Archive for: May, 2023

Sales Tips: Delivering Sales Presentations That Differentiate and Motivate

May 30 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

If your sales presentations don’t differentiate and motivate then you are probably creating well-informed prospects instead of customers.

In a competitive market you can’t afford to waste presentations that don’t lead to sales.Every presentation you give is an oppor­tunity to reinforce and position your produc­ts in your customer’s mind. If your presenta­tion is unfocused and general, the impact on your customer will be temporary. If your presenta­tion is focused and specifical­ly geared for that specific customer, you can etch an indelible impression in your custom­er’s mind. Therefore, your presentation must:

  • Link your solution to the buyer’s is­sues and needs.
  • Demonstrate how your solution is signifi­cantly different and better than the comp­etition’s solution.
  • Offer proof of your claims.
  • Build urgency and motivate the buyer to act.

There are two closely related skills you must use while presenting your product. They are:

  • Relating your product to the customer’s current personal or business needs to set up a relationship between the two. In short, you have to show the customer how your product will ad­dress his or her needs.
  • Demonstrating that your product is the solution to your customer’s needs in a way that is clearly dif­ferent from the solutions offered by your competition. It’s not enough just to present features and benefits. Your presenta­tion must deliver strong feature benefit state­ments that distinguish your product as the best or only solution to your customer’s needs.

The goal is to give your customers the information that will help differen­tiate your product from the competition. Custom­ers make decisions to buy through a pro­cess of differentiation among similar prod­ucts. To differentiate among prod­ucts, they have to see a distinction in the various prod­uct fea­tures and benefits. Your job is to help them see the unique strengths of your prod­uct that make it distinct from the competition.

If you don’t offer the information for customers to make that distinction, they may have to create one, or your competition may help create one. If customers are the ones making the distinctions about your product independently, you’re at a disadvantage. If your competition makes the distinc­tion, they will score at your cost.

The critical difference in a consultative approach to product presentation is that you focus on finding a fit between your product and the customer’s wants and needs. Most traditional feature benefit presentations assume that every product feature has a benefit for customers. This tradition­al approach only works if customers have already recognized the value of the benefits you present. When you focus on the unique strengths of your product, you first have to decide what your customer really wants, and then tailor your presentation to deliver the features that fulfill those needs.

If your goal is to win your customers’ mind and business you must focus on aligning the benefits of your solution with their wants and needs. This can only be done by delivering sales presentations that differentiate and motivate customers to buy…fro you and only you.

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Guidelines For a Successful PowerPoint Presentation

May 29 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

The best PowerPoint presentation will be easy to read and comprehend.

During class today, three students gave their PowerPoint presentations on European history. All three students had one thing in common, they choose the wrong color scheme for their slides. I immediately lost interest cause I could not read the words on the screen. I understood why they choose the color. They matched the color to their topic. For example, one of the students’ topic was Lenin, communism and socialism. He choose a red background with black letters. The red and black represented the colors in the USSR flag. However, I could not read a word on the screen. Yet, I am sure he had no problem reading from the computer screen cause that’s what he did. Therefore, the color scheme might look good on the computer screen, but its perceived differently on the screen your fellow students, associates, boss or professor will view. Your color choice can make or break your presentation. Always use a light background with dark letters or vise versa. Be careful the letters do consistently contrast on the screen. One of these students used a blue template that had light and dark blue swirls. She used dark blue letters. Some of the words went into the dark blue background and were difficult if not impossible to read. So, if you use one of the color backgrounds always check to make sure this does not happen to you.

The best PowerPoint presentation is created on a white background with black or dark letters.

Choose color carefully. Red brings attention. Too much can be a disaster. It also is suppose to trigger emotion. Use in moderation. Never use Blue on green or vise versa. You won’t be able to read it on the screen. Remember green is the least liked color of executives. Lime green is a terrible choice for a background. Again, your best choice is to either use a plain white template available with Microsoft PowerPoint or choose a template with a white background with a little design at the top. Avoid background pictures. The picture competes with your words and makes it difficult to read. Remember, the purpose of your presentation is to present your topic in a clear and concise manner. White letters on a dark background is not a very good choice either. However, it is better than the above mentioned color schemes.

