The Art of Renegotiation



Despite our best efforts, sometimes we negotiate a bad deal. But is that the end of it? After you acknowledge your mistakes – and face the sinking feeling in your stomach – you can begin to seek opportunities for renegotiation. Here’s how to find more favorable terms.

Before A Deal Breaks Down

While no one wants to be involved in a deal gone bad, you can protect yourself before negotiations even begin by doing the following:

  • Building strong relationships. If the other party trusts you to consistently deliver what you promise, they are will be more likely to be flexible if you need to make changes.
  • Doing your research. Take the time to explore all related information to make it less likely your deal will be affected by unforeseen circumstances.
  • Writing nrenegotiation into contracts. Cover foreseeable circumstances in your contract and provide for a renegotiation process for specific events.
Understand What Triggers Renegotiation

Both buyers and sellers can reasonably expect to revisit terms when a contract is imperfect or the circumstances surrounding the deal change. Most buyers realize that even if you’ve signed a contract, no one can predict everything that can impact the transaction. For instance, if materials prices suddenly skyrocket, new technology makes your current offering obsolete, or a spike in energy costs dramatically increases production requirements, sometimes both parties must either walk away from the deal or come to new terms.

Ask if You Can Afford to Lose

Successful renegotiation often results only when negotiators speak from a position of strength. If you can’t afford to lose the deal if you’re unsuccessful in renegotiating it, your fear could very well undermine your confidence and even damage your credibility.

If you realize it would be better to lose the deal than honor the current terms, openly address the situation with the buyer and let them know you’re not happy with the terms to which you agreed. Ask if they’re willing to look at the numbers again and find a mutually beneficial solution.

Choose Positivity

When a deal goes bad, both sides feel stress, which can create hostility. If you become angry or defensive, your emotions will work against you. To guard against that possibility, look for ways to create value for the other side and create a problem-solving atmosphere. Invite everyone who participated in the original agreement to help find a solution. If meetings continue to be stressful and unproductive consider hiring a mediator to manage the process.

Facing Employee Retention Challenges in 2018



Employee retentionThe U.S. unemployment rate is low, and companies are cranking up recruiting efforts. Organizations will face a challenge in the year ahead to keep current employees from being lured away by companies offering attractive benefits and innovative perks. Businesses can attract and keep employees by improving digital efficiency, providing relevant feedback and matching people with their passions for improved job satisfaction.

Intentionally Endorse Culture

When employees believe in what their organization stands for, they are more loyal and engaged. Make creating a positive culture top priority when it comes to employee retention. Define the values most important to your brand and seek ways to communicate and practice those ideals throughout your organization.

Analyze and tweak every step of onboarding to highlight those values in company policies and practices. Make sure training gives specific steps for how to incorporate them in workplace interactions, not just with outside clients.

Develop Leadership

Supervisors often obtain their position because they were effective as lower-level employees. While they might have been the strongest member of their team, they don’t necessarily have the skills to be effective management.

One of the biggest reasons employees leave their job is because of conflict with a supervisor. Offer leadership training to provide the communication skills necessary to effective relationships with employees.

Prioritize Growth

Some employees change jobs because they see another company as an opportunity to get ahead. If your staff feels stuck in their current positions, they are likely to experience frustration and defeat. Instead of losing your talent to the competition, keep them when you do the following:

  • Offer performance-based bonuses or other perks to top performers.
  • Provide training and staff development that gives employees skills they need to be promoted.
  • Let staff members know the career opportunities available and the ways your company can help them reach their goals.
  • Allow employees to cross-train so they learn a wide range of skills.
Make Your Offer Better

Money isn’t everything, but employees are lured away when they can make more with your competitor. Make your compensation package as attractive as possible. Salaries and bonuses are a major part of what attracts talent, but other factors can be just as important. Health insurance, flexible scheduling, vacation time and retirement packages also play into an employee’s decision to stay with your organization or go somewhere else.

Know what the competition offers so your staff isn’t lured away by a few dollars. When Glassdoor analyzed job transitions, they found base pay that is 10 percent higher makes it 1.5 percent less likely employees will leave.

Invest in retaining your current workforce by creating a positive place in which they thrive. The productive work environment that results will improve your bottom line and attract top talent to add to your team.

