could further the productivity sparked by the keynoter’s speech.
Consider hiring a keynote or motivational speaker if your workers seem to be slowing down, or if your company appears to be losing some of its momentum.
One of the necessary traits for being a successful negotiator and leader is confidence. Without a healthy measure of self-esteem, a person will never be able to achieve their dreams. The following list includes 6 methods of boosting one’s own confidence and the confidence of employees.
- Recognize strengths: Many managers and authority figures are quick to point out their workers flaws, always noticing when something is done incorrectly. However, when a worker shows a particular innovative spirit or promise in a particular area, his or her efforts go unnoticed. Take the time to recognize your workers for their strengths instead of always berating them for their weaknesses. At the same time, learn to appreciate your own strengths and talents.
- Address weaknesses and fix them: If an employee has a particular weakness, don’t stop at pointing it out. Work with your employee to find out how he or she can better themselves, and how their weakness can be addressed, and if possible, eliminated. Another option is to turn that weakness into a strength. A basketball player who is well known for driving to the basket on the right side of the court might be able to fake out his or her opponents by sometimes taking a turn to the left.
- Give compliments: Everyone likes to have their work praised, and workers’ performance improves when they are recognized for their work. In addition to giving compliments to your coworkers, be gracious in receiving compliments. A coworker who brags or acts pompous upon receiving a compliment, or one who constantly denies the compliments of coworkers, will soon cease to receive them.
- Set realistic goals: One of the fastest ways to ruin your self-esteem is to set goals or expectations you are simply unable to achieve. Your continued failure will make you feel worse about yourself when in fact it was never realistic to expect success.
- Identify problems: Learn to recognize situations and tasks which harm your self esteem, and remove yourself from them. If you always feel bad about yourself after watching an unrealistic TV program, then stop watching that program. Get rid of toxic factors in your life, and if you need change don’t base your decisions on unrealistic comparisons.
- Challenge unhealthy thoughts: Often we are our own biggest critics, judging ourselves harshly and unnecessarily. When you find yourself thinking degrading thoughts, challenge them. If you wouldn’t let others talk about you in a certain way, then make sure you aren’t talking to yourself in that same fashion.
Learning to appreciate your own self worth and the worth of others and learning to increase confidence in the workplace is vital to the productivity and success of your business.