5 Tips For Selecting The Right Location To Negotiate In

By Dr. Jim Anderson

What’s your goal for your next negotiation? If you are like 99.9% of the other negotiators out there, you want to have the other side agree to your requests while at the same time not having to agree to too many of their requests. Hmm, how best to make this happen? It turns out that one of the keys to having the negotiation process turn out the way that you want them to starts long before the actual negotiations do – it happens when the room where you’ll be doing your negotiation is selected.

Who’s Where And Why?

You are a busy, successful negotiator. You don’t have time to worry about such trivial things as what room you’ll be conducting your negotiations in. You need to be spending your time worrying about the things that really matter: researching the other side and picking the negotiation styles and negotiating techniques that you’ll use.

Hold on a minute, I’m going to tell you that the outcome of your next negotiating session may very well depend on how the room that you negotiate in is set up. This item should be part of the negotiation definition. Now do I have your attention? Let’s start with the simple things, like the chair that you’ll be sitting in.

The other side is going to have a leg up on you if you are distracted for any reason. A great way to do this is to set the room up so that you find yourself sitting in a distinctly uncomfortable chair. You might think that this is a trivial issue, but that’s the point – it will irritate you just enough to keep you off of your game and give more power to the other side.

There’s another angle to this technique. We all love those rooms that have floor to ceiling glass walls that allow you to look outside. What we tend to forget is that at the start and the end of the day, the sun will be shining in through those very windows. When this happens, if your chair has been situated so that you are looking out of the windows, you’ll be staring directly into the rising or setting sun. This will throw you off of your game very quickly!

Since most of us don’t negotiate by ourselves, where the rest of our team is sitting is very important. What we want to do is to make sure that everyone who is on your team is seated so that they can maintain eye contact with each other. So much of what goes on during a negotiation is subtitle that this type of ability to communicate is critical. Likewise, ensuring that you match up different roles with the other side across the table (executive to executive, legal to legal, etc.) can significantly help with communications.

It All About So Much More Than Just The Room

So now that we have where you and your team will be sitting all taken care of, we’re done with this room stuff, right? Well no, there’s still the issue of picking the actual room itself.

What you want to do here is to make sure that the size of the room matches the number of people who will be participating in the negotiations. This means that a very large room is not suitable for a small negotiating party and likewise a small room won’t suit the needs of a large group of negotiators.

It turns out that you need to worry about more than just the room that you’ll be negotiating in. You also need to make sure that other rooms are available to be used by both sides of the table. We all know how negotiations go – it’s not always what gets discussed at the “big table” in front of everyone that helps you get to a deal, but rather the smaller discussions that happen offline that will help resolve issues and allow you to make progress.

What All Of This Means For You

In a principled negotiation, as with all such things in life, it’s the little things that end up making all of the difference. One of the biggest of the little things are the decisions that get made about the room that you’ll be conducting your negotiations in.

It’s a 1,000 little things about the room that can have an impact on your ability to reach the deal that you want. You need to make sure that you’ll have a comfortable chair, that you won’t be staring into the sun, and that both your team and the other side are correctly seated at the negotiating table.

Once you have the room taken care of, you need to make sure that the rest of your negotiating environment also meets your needs. This includes making sure that the size of the room that you’ll be using matches the size of the teams that will be negotiating: not too big, not too small. Finally, you’ll need to make sure that you have additional rooms available so that both sides can have those all so important side meetings.

As a negotiator you are responsible for making sure that the time and energy that you put into any deal that you’ve negotiated yields results. One way to help this happen correctly is to take the time to make sure that the negotiating room meets your needs. Take care of this detail, and the room will take care of you.

The Creation of an Objection

By Jonathan Farrington

You attract to you the predominant thoughts that you’re holding in your awareness, whether those thoughts are conscious or unconscious.” Michael Bernard Beckwith

Before attempting to handle any type of objection I believe that it is important to begin by looking at the beliefs that sales people are holding in their minds. If they are focusing on what objections they believe they will encounter, they will unconsciously transmit these thoughts to their prospects.

Every moment, human beings perceive things on many different levels based on millions of bits of information being absorbed into the unconscious mind.

Our conscious mind is not able to process all of this information and tends to select small chunks at a time.  At the most basic level there is neurological perception, the way we perceive sensory-based things.  This level of perception is based upon the functioning of our end-receptors (i.e., our eyes, ears, skin, nose, tongue and mouth, inner ear, etc.)