4 Negotiation Strategies that Destroy Deals



People, whether they’re in marketing or manufacturing, generally enter a meeting with preconceived ideas and outside concerns that affect the way they listen. Salespeople can build relationships, or they can forever kill deals when they make some of the following mistakes.

Focus on Your Needs

It’s good to have goals, but, if all you’re thinking about is what you want out of the negotiation, your efforts are doomed to failure. Research your client so you know their needs and how your product or service can meet them. Realize they have lives outside of the meeting just like you do.

You must set aside what’s going on in your personal life, work pressure, and scheduling concerns to be mentally present. They have the same things warring in the back of their mind. Analyze how your presentation brings your customer value, makes them more effective, or enhances their current offerings.

Talk Too Much

You’re there to communicate about what you offer, but, if you do all the talking, it’s not a negotiation. Let your client know you’re listening by encouraging questions, then giving their concerns your full attention. Listen for clues to their interests or concerns.

Instead of using their statements to launch into the next part of your presentation, simply resay what they said back to them. Leave room for the customer to give you more information or share more about what they need.

Focus on Winning Instead of Collaborating

During negotiations, seek to partner with your client and not squeeze everything you can out of the deal. The first step is to present the value you bring to the table. The second step is to assign a dollar amount to that value.

Instead of just presenting the price of products and services, explain other benefits like warranty, maintenance, customization, or improved productivity. Know not just how the deal will make you money but how it will make the client money as well.

Rush to Close

There’s more to sales than delivering information and getting clients to sign on the dotted line. Timing is a critical element, where rushing clients to make a decision and waiting to follow up can both have disastrous results.

If a client isn’t ready to make a commitment, being pushy will alienate them. Protect the relationship by respecting their need for time and possibly more information. Regular follow-up that continually seeks to be helpful allows you to stay in contact and move them toward making a decision in line with your goals.

Own the Room by Building Your Leadership Presence



You know it when you see it. Someone walks in the room and before they even speak, they exude authority and trustworthiness. Presence is difficult to define, but it can be developed. It doesn’t come from achieving results, and it isn’t always dependent on personality; instead, impression management plays a big part. Teach sales professionals to show up the way they want others to see them for improved success.

Focus on Authenticity

You want to create an impression of confidence and ability, but developing presence isn’t about pretending to be something you’re not. Draw others in and have a positive impact by being your best self.

What are your biggest strengths? When you were most successful, what key traits did you display to bring about that success? What are your best listening skills? Analyze where you are strongest and allow those traits to amplify as you develop your personal presence.

ConfidenceChange Your Posture

Self-confidence is an element critical to success. Sales might be one of the professions where projecting self-confidence is most challenging, since every interaction holds the potential for rejection. Men and women who have been in the profession for any length of time have been rejected, caught off guard, asked unanswerable questions and received criticism for the products and services they represent.

Project confidence by first changing your physical posture. Draw your shoulders back and raise your chin. If it helps, stand for a minute with your hands on your hips like a comic book superhero and find the confidence that lies within.

Activate confidence not just in your body, but in your brain by thinking back to when you met your goals, communicated successfully and walked out of a meeting feeling like a rock star. You don’t need to play back every aspect of the interaction, just connect with the emotional memory and bring back that positive sensation.

Practice Composure

Even if you walk in full of self-confidence, your feelings can quickly deflate under pressure. Recognize that even if things go well, your body will experience stress. Make sure your body language continues to communicate authority.

Know your product or service, understand why it’s the best value for your client, and allow stress to roll off your back. Recognize that judgement, criticism, and suspicion aren’t about you and respond from a position of calm. Your truthfulness, empathy, and credibility will build the solid relationships that lead to success.

Why Sales Training Must Be a Continuous Process



No one likes to lose money. Organizations invest in training to make their teams more effective, but even the very best sales training can be useless if it only takes place once. Successful salespeople soak up a large amount of information at one-time events but oftentimes can only implement a small amount of it right away. Over time, knowledge fades, and learning slips away. Learn how regular, targeted training creates an increasingly effective team and gets results.

