Watch Out For These Landmines When Negotiating! They Will Blow Up on You Every Time

When going into a negotiation, you must be aware of what kind of self-talk is happening in your mind. Chances are if you are like most average negotiators, you are experiencing some version of the Assumption-Compromise-Assumption thought process.

First, the chain of events is set of by fear or doubt in your position in the negotiation. You think that there is either something wrong with what you’re offering, or there is a fear of your negotiating opponent.

What happens in your head is something like this: “I wonder if they are going to think my consulting service is too expensive? Maybe I should drop my price a bit. Maybe they are going to think I’m crazy for asking so much.”

The first assumption is that the person you are going to negotiate with will think that your price is too high. So, you start to compromise by lowering your price. You justify that with another assumption that they would certainly think you’re crazy for asking such a high price.

You’ve just successfully negotiated against yourself before even meeting the prospect. Why did this happen?

The main culprits are a lack of confidence in what you are offering and a lack of a proper negotiating system.

First, go back to step one and really consider what it is that you are offering. Whether it’s a product or a service, analyze its value and be sure that you are comfortable representing this product or service.

The car ride to the prospects office is not the time to think about this. You should have confidence in your offering long before setting up an appointment to negotiate with someone. If you haven’t done so yet, go back and be sure to do this or you will be stuck in the Assumption-Compromise-Assumption trap forever.

Now that you have 100% certainty that you are offering something of value, it’s time to turn on the self-talk monitors. Be aware of what you are saying to yourself and be sure to classify something as an assumption or a compromise as soon as you recognize it. Then, step back and re-check your new-found confidence in your offering to counteract this assumption. It looks like this:

“I wonder if they are going to think my consulting services are too expensive. Maybe I should drop my…wait, that was an assumption! Let’s step back here. OK, I analyzed it and I know that if I do the job the way I’m supposed to, I can increase their profit margins by at least 10% which would more than pay for the service I offer. So, there’s no reason to think about lowering my price. I’m offering real value.”

This type of self-awareness and self-control does not come about easily. It will take a lot of effort and a real focus on changing your way of thinking. But, if you put forth that effort, your negotiation skills will drastically improve and your level of confidence will also rise to a new level. Put a stop to the Assumption-Compromise-Assumption trap now.

Santa Online – Making Unwanted Presents, Wanted

December arrives, the weather takes a turn for the worse, relatives’ and loved-ones’ Christmas lists arrive by the dozens, and since you’ve grown up, Santa doesn’t seem to be pulling his weight. All in all the winter months have a tendency to be a time to dread rather than a time for cheer.

Once again, however, technology has come to our aid. Now, instead of trawling around the shops, weighed down by bag after bag of presents, Christmas shopping is no further than a mouse-click away. From the comfort of your own home you can purchase a set of floral tea towels for your dear old Nan and a new Nintendo Wii for your favourite Nephew (or the other way ’round!) all from the same source – the Internet.

With the ease of the process, and increased user familiarity with the Internet, it is little wonder that online Christmas sales figures have soared in recent years. Indeed, one national newspaper estimated a record-breaking £14bn worth of Christmas shopping being spent online in the UK this year – making the UK Europe’s most dedicated online shoppers during the festive period.

However, like the risk of buying your dear old Nan a games console, the reception of the gift is something the Internet cannot guarantee. And so not all the money spent this Christmas will have been money well spent. A recent survey showed four out of five people are likely to receive presents that they either don’t want or don’t like, while Abbey Bank estimated the total money spent on unwanted or novelty gifts this Christmas as being a whopping £1.3bn.

Again, however, the Internet has come to the rescue; working from the belief that ‘one person’s rubbish is another’s treasure’ (or that one person’s weird white box with a weird white stick is another’s prized gaming machine), people up and down the country have started using online UK classifieds as a way of sorting out the problem of unwanted Christmas presents. Rather than braving the shops during the January sales in order to return unwanted items to a variety of stores that may only offer an exchange for something else that you don’t want, online classifieds offer users the opportunity to sell all of their unwanted gifts – again from the comfort of their own homes.

It could be said, then, that with the help of UK classifieds and the Internet, Santa Claus can work right into the New Year, making unwanted presents, wanted.

Commercial Agents Prepare Well for Your Listing Presentation

As a real estate agent, the frequency of presenting your business and yourself as the agent of choice is high. As you do more prospecting in your local property market, you will be presenting in front of clients and prospects at least once a day. Your success in the process is therefore critical to your listing conversions.

In most listing situations there will be at least one or two other real estate agents presenting to the prospect on or about the same day. You will only have a short time with the prospect to convince them that you are the best choice of agent in the current market.

Preparation is the key to a listing presentation and sales pitch. Your ability to connect with and involve the other person is also critical. Here are some rules that should be adopted:

  1. Before you start the listing presentation, converse with the other person(s) to understand their focus and concerns. Draw out their comments and ideas that can impact or challenge what you may have to say in the presentation.
  2. Remember that the prospect will enjoy being the centre of attention in any presentation and will generally talk openly to you if asked. Open questions are the key here for you to use.
  3. Pick the character of the client or prospect at the earliest stages of the presentation. You will have to adjust your conversational style to suit their character.
  4. A listing presentation has to be about the needs of the prospect and their property; it is not about you, your business, or your knowledge. Always bring your presentation focus to the client and their property.
  5. Inspect the property before you meet with the client, so you can bring the property into the conversation in a relevant and interesting way. Your personal awareness of the property and the location will give you leverage in the presentation.
  6. Have a group of facts and details to use that are relevant to the sales and enquiry rate of the current market. As part of that process use newspaper clippings and other third party supporting evidence to influence the clients thinking.
  7. If you have a camera and laptop computer that you can use in the presentation, take a number of photos around the property, the location, and the competing properties before the actual presentation. These photos can be used as a slide show running automatically as you present your listing strategy to the client or prospect. Well-chosen photos of their property and location are most important and of the greatest interest to the client.
  8. Understand where the competing properties are located in the area that can impact the subject property, and then have a pricing and marketing strategy set to solve that competition.
  9. Define the target market clearly for the prospect so they can see how their property will be promoted, to whom, and why. Give current facts and figures relative to the activities and enquiry in and from the target market.
  10. Develop at least 5 selling advantages or property focus points that you can build your marketing campaign around. Those points will have relevance to the target market.
  11. Have 3 alternative marketing campaigns designed for use and the selective choice of the prospect. Run through all campaigns explaining the differences but give the prospect an opportunity to decide what campaign they require based on market impact and price.
  12. The presentation is best undertaken with at least three of the senses active for the prospect. That is sight, sound, and touch. Give them something to feel and review as you talk (a proposal will be ideal), speak about the property from the prospects base of need, and show the prospect things about the property that you see as relevant to the marketing strategy.
  13. Create some draft marketing material to show the prospect how their property will look in some of your most important marketing methods.

The sales pitch and presentation strategy that you use should be as natural as possible to your character. For this reason use words and the conversational style that you are comfortable with. The most successful sales people in the industry practice their words and their presentations so they are visibly confident and relevant to the prospects to whom they present.