If there’s damage in the end-receptor, our ability to pick up information from the energy manifestations in the world will be affected, sometimes completely cut off so that we perceive nothing, or in limited ways, or in very distorted ways.

At another level, an individual’s experiences and consequently their beliefs will influence and colour their perceptions. Ultimately, the only thing that can be ‘real’ for an individual is the ‘reality’ that they hold inside their mind.

Have you ever experienced buying a new car and suddenly noticing how many cars of the same type as yours are driving around? This is because your car has been a recent, conscious focus for you so you see similarities with this new focus.

Objections start with a thought. You have to think about an objection to manifest and experience the objection.

For years Quantum physicists have been working to prove the entire Universe stemmed from a simple thought, and this is referred to as The Law of Creation.  When an individual holds a particular thought for any length of time they are focusing their attention on this thought. This attention will attract evidence of the thought into their lives that consequently serves to validate and strengthen their initial thought.

According to Dr. Fred Alan Wolf, Quantum Physicist, “The mind is actually shaping the very thing that is being perceived.

This concept has enormous implications for sales people who have a tendency to encounter the same type of objections over and over again, because ultimately at some level they are not comfortable about a certain aspect of your company’s product or service. This means that their perceptions are being projected onto their prospects.

That’s why any development in the area of objection handling should start with the sales people themselves, so that they have the right ‘thoughts’ and beliefs that can serve them better during their daily interactions with prospects and customers.

Another crucial factor to bear in mind when teaching your sales team to handle objections is to help them accept 100% responsibility for the objections they receive. Every action they take creates a reaction that is based on the formula of cause and effect. Everything that happens is the effect of an underlying cause.

Most sales people spend their lives operating at effect….”It’s not my fault I always end up competing against (biggest competitor.)” “Life’s so unfair, I always get the worst territory.” “How can I compete with our high prices?

True personal power can be achieved when an individual accepts 100% responsibility for what they create in their lives.  This means, accepting at some level they have ‘created’ the objections in the first place and if they accept this, it pre-supposes they also have the power to remove objections before they even occur.

To put it another way they get one of two things; the result or outcome they want or the reasons why they didn’t (you may recognise these as ‘excuses’!) The more your sales team focuses on the reasons why they encounter objections and blame circumstances beyond their control, the more they push away their personal power to create more of the results they want.

This empowering philosophy is of course explained in the film ‘The Secret’ by Rhonda Byrnes – if you haven’t yet seen it, I urge you to do so.

The Essential Do’s and Don’ts of Selling

By Jacquelyn Smith

Forbes.com

 

Making a sale can be a tricky and trying task—but if you know the essential do’s and don’ts of selling, you should have an easier time closing deals.

We consulted with sales coach and author Wendy Weiss, also known as The Queen of Cold Calling, Jill Konrath, author of SNAP Selling and Selling to Big Companies, and Paul Castain, Vice President of Jedi Mastery at Castain Training Systems, to compile two lists: the 10 things salespeople should never do, and the 10 things salespeople should always do.


 

The 10 Things Salespeople Should Never Do


Never have poor telephone or in-person etiquette

Weiss says chewing gum, eating, having music or television blaring in the background, talking to other people while you’re on the phone, not getting to the point, mumbling or not speaking clearly are all major turn-offs and are just plain rude. Doing any of these things can severely hurt your chances of making the sale.

Konrath says looking at your cell phone during a meeting is another big no-no.

Use common sense and treat your clients or prospects with respect.

Never project, jump to conclusions or mind read

“The prospect is in a meeting,” does not translate to, “The prospect knows that you are calling and does not want to speak with you,” Weiss says. “I’m busy and cannot talk right now,” does not translate to, “I don’t want to speak with you and I’m not interested,” she adds. “Too many prospectors read negatively into statements made by gatekeepers or prospects.”

Never be negative

Don’t allow failure to enter your vocabulary, Konrath says. “Redefine everything as a ‘learning experience,’ and then focus on figuring out how to get different results.”

“If a situation falls short of perfect, don’t think it’s a total failure and don’t over generalize,” Weiss says. Just because you had one bad cold call or one rejection doesn’t mean you should say, “Cold calling never works for me,” or “Prospects always reject me.”

Castain agrees. “Never take ‘no’ as a door slammed shut for all eternity. Regard ‘no’ as ‘not now.’ Leave the door open, and encourage the prospect to consider you as resource in the future.”

Never talk about inappropriate things

Never talk politics with a prospect or customer, unless you are 100% sure you’re totally aligned, Konrath suggests. “And, even then it might not be smart, because other members of the decision team may have different feelings.”