Update Knowledge

For many sales professionals, the products and services they sell are continually changing. If your organization invests a considerable amount of resources into product development or service refinement, you want to make sure your staff is armed with knowledge that is up to date. Training that is only sporadic leaves sales professionals in the dark.

Use training to offer updated product information and to provide tips for letting customers know of improved value or functionality. Staff who have the most current information best represent your brand.

Outperform Competition

Your organization’s products aren’t the only ones that change. Your competitor is constantly innovating as well. Your staff doesn’t just need to know the strengths of what your organization offers, but what else is available to potential clients.

Use regular training to inform sales professionals about how your product compares to that of the competition. Be transparent about strengths and weaknesses so sales staff can competently answer objections.

Understand Buyers

Most organizations gather data on their clients’ needs, goals, and wants. Regular training provides some of those insights to sales professionals. Team leaders that spend less time in direct contact with clients stay connected, and reps receive the information they need to communicate effectively. When they understand the buyer, they are better able to respond with empathy and employ active listening skills.

Measure Results

Infrequent training might cause a short spike in productivity that quickly wanes. It’s hard to tell if that spike came from the knowledge employees learned during the training or just from the brief surge of excitement that often follows intense, focused staff development.

Regular training provides an opportunity to measure the correlation between sales training and increased revenue. Organizations can choose objectives that are in line with their goals, then track performance after each session to see which specific sales strategies led to greater success. As they hire new employees, they quickly become integrated into the culture of learning to provide consistent results for all teams.

Regular sales training puts cutting-edge techniques at your sales staff’s fingertips. Make it a continual process for a team who is always improving.

Understanding Potential Barriers to Professional Development



Developing your workforce results in improved competence, production, and work satisfaction. It produces more well-rounded, experienced employees. However, some employees may be reluctant to take part in the training. Many widespread beliefs exist about training and development, which distorts your employees’ views and could lead to bad decisions. As the change agents in your company, your leaders need to understand these misconceptions, what truths they are founded on, and how best to educate your workforce and motivate them to take ownership of their training. Here are some of the most common training myths.

Employees Want to Separate Work from Personal Lives

Employers worry if their workers don’t have a strong work-life balance, stress and pressure will lead to burnout. However, instead of expecting to keep the two aspects of their life separate and distinct, people increasingly expect them to blend. Mobile devices and technology advances allow employees to stay connected to work when they’re at home and interact with family members when they’re at work. Instead of balancing, they juggle.

Research by IBM’s Kenexa shows workers are energized by tight deadlines and hard-to-reach goals. Stress increases, but so does engagement. The greater the challenge, the greater the personal satisfaction. Workers are willing to access training at work and during personal time, because it helps them meet their goals.

Employees Will Learn and Leave

Often employers feel if they invest in high-quality, engaging training, their high-potential employees will use that knowledge to negotiate a higher salary with a competitor. Employees are less likely to do so when they can put what they learned into practice. Create an environment where learning is prioritized then funneled into innovation.

Online Courses Are Easier Than Live Training

A common misconception about online learning is that employees can just click through without paying much attention. Employers worry they’ll pay for training that doesn’t result in employees learning critical skills. Online learning environments encourage engagement with sophisticated learning tools. They enable teams to collaborate in real time to assimilate knowledge and immediately put it into practice. Employers can access data on where employees struggled and what modules resulted in the most engagement to plan future training.

Training Participation Will Cost Sales

Businesses fear taking their corporate sales teams out of the field will result in losses, but training equips teams for even greater success. Research shows every dollar invested in training results in improved ongoing revenue. Even the most experienced salespeople can refine skills to stay ahead of the competition.


Transform Your Upselling with These Persuasion Tips



Upselling is popular in many industries – like a waiter encouraging a patron to have one more drink or an extra appetizer – it can persuade a customer to spend more, driving up sales. Upgrades and add-ons form a positive upsell strategy that build on a customer’s desire to have something better. However, this strategy can backfire if used at the wrong time or in the wrong way. Help your salesforce transform its upsell strategy with these industry tips.

Deliver More Value

Upsells often make a customer’s life easier. Your job is to help them see it. Sometimes products complement each other, so frame offers with the idea that the combination of items is worth even more than their individual value. For example, a customer who buys a camera gets more use out of it if he or she also buys a tripod, additional lenses, and a bigger memory card. When purchasing or developing products, plan for upselling by making choices that enhance the value of your current product or service.