Keep it simple (KISS)

Its best to keep your wording short and concise. Make a bullet list. Avoid long sentences. You can elaborate during your presentation or not. The bullet list serves as cues for what you want to say. One of the best presentations I have witnessed was created using pictures. One picture covered the entire screen. No words. The student explained each picture in detail. Her presentation held everyone’s attention. Out of 20 presentation so far, this is the only one that I remember. Everyone else’s was truly forgettable.

Letters should be large enough to see from the back of the room. Avoid too much on any one slide. You will be able to tell how much is too much, cause the words will get smaller. Try to make your wording concise. Its always good practice to use one side for a picture that pertains to your topic and one side for your words. The picture will add interest to your presentation. If you have to use a graph or a pie chart. Put it on the whole slide and explain your findings without using a bullet list. This way the focus is on the graph or pie chart, not on your words.

Avoid transition, sound and animation.

Although these features are rather nifty, they can be annoying. Consider this, you will be nervous when presenting. Everyone is. So, you might forget to click to bring the next line onto the screen and get all mess up. Sound is only useful if it pertains to your topic. For example, if your topic is Mozart and music appreciation, you might click on short soundtrack link of Mozart’s music on the screen. However, do not run the music in the background. It will distract from your presentation. The same is true with video. If your presentation is simply an exercise in PowerPoint, then by all means use every feature it has. If your presentation is on a specific topic, then focus on your report not on the PowerPoint features. You will make a better impression on your teacher or boss if you know your subject material.

Remember, your teacher or boss are only interested in the material you are presenting. You have to present this information in a clear and concise manner. All the fancy features you can use will distract from your report and make you look amateurish.

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7 Insider Secrets For Killer Sales Presenting

May 28 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

Giving a big sales presentation? If your pitch presentation is coming up, wouldn’t it help to know the secrets? You know…the ones that the pros never ever tell you.

You bet! Killer sales presenting is an art, science and system. Top performers have this down cold. They don’t wing it. They don’t make it up as they go. They have a repeatable formula to follow-and they challenge themselves to always keep learning.

If you’re relying on your charm and pleasing personality to make sales work, it’s time to up your game. Learn new best practices for giving exceptional sales presentations-to any audience, on any topic.

Since you’re busy and have a presentation to prepare for, here are the top tips that experts usually never tell you.

1. Simplify Your Story

Keep your story profoundly simple. Focus on a single story. Pick a story structure that is powerful and compelling. Using a presentation storyboard is one of the fastest ways to structure your message. Many sales professionals agree storyboarding cuts planning time in half.

2. Simplify Your Tools

Pick tools that are easy to use and easy to transport. If you’re meeting in a conference facility or corporate office, call ahead in advance. Check to be certain you have what you need when you arrive. Simplify life for your client by bringing your own supplies.

If you’re working at the whiteboard, bring your own markers and eraser. The last thing you want is dried out markers or no eraser to derail your presentation.

3. Simplify Your Headlines

People are insanely busy. A long headline on slides or whiteboards pushes people away. They have to work-just to read the multiple lines of text. Do the opposite. Simplify your headlines so everyone understands instantly. Do the work for your audience.

4. Simplify Your Drawings

Simple drawings are easy to do while the audience watches. This helps you feel more confident and look great in front of important people.

If you feel your drawings are too child-like, get objective coaching. This may be true or false. But it’s very helpful to get expert input so you know your drawings are good-to-go.

5. Simplify Interaction

Every sales expert will tell you: interaction is the most persuasive component in sales presentations. Since you’re planning for interaction, take a few extra steps. Keep instructions simple. Keep any rules or assignments simple and easy to understand.

6. Simplify Questions

Inviting questions shows that you’re open, interested and listening to your client. But sometimes people ask long-winded, complex and off-topic questions.

If this happens to you, focus on simple questions. Repeat the question. Direct attention on the portion of the question that relates to your topic. Offer the simplest answer.