Salespeople are encouraged to ask questions—but they can’t cross the line. It’s good to get to know your prospect, but never ask overly personal questions or something that may make them uncomfortable.

Never claim to know the answer to something when you don’t

There’s absolutely no shame in telling someone that you don’t know the answer but will get one as soon as possible. “I’ve never done this and had someone say ‘How dare you?’” Castain says. “They will appreciate your honesty. And if they don’t, it’s a good indicator that they aren’t a good fit.”

Never rely on the phone as your sole source of prospecting

Everyone has their own preferred communication medium, so make sure you use a well-balanced mix of phone, e-mail, snail mail, social networking, conventional networking, and other creative approaches. Otherwise we limit our results, Castain says.

Never ask stupid questions

You should ask questions—but don’t inquire about anything that can easily be found on a company’s website. “You’ll lose credibility if you ask about it,” Konrath says.


Never be defensive or ashamed

When it comes to pricing, some salespeople feel the need to defend it (or are ashamed of it)—but that can be a red flag for the prospect, Castain says. If the price is higher than the prospect is comfortable with, remind them of the value and benefits.


Never get too comfortable

You should never stop prospecting, even if you feel good about your client base. “You should always focus on bringing in new business, making sure you retain the business, and growing that business,” Castain says. Always have a good balance of those things, and never get too comfortable.”

Never wing it

See No. 2 on the “Always Do” list.

 

The 10 Things Salespeople Should Always Do

Always target your prospects

Too many sales professionals spend far too much time chasing after inappropriate prospects. “Sales representatives can leverage their time by doing their homework first and only contacting appropriate prospects,” Weiss says.

Sales representatives should qualify their prospects at their earliest opportunity, and when they gain information that tells them a prospect is not a good prospect for their offer, they should stop contacting that person.

Always prepare

“Top sales professionals don’t wing it,” Weiss says. “They make it look easy, and that’s because they’re prepared.”

Do a quick search of the prospect, look at his website, or search for him on a site like LinkedIn before your first discussion. “What you discover can provide good food for discussion or create a connection,” Konrath says.

Other says to prepare by having a plan for the conversation. Know what you want to accomplish by the end, and then figure out what you need to do to achieve that outcome, Konrath adds.

Always be prepared to share compelling customer stories, complete with details on the initial status quo, problems encountered, a brief overview of what you did, and, most important, the results you attained, she says.

Always ask questions

“Always try to ask the questions that make your clients stop and think,” Castain says. “A good question might get you an answer, but a great question draws the other person inward, which might be the place where your greatest competitor lives.”

Always listen

Too many sales representatives talk too much. Weiss suggests following the 80/20 rule. “The representative should spend 20% of their time with a prospect talking and 80% of their time with the prospect listening,” she says.

Always bring value

Focus on the difference you can make, not how you’re different from competitors, Konrath says. “Your prospects need you to clearly articulate the business value you bring, to determine if switching from the status quo makes sense.”


Always be focused on solutions

You should constantly be thinking about how you can help the prospect fix a problem they have, Castain says. “Also focus on solutions for yourself, too. If you’re having difficulty with a particular sale, think about how you might approach it differently.”


Always put yourself in your prospects shoes

Always remain in a frame of mind where you think about things from your client’s perspective, Castain says. “If you were them, what would get under your skin about doing their job? What would be your biggest challenges? What would be your biggest opportunities? Once you have this level of awareness, focus all your artillery fire on being helpful.”

Always be honest

Be honest about pricing and additional fees the client may incur, Castain says. “Also, always be truthful with bad news. Get that news to your clients early. The earlier you communicate the challenge, the more options there are available.”


Always ask for what you want

“The biggest reason representatives are unable to schedule appointments or close sales is that they don’t ask for the appointment or they don’t ask for the sale,” Weiss says. Share your intentions with the prospect up front.

Always follow up

“In today’s crazy-busy work environment, the prospect has abdicated nearly all follow-up activities,” Konrath says. Call or e-mail shortly after the meeting or conversation to stay on the prospect’s mind.

Next, follow up with yourself. “Always self-assess after a sales meeting,” Konrath adds. “Look at what you did well so you can repeat it, and identify your stumbling blocks so you come up with ways to avoid them in the future.”

How to Get a Commitment on the FIRST Call

By Mike Brooks 

What kind of a commitment do you get from your prospect at the end of your prospecting call?  If you’re like most sales reps, the answer is, ah, none.  Or, it’s an undefined, “Well, I’ll follow up with you next week.”