Highlight Convenience

Instacart delivers groceries from local retailers, and TaskRabbit does things like yard work and furniture assembly because people just don’t have time to do it themselves – they’re willing to pay for convenience. Subscription services flourish for everything from meal preparation to underwear. Upsell additional products that make life more convenient.

Offer Incentives

Entice customers to spend a little more for a lot more value. While some stores offer free shipping across the board, most only give it to customers who order above a set dollar amount. Customers keep adding to their cart to gain the incentive.

Bundle Items to Increase Perceived Value

When customers add an item to their cart, major online retailers often show them items that are frequently bought with it, along with the price for the bundle. Cell phone companies package a phone, a case, a charger, and add-on items like virtual reality goggles; customers who would not normally purchase each item separately are attracted to the bundle. People often feel several items sold together are more valuable than they would be sold separately.

Use Scarcity

If there’s a limited quantity of the add-on you’re promoting, let customers know the available quantity. Boost sales with time-sensitive offers, low stock notifications, and last chance emails. If you provide a service, you can still use scarcity by advertising the limited number of customers to whom you are offering your services.

Shapiro Negotiations Institute implements training around your sales processes to maximize your team’s effectiveness. Contact us to learn more about sales optimization.


Keep a Salesforce Fresh with These New Trends in Sales Training



To stay ahead in the industry, you need a strong salesforce. To ensure you have this, you need a sales training program that will enable your workforce to adapt to the ever-changing markets. In the last decade, we witnessed a revolution in training, with e-learning and virtual reality providing the kind of force multipliers that transform workforce development with an eye on the future. Read on to learn how to take advantage of what the latest workforce training offers your company.

Sales Manager Enablement

A ship’s captain doesn’t just need a handful of willing sailors. He or she needs a ship, an ocean, a destination, cargo and working knowledge that adapts to any challenge to keep the ship on course. A sales manager captains the sales team, interacting with them every day to motivate, counsel and train. In many companies, they receive minimal training when they reach their position, but after that they’re on their own.

Manager enablement provides them with tools, resources and knowledge to be more successful. They develop existing skills and add new ones, like how to use analytics, successful hiring and presentation techniques, and more. Manager enablement allows them to accomplish performance KPIs like revenue plan attainment and win rates for ever-improving results.

Training Utilizes Augmented and Virtual Reality

As new equipment develops, companies are using virtual reality (VR) to expose new employees to real-world situations. Wal-Mart partnered with startup STRIVR to offer virtual reality training at 31 of its training academies, and expects to use it in all training facilities by the end of the year.

Oil companies have been using VR to train for oil rig positions, and hospitals use it to let physicians practice complex procedures. Job seekers use VR to bridge experience gaps and develop more marketable skills, and employers provide cost-effective training that keeps employees engaged for improved retention.

Companies Prioritize Teamwork

Industries across the board recognize teamwork makes them more competitive. More than 90% of companies place organizational design at the top of their priority list, restructuring to create high-performing teams. Teamwork training programs like workshops, seminars, and mentoring can turn individuals into an efficient unit with high levels of productivity.

Modern Learners Expect Modern Learning Experiences

With millennials making up over a third of the workforce, employers are embracing training methods they’re most comfortable with. High-quality, customized e-learning attracts millennial workers and keeps them productive and fulfilled.

Shapiro Negotiations Institute offers training, consulting, speakers, and e-learning. Contact us to find out how we can provide customized training solutions for your business.

What Their Body Is Saying While Negotiating



A negotiation begins before greetings or opening remarks – if you know what to look for. How each person carries his or her self, sits, and interacts with others can say more than all the words spoken during that meeting. Learning to read these signals gives insight into that person, information you can use to close the deal. From opened or closed postures to mimicry of motion, this negotiation training will show you how to bring that deal home.

Understanding Body Language

Albert Mehrabian, a renowned psychology professor at UCLA, concluded these three elements make up verbal communication:

  • Words
  • Voice tone
  • Nonverbal language

Mehrabian says each element accounts for a different percentage of the communication. Only 7% of what people say is verbal. Tone accounts for 38% of the meaning conveyed, and body language carries the other 55% of the message. The listener might say they accept what you’re telling them, but if their arms are crossed, they avoid eye contact and one leg is bouncing with impatience, their body language disagrees. Here are some of the ways the body transmits meaning.