7. Simplify Conclusions

You’ve done great so far. Now keep going on the final points. Share concluding comments, pictures and insights. Clear, short conclusions outperform fuzzy, long ones.

If you aren’t certain about your closing remarks, practice with a peer or presentation coach. Work with a colleague or expert who provides candid, honest feedback.

While it may hurt to find out that your favorite way of closing isn’t so great…it’s much better to find out before you close this way in front of an important client.

Designing and delivering a sales pitch or interactive sales presentation is a critical skill. If you’re just starting out in sales, pay particular attention to the story flow and technical details. Getting caught on a snag is the last thing you need or want.

If you’re an experienced pro, pay attention to assumptions, habits and norms. You may be used to presenting in one way and forget to keep at your cutting edge.

Whether you are new or experienced, practice sales presenting. The more you learn, expand your skills and practice, the better you will become. When it comes to creating killer sales presentations, there’s always more to learn.

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5 Elements of a Good Presentation

May 27 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

Business is about making money. Good business presentations stay true to this task. Developing a good business presentation is about delivering a message about the product or idea you are selling and about representing your business.

For the purpose of this article, the presentation is focused on a potential customer or investor. This discussion does not seek to deal with internal presentations though these concepts can be applied there as well.

A great business presentation succeeds by:

  1. Offering a sharp crisp image of the business. The presentation theme and design, font selections, photos, and the quality of communication all are sending a message about the efficiency, effectiveness, warmth, sincerity, and other qualities of your business. Along with the sharpness and clarity, the consistency of the message in all components of your presentation are critical to this point.
  2. Delivering a clear statement of your offer to the customer or investor. The presentation should clearly and comprehensively explain what you intend to deliver, why the delivery is valuable, how it exceeds your competition, and what the economic and service benefits of this choice will be for the recipient.
  3. Providing a clear expectation of the service parameters. The presentation should clearly describe how the product, service, investment will be delivered, updates communicated, results tablulated, etc.
  4. Describing exactly what the buyer or investor will pay, when they will pay and what guarantees or protection they have.
  5. Explaining how customer service or investor relations is managed, how they can reach their representative, and what procedure exists for escalation when the system fails.

As the presenter, tying these points together into a cogent complete presentation is a great way to achieve a great results. You can improve on these points by wrapping in ice breakers, providing support material and any number of additional ideas. However, the case will remain that these are the core elements of a great presentation.

Additionally, using this approach as your core process developing your presentations will allow you to build a process where presentations enjoy an incrementally increasing level of quality over time from yourself. And, for your team, having an established process will allow you to build consistency throughout.

Keep in mind that much of a successful business presentation is really the credibility of the presenter and the organization behind the presenter. Because of this the value of this approach is heightened. The predictability of the quality of your presentations will become an anchor of confidence for you investors and your customers.

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How To Get Your Presentation Top Favorited Online

May 27 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

At BuyAPresentation, we post presentations online regularly. We frequently get featured on AuthorSTREAM and Slideshare a few times and have won a presentation contest on Slideshare. Very few presentations actually make it to the top favourtied. So, we analyzed the top presentations online averaging over 3000 favorites and here are the results on what audience online like and conclusions on how to make your next presentation top favorited in terms of slides:

1. Title Slides Look and Feel: Simplicity tops

About 70% of the top presentations (14 of 20) use large text in the title slides. Even if used, the title slide carries a small or subdued picture. Presentation Content and not the first slide is king.

2. Popular Topics: Technology and Marketing

Given that these are presentations shared on a social media, it is probably not surprising that presentations related to Technology are the most popular. Marketing (technology in marketing) is the other broad category which is popular. 93% of top favorited presentations are related to Marketing, Social Media or Presentation Skills. Some tags in the top presentations: PowerPoint Tips, Social Media, Marketing, Trends, Technology, Future, Creativity, Design.

3. Expertise matters, advertising is OK at the end

In relation to the popular topics selected above, it is also interesting to note that the authors of the presentations are some sorts of experts in their field. Almost all presentations (9 of 10 presentations) are posted by people who represent their company and would like you to buy a book ( Eg: Brain Rules for presenters) or to market their company (Shift Happens). This also shows that it is alright to talk about and sell your company or product at the end of the presentation.