If this sounds familiar – or if you’re a manager and it sounds like your whole team! – then you’re not alone.  You see, many sales reps haven’t been taught how to properly qualify prospects and they especially haven’t been taught how to ask for and get a commitment at the end of the first call.  Most sales reps are just happy they were allowed to “get information out” to someone and don’t feel they want to push it or ruin it by asking for and getting clarity and commitment about what’s going to happen before the next call.

And that’s where Top 20% producers differ.  You see, a top closer knows that any prospect who isn’t willing to make a commitment of either time, or of taking a specific action or agreeing to some other part of a sales process (sitting through a demo, etc.) means that they are dealing with a shaky prospect.  And think about it: if a prospect isn’t willing to commit to something now, what do you think your chances are of getting them to sit through a pitch and actually take action with you later?

Sales Process

So here are five kinds of commitments you can ask for (along with scripting) that will help you further qualify your prospect and get the kind of cooperation and buy in in the beginning of the sales process:

1) A commitment of time for the next call. Crucially important as we all know how busy people are and how prospects can literally disappear never to be heard from again.  I always end my call with:

“Because you’re probably as busy as I am, it’s best if we get on a calendar to make sure we can discuss this next week.  I’ve got my calendar open in front of me, are you looking at yours?”

Then simply set a firm date and time to get back with them.  Always send an email follow up confirming the time and asking them to email you if they have to change the appointment.

2) A commitment of what they are going to do before the next call.  Give yourself some options here.  Can you get your prospect to look at a particular part of your proposal?  Is there a section on your website they can commit to reading?  Can they commit to running this by their boss or marketing department before your next call?  Think about your selling situation and come up with the most appropriate commitment of action and then say:

“OK, so let me make sure I have this right.  Before our call next Tuesday you’ll have been able to spend some time with your marketing manager and get his buy in before our demo next week, right?”

3) A commitment of what you’re going to do (always make sure you get one of the two commitments above as well).  Think about your product or service and your prospect’s particular situation.  Perhaps you can check on the adaptability of your products or on the licensing or fit within their department.  I’m sure you can come up with something.  Try:

“OK ________, here’s what I’ll do in the meantime.  I’ll contact our delivery department and make sure we can ship to all of your locations for delivery at the same time.  This will make installation easy as we can walk all your managers through this at the same time.  That will help a lot, won’t it?”

4) A commitment of what the next step is if they like it (again, make sure you get one of the first two commitments above as well).  This is so important on two counts:

A.   By agreeing in advance what the next step is if they like it, you are actually trial closing on the first call.  Your prospect’s reaction here will be important – if they won’t commit at all, that’s a red flag.  You can choose to either keep qualifying or get an idea of what kind of objections you’re going to get when you do call back.

B.   If they tell you what the next step is, you can prepare for that and for the closes you’ll need to use once you get back to them.

Presentation Skills

This is an important step.  Use this scripting here:

“_________, it sounds like this will be a great fit for you. Let me ask you, after you get through the demo, if you find this will work for you, what is the next step for you to get started with it?”

5) The best commitment of all: Asking for the deal if the prospect likes your material.  I know, this takes real guts, but if you’ve done the proper job of qualifying up front, then this is actually the natural progression of your sales process.  In fact, this is how I became a Top 20% in 90 days.  I would always say (and still do, by the way):

“Great _______, well I think I’ve covered everything.  By the way, do you have any initial questions?”  (Now bare in mind that I covered every detail of my proposal and qualified for interest, compatibility and budget up front).

“OK, then let me ask you a question:  If after you get the material I’m sending you see it’s exactly what we just spoke about, and you can see this (making you money, working in your environment, meeting your needs – whatever is appropriate for your sale), what size participation do you see yourself starting with?”

The answer you get here will almost always be the same one you’re going to get after you get back to them and go through your presentation, so why not just get it now?

So there you have it – a variety of ways of getting a commitment at the end of your prospecting call.  Work with these approaches and adapt them to your selling situation.  I guarantee you that the better you get at asking for and getting a commitment, the more sales you’ll close.

Five Keys to Negotiating a Higher Salary


By Meghan M. Biro

Do you want more money?

  

What are you worth to an employer? Quick, come up with a number. OK. Now, let’s come up with a realistic number. Negotiating salary is, for most of us, as difficult as getting past phone screens and interviews to the job offer. It can be tough to think of yourself in dollar terms. If you’re not prepared to negotiate, you’re sure to be unhappy with almost any offer. So don’t be caught flat-footed. Especially today – when companies may not have much flexibility with money – getting to the offer, and making sure it’s fair to all, is a necessary skill.