Smiling is a learned behavior. People smile because they’re being polite, because they’re nervous, or to mask uncertainty. A real smile goes all the way to the eyes, causing the corners to crinkle. If you suspect a smile is fake, ask for feedback. You shouldn’t fake smiling either, lest you appear untrustworthy.

Closed Body Language

During negotiations, if stakeholders cross their arms across their chest, it may indicate tension or resistance. It often means the person is not willing to be persuaded.

Fidgeting, Doodling or Slumping

At the beginning of your presentation, your audience was sitting up straight in their chairs with their eyes on you. If later you notice them moving restlessly in their chairs or shifting their focus to items on the table, they’re bored. Assess your delivery and find a way to reengage.


If you notice when you uncross your ankles, the person listening does the same, you know they feel a connection with what you’re saying. Nod to show agreement and you’ll notice they don’t just nod back, they actually feel agreement with what you’re saying. Mimicry is a natural behavior that improves negotiating success.

When reading body language, use common sense. Some people just have a hard time sitting still, others cross their arms when they’re cold. Look for groups of cues instead of just one at a time to read what your audience is feeling for more successful negotiations.

How to Use Psychological Theories to Increase Conversions



Though it’s not the first thing that might come to mind, psychology and sales techniques often go hand in hand. Effective salespeople know how to speak their customer’s language to build rapport and connect to what motivates them, and, for them to do that, they must understand the basics of what drives people to do what they do. Here are strategies to convince customers what you’re offering is in their best interests using the tenets of psychology.


In psychology, priming means offering a stimulus that influences someone’s future actions or thoughts – even when the stimulus seems unconnected from that action. When you prime a prospective client, you introduce something new or resurface older ideas from the subconscious. That way, what you’ve introduced is more accessible to that person’s mind. To use this technique, know that it comes with an expiration date. The thoughts you are priming them to keep at the front of their minds tend to recess into their subconscious, so primed ideas have about a 24-hour life cycle.

The pitfall to priming is when a salesperson is too obvious. For instance, if you’re selling grills, don’t ask how a client likes their meat cooked. Instead, ask questions about family get-togethers or holidays often celebrated outdoors, like the Fourth of July. The client’s mind will connect the dots between grills and family functions – without the salesperson having to do a hard sell.


The psychological response to scarcity is obvious any time there’s an impending natural disaster – grocery shelves stocked with water and bread suddenly become empty. In these situations, people often take much more than they need to survive the hurricane or tornado. But, since they are concerned about these items becoming scarce – even though it’s unlikely – they still over-purchase.

In sales, you can use this to your advantage. If prospects think a solution is in short supply, they’re motivated to act before they miss out. When something is rare, its perceived value goes up. Use these two types of scarcities to increase sales:

  • Time-related scarcity – Prospects must commit by a specific date or they will miss a rare-opportunity.
  • Quantity-related scarcity – There are only so many items currently available at a certain price, and, unless they purchase now, they won’t be able to purchase them again.

The human mind is created to consider details, and, the more precise a description is, the more likely it is to be perceived as trustworthy. According to this tenet of psychology, arguments become more believable by being precise. Numbers may seem easier to retain when they’re approximate, but giving precise amounts increases your credibility. For example, saying your solution more than doubled productivity is not as effective as saying it increased productivity by 57 percent.

Precise details reinforce your authority and show your attention to detail, which the mind perceives as more trustworthy.

Social Influence

People are strongly influenced both by what others are doing and by how they view their relationship with the influencer, which makes social media such a goldmine for some industries.

To leverage this kind of influence, use information you already have to inject elements of social proof into your persuasive technique. Let prospects know how many people have used your product or services. Link them to positive feedback and case studies that show your organization’s strength. Find the people who interact most with your brand and use common characteristics to drive sales.

Getting people through the sales funnel takes time, in part because of how the mind works. When you are considering how to drive conversions, dust off your Psy 101 textbook – you may be surprised how much it will help you win a sale.