4. Coverage: Number of slides matter

Top presentations have at least 45 slides or more with the average number being 90 slides. The number of words per slide averages 17. The range for number of words per slide however is quite wide as some presenters have used a lot of text for some slides (like a document).

5. Design: Few pictures, more diagrams and visuals

Typically most of the presentations use few pictures and a lot of visuals and Diagrams. By visuals, I mean play with text (small/big, different font sizes, styles) to highlight a point. A lot of the presentations use loads of diagrams like process flow, data graphs etc. This makes the presentation more interesting to read and understand.

All top presentations also have one important feature in common. They do not have standard presentation template or background colors. The backgrounds are usually white and they make use of a range of colors and different slide formats. Some presentations use visual cues – for example all slides with rules have a standard look.

Please refer to Part 2 that covers in detail about Presentation Structure and components.

Source for top presentations: – all time favorites including: Brand Gap,,Death by PowerPOint,Social Media,What The F–k is Social Media,Shift Happens,Brain Rules for Presenters,The Real Life Social Network,Visual and Creative Thinking,Steal this presentation,All About Google

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Ways to Negotiate a Commercial Space Lease

May 23 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

Negotiating the proper lease for a commercial property can play an extremely important role in the success of a business. There is a lot more to negotiating a lease than just getting a low rate on the base rent. We’re going to take a look at some of the different parts of a commercial lease, what they mean and what can be expected.

Lease Type –

Typically, there are three types of leases. Gross Lease, Modified Gross, Net Lease, Net Net Lease, and Net Net Net Lease (usually referred to as triple net). Gross and modified gross leases typically won’t have hidden fees attached to the base rent. With net, net net and triple net there will be added fees for things like taxes, insurance and snow removal added to the base rent.

It is very important for a tenant to know what type of lease they will be signing before it’s time to put pen to paper. If there are any additional charges added to the base rent it is important to find out how much those charges are. Those can often times add up to thousands of dollars a month. The tenant will also want to find out what those charges are for and ask for a breakdown. How much are going towards taxes, insurance, lawn care and snow removal? They should verify what the taxes on the building are to make sure they’re not over paying. They should also get an idea of what insurance costs in their area or ask the Landlord to see the insurance policy on the building. If it doesn’t add up to the amount the Landlord wants to charge then the tenant should insist on a lower rate.

Rental Rate –

Many people think that Landlords will be willing to accept any amount of rent they’re offered just to get somebody in their building. In some cases this can be true, but most of the time not. It’s usually safe to offer an amount lower than what they’re asking and in many cases they will take it. It is, however, possible to offend them by offering too little. Many property owners are able to afford to let a property sit vacant for a little longer and may choose to deny business to somebody if they have offended them. Be reasonable when making an offer and be willing to pay what you think the space is worth to you.

Term –

Another very important part of a commercial lease is the length of the lease, referred to as the “term”. Many people new to commercial leases want to negotiate the shortest lease term possible. Many people even try asking for month-to-month leases or six month leases. While a short-term lease like this is beneficial if the tenant has definite plans to close or relocate in a short amount of time it can be detrimental to their business if they’re hoping to stay around a while. A lease term doesn’t just protect the Landlord from having their tenant move out soon, it protects the tenant from increasing rental rates and from getting kicked out to allow somebody else in who is willing to pay more. If a tenant is able to negotiate a fair rent amount it is usually in their best interest in lock-in that rate for as long as possible. With a short-term lease a Landlord may see that the tenant’s business is doing well and decide that they want to charge more rent at the end of their lease. At this point the tenant either has to find a new location and endure the stresses and expenses of moving or just pay the higher rate.