I’ve written at GlassDoor about questions to ask during an interview to help you understand a company’s culture, and ways to figure the real and soft costs of commuting. Those topics also figure into a salary negotiation.

Salary,  for example, is one measure of a company’s culture. Employees should be compensated fairly, compensation should be on par with similar companies in the region and the company should have a documented performance review process. If it’s a start-up, compensation may be difficult to benchmark, but for more established companies – say, those in business for more than ten years – it’s a simple matter to check Glassdoor.com, Salary.com, Sales Gravy and similar sites to get an idea of pay scales.

  

Commuting is also a salary issue. If you are looking at a long commute, for example, there are many associated costs.

 

In salary negotiations, research, preparation and a realistic attitude will be your best friends.  Here are a few things to think about.

  • Ask, or find out, what the salary range is. This goes if you’re applying for an advertised job or interviewing for an in-house promotion. Most companies post a salary range with job descriptions. If the salary isn’t posted, do research until you find a baseline range that matches your level of experience. This should be obvious, but it may not be: if the pay range is too low, pass. In this economy, talking to a prospective (or current) employer to up the salary scale is next to impossible – and it’s not the place to start negotiating.
  • Ask yourself what you need – what I call the magic number. Know what you need to live, what you need to save, and how much risk you can tolerate. This is especially important when you’re negotiating with a start-up, most of which defer a fair amount of compensation by offering stock options and other non-cash compensation. If you’re not sure, go to salarycalculator.org, plug in the lowest number on the advertised pay range and work back.
  • Ask about non-salary compensation. Health insurance, life insurance, disability insurance, workmen’s compensation, flexible spending accounts, on-site daycare, IRA matches (remember those?), bonuses (and those), paid training/education, vacation time and employee stock options. Most companies will offer some or all, and depending on where you are in your life, some will be worth more than others.
  • Know what the market will bear. You may think you’re worth $100K but if you’ve been out of school five years, are changing careers or geographies, haven’t managed other employees or perhaps don’t have many recommendations, you won’t be in a good place to negotiate. Keep in mind the average national wage as of the 2010 index is a sobering $41,673.83.
  • Know when to ask. Few of us want to talk about money, especially in an emotionally-charged setting. So stay on the front foot: ask what the salary is when you ask for the job. Ask before the interviewer makes an offer. Start the negotiation and you’ll feel more in control and better able to handle the conversation.

We haven’t talked nuts-and-bolts here. There are other pointers – rehearse with a friend or partner, do the research, don’t be defensive or aggressive if you don’t like the offer, don’t accept the offer on the spot and ask for a formal offer letter. Make sure the letter includes reference to non-cash compensation such as vacation, sick time and insurance. Find out when insurance coverage starts – COBRA adds up fast. Most important: be prepared to justify the salary you want. Come to the negotiation prepared with a summary of your accomplishments. Show your value to the interviewer. And remember: you’re not just a number on a paycheck. You’re worth more than that.

 

 

Drive By Selling is Dead. It’s all About Scale.

 

A Sales Guy Blog

 

Remember the old days of drive by selling? You’d roll up on a prospect, (by phone, or car, or email or direct mail piece) and hit them up with why your company, service and product was the shit and why they needed to buy it. Drive by selling was successful because there was nothing else. All you had was perseverance, a keenly refined message, some slick, glossy product sheets, a “special deal” of day, and maybe a demo. It was a hustle. There was very little selling support. Content mattered very little and everything went through the sales person.

Things have changed. Drive by selling is just about dead. Buyers have shut down to product centric, interrupting messages. Rolling up with a “hey check me out, I’m the shit” doesn’t connect with buyers. It pisses them off. They are too busy. They know more than you in many cases. They know what is out there. They know what their options are. Finding you, products and services like your’s isn’t difficult. Selling requires more now.

Selling requires content, content that educates and teaches. Selling requires tools and information that sell when you aren’t there. I’m not talking about a static website that does what drive by selling used to do. I’m talking about substantial, educational, informative content that your buyers can use. Selling today requires framing your buyers world. It requires capturing their attention when you are nowhere to be found. It requires selling when you are at the beach, with another customer, using the bathroom, sleeping, doing a blog post or recording your next video. Selling today needs to scale. Selling today HAS to happen when you aren’t selling.

The drive by sale is dead. It’s all about scale and scale comes from content, content that actually means something.

Are you still drive by selling?