Improvements –

Depending on the type of business a person is looking to open in a commercial space, the property may not be designed to suit them. Many times a tenant has to come in and make improvements to the space to fit the needs of their business. This may include building or tearing down walls. The question that often arises here is who will pay for it? Tenants tend to think that the Landlord should pay for it if they want them to rent their space while the Landlord doesn’t feel they should have to make improvements specific to the tenant’s business. This is where some negotiating can really come in. The tenant should look for areas that they’re willing to give a little in order to get the expensive improvements taken care of. It may be worth it to pay $1 more per square foot over the length of the lease or to sign a longer lease. Landlords typically won’t want to reconfigure one of their spaces for somebody if they’re only committing to staying there for a year or two.

When a person finds the space they’re looking for and is ready to offer their terms they will write a Letter of Intent. A Letter of Intent is like an offer that somebody would write when purchasing a house, except that the Letter of Intent doesn’t obligate them in any way. It simply states the terms that they would be willing to accept to start moving forward if they wish, but don’t have to. This is where things such as the type of lease, the lease amount, the term and improvements will be laid out. It is important to not forget anything on this. Waiting for an acceptance only to go back and ask for more can really hinder the negotiating. The Letter of Intent will be given to the Landlord and will either be accepted, denied or they will make a counter offer. They will often say that they agree to one part of it, but not the other. For instance, maybe they will take the amount of rent offered but not willing to do the improvements. The future tenant now can either accept the counter, say “take it or leave it” or make some adjustments to their Letter of Intent and resubmit it. Maybe offering a little more in rent, a longer term or less improvements. In many cases this can go on for quite some time until everybody is satisfied.

The important thing to remember when negotiating a commercial lease is that everybody involved wants the transaction to go through. The Landlord wants to lease the space, the tenant wants the space and any brokers involved want the deal to go through. However, this doesn’t mean that anybody is willing to do whatever it takes to get the deal done. The Landlord wants to make a profit and the tenant wants to be able to afford their rent. Persistence is the key to winning and negotiation.

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In Business Negotiation, Relationships Matter

May 22 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

Most people avoid negotiation entirely. 70% in fact. That’s a problem because negotiations are a great way to move relationships forward. Unfortunately with so much reluctance and avoidance, it’s a safe bet that many deals stall because we just don’t want to negotiate. And that is due to a fear of losing. There is a better way.

We start with clear objectives. Negotiations should always include these two objectives:
1) Gain the best deal for our side;
2) Achieve “Both Grow” status in which the relationship elevates for both sides.

The first objective is driven off the financial realities of business, and our need to protect the bottom line. The second speaks to a basic principle in business: The Relationship Must Outlive the Negotiation. Let’s take it one step further and use the negotiation to elevate and improve the relationship.

But wait a minute; are we serving two conflicting masters here? How can we boost our deal and the relationship at the same time? We do that with commitment and a good process. If you negotiate with a “win at all costs” attitude, you’ll be replacing customers, suppliers and employees regularly. Which is costly and just flat wrong.

In her bestselling book entitled Fierce Leadership, Susan Scott captures the point succinctly: “Without relationships, there is no voltage”. The voltage that powers our business is relationships. And the converse is a “power outage” called stalled deals and a failed enterprise.

You can achieve both objectives. We can help. Let’s talk soon.

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Negotiating Power – You Have More Than You Think!

May 21 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

I often hear people in my negotiation seminars lament that they do not have much power compared to the people they negotiate with. They may feel weaker than their counterpart with a fancy title at a Fortune 500 company. The fact is, there are all kinds of negotiating power.

Legitimate power refers to power associated with a position or office. For example, a vice president of a major corporation or the head of a government department has power because of her position. Impressive titles and luxuriously appointed conference rooms can be intimidating. But some titles are just a lot of hot air. Despite the title, you may be dealing with a weak negotiator.

You are painfully aware of your own deadlines, sales targets, and other pressure points. You probably don’t know what pressures your counterpart is under. Most people tend to overestimate their own pressures and weaknesses, while assuming their counterpart has a stronger position than she really does.

When you face a seemingly powerful negotiating partner, remind yourself that she may have problems of her own. Perhaps she is under pressure to conclude a deal with you, and may not have as strong a hand as she is leading you to believe.

Expertise is a more important source of power than a title. In today’s complex world, there are all kinds of expertise. For example, I’ve had students help me with computer problems. Despite their youth and lack of a title, these youngsters have power over me due to their superior expertise in the field of computers.

Expertise is the most important form of power today, and anyone can develop it. What type of expertise do you have? How can you develop more expertise in that area, or in complementary areas?

Competition is another form of negotiating power. Everyone has competitors. If you have ever bid on a government project you know how powerful competition can be. Remind your counterpart that he has competition, or that you have other alternatives. Always have a Plan B.

Information is another source of negotiating power, especially information about the other party’s needs. Understanding the other party and his interests can give you a tremendous advantage. Find out everything you can about your counterpart, his company, and his needs.

It is easier to gather information before you begin bargaining. Once you begin talking with your counterpart you may find him reluctant to disclose much information, and he may be suspicious of your motives. Begin gathering information as soon as you realize you have an interest that you will have to negotiate to satisfy.

Let’s say you want to buy a new computer. Most people would simply go to a dealer, look at a few models, and buy one they thought would be suitable. They may later find that it does not meet their needs, or that they paid too much for it.

A good negotiator would first determine exactly what her needs are. Then she would research various models that could meet those needs. She would then compare prices at different dealers for her top two or three choices. A really good negotiator would even research the dealers to learn about their business practices and negotiating styles.

You can find a lot of valuable information online, in industry directories, and in trade journals. Annual reports and other company publications are full of useful information. You might also talk to people who have previously dealt with the person or organization you will be negotiating with. You can even talk to other people within their organization. When shopping for that new computer, wouldn’t it be useful to speak candidly with a service technician before you approach a salesman?

Information is like gold. Begin gathering information as early as possible.

Time is yet another source of negotiating power. Most progress towards agreement occurs towards the end of a negotiation. Try to ascertain your counterpart’s time constraints. The party with the least time constraint has an advantage over the one with a tight deadline.

Also, remember that you can walk away if necessary. Negotiation is a voluntary process. Remind yourself that no deal is better than a bad deal.

Finally, negotiating power is largely a matter of perception. Be prepared, be confident, and project a sense of power. If they think you have the power, then you really do have the power.

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He Who Works the Hardest Wins the Negotiation

May 20 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

What is the secret for walking away from your next sales negotiation feeling satisfied? We all wish that there was some magic “silver bullet” technique that if we knew what it was we could use it every time we negotiate in order to be able to walk away feeling like our negotiating time was well spent. It turns out that there is such a technique, and it’s called doing your homework.

The Hard Work Theory
I don’t think that I’m going to be causing anyone to fall over in surprise when I tell you that it has been proven time after time that the harder that you work during a negotiation, the better the result that you’ll be able to achieve. This is what professional negotiators refer to as “the hard work theory”.

An interesting side benefit to the hard work theory is that during the negotiation, the harder that you make the other side of the table work, the greater will be their level of satisfaction with the final outcome. This of course means that they will be that much more likely to fully honor their side of the agreement.

It goes without saying that there is another side to the hard work theory. Simply put, lazy people make poor sales negotiators. What this means for you is that the next time that you are preparing for a negotiation and are assembling a team, you’re going to want to make sure that you have no lazy people on your team!

Using Work Power To Build Negotiating Power
Since the negotiator who works the hardest will generally come out of any negotiation ahead of the other side, this brings up the question of how we can use this “work power” to our best advantage. It turns out that there are three principles that can guide us in doing this:

  • The Least Effort Principle – This principle states that most people would prefer to make their lives as easy as possible. This means that they really don’t want to negotiate – they’d rather just say “yes” to an offered deal instead of complicating their lives by having to negotiate for a better deal. What this means for you is that most people won’t want to walk away from a sales negotiation once its started because it would be too much effort to find someone else and restart negotiations.
  • The Wasted Work Principle – This principle is exactly what it sounds like, nobody likes to waste their time and energy. What this means for you is that once a sales negotiation has been started, the other side wants to see it through to the end. In fact, the longer the negotiation goes on, the more the other side wants the deal to close.
  • The Easy-Come-Easy-Go Principle – Simple put, nobody really wants anything for free. The other side will not appreciate anything that they get too easily. Instead, you need to make it at least somewhat difficult for the other side to get what they want. Only by doing this will you boost the other side of the table’s satisfaction with the final result of the negotiations.

Final Thoughts
The buyer who makes up his or her mind that “there’s always another deal” if this deal collapses is best able to show some resolve and obtain a better price. However, thankfully, most negotiators are too lazy and subscribe to the three work principles of negotiating: least effort, wasted work, and easy-come-easy-go.

What this means for you is that the more energy and effort that you put into a negotiation, then the better your odds of coming out of it with a deal that both sides are happy with.

If you can learn to do your homework better than the other side of the table before your next negotiation, then you will be able to close better deals and close them quicker.

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To Negotiate Effectively Use Questions Strategically

May 19 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

Questions are the heart of any negotiation. That’s nothing new. But, are you aware that the way you develop, deliver, and present your questions during a negotiation determines how strategically advantaged you’ll be throughout the negotiation?

If questions are posed strategically and used wisely, you’ll be able to negotiate more effectively. Thus, questions become a surgical tool that uncovers hidden information and allows the questioner to perform masterfully throughout the negotiation. Questions should not be posed haphazardly, but instead be used as another strategic tool in your negotiation toolbox.

When considering how to frame your question, think about what your question will suggest or convey, what information you seek, and how the question will position you in the negotiation. Keep in mind, a question can solicit a different response from what you expect and therefore you must be prepared to address an unexpected response. Therefore, if you construct your question appropriately, based on what you’re trying to accomplish in the negotiation and are prepared to address the unexpected, you’ll enhance your position, and/or prevent the other negotiator from progressing his agenda.

The following are a few ways in which you can use questions to benefit your negotiation position.

  • If you wish to put the other negotiator in an uncomfortable position, ask questions that will address areas in which you sense he displays uneasiness.
  • (Ex: You appear to have apprehensions about this point, do you?) From such a question, you can gain greater insight into objections the other negotiator may have.

  • Statements can be used to set up questions and then the question can allow you to appear detached or lack knowledge about a particular matter. You might consider using such a ploy when negotiating with someone that positions himself as a know it all.
  • ( Ex: I really don’t have a good grasp of this subject. Please tell me more about this matter?)

  • Questions can be used to make you appear to be the victim.
  • (Ex: Do you know how badly this makes me feel? You wouldn’t want to take advantage of me, would you?)

  • You can convey a question in a nonverbal manner via a quizzical look.
  • (Ex: The twisting of the head at a given moment, a skeptical look, and/or the clearing of the throat can be used in the negotiation to cast the appearance of doubt, while not openly stating such a position. If the other negotiator is observant, such action should cause him to ponder how you’re perceiving his proposal.)

  • Questions can be used to emphasize a point or back the questioned negotiator closer to a corner. Be cautious about completely backing the other negotiator into a corner. People can become unpredictable when completely cornered.
  • (Ex: That’s not your best offer, is it? You can do a little better than that, can’t you?)

In any negotiation, questions are used to position your perspective of the negotiation and gain greater insight into the goals of the other negotiator. When questions are used properly during a negotiation one can gather information quicker and allow the questioner to maintain more control of the negotiation. Once you adopt a negotiation strategy that takes into account the method by which you’ll utilize questions to assist your negotiation efforts, you’ll become more adept a maneuvering the negotiation in a positive direction… and everything will be right with the world. Remember, you’re always negotiating.

Negotiation Quote

“The level of difficulty that you face in a negotiation is directly related to your ability to address it.” – Greg Williams, The Master Negotiator

The Negotiation Tips Are…

  • If you use questions appropriately, you won’t have to question where you tread in the negotiation.
  • If you want to give the other negotiator a compliment, do so when commenting about his question (e.g. That’s a good question). Such a comment, if perceived to be genuine, will tend to enhance the bonding process.
  • The negotiator that controls the flow of questions controls the negotiation.

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