How To Profit From Negotiation – Part I Of II

INTRODUCTION

Organisations are constantly seeking ways to increase revenues and margins whilst reducing costs. A question that is often raised is how the development of human resource skills can best be aligned to achieving these objectives.

All organisations’ efforts toward realising key objectives are characterised by communications with colleagues, suppliers, customers, shareholders and other stakeholders. The fact remains: individuals can no longer decide whether they would like to negotiate, they can decide only how well they would like to negotiate.

One of the most accessible and powerful mechanisms available to accelerate the achievement of your organisational growth objectives is optimising your organisation’s negotiation efforts.

WITH THE ACHIEVEMENT OF EVER-INCREASING TARGETS ON THE AGENDA, WHAT’S THE BEST WAY TO PROCEED?

The challenge is how to achieve profitable revenue growth whilst keeping a tight reign on expenses through quick improvements in operations.

Many organisations have come to the realisation that traditional growth tactics supported by initiatives such as pure play sales, marketing and purchasing training have run out of steam. This is due in large part to the era of ‘best practice standardisation’. Just as manufacturing organisations have embraced the implementation of proven best practices, so organisations across the spectrum have implemented best practices in the sales environment (typically through the formulation of a sales strategy and the implementation of a formal sales methodology) and the purchasing environment (typically through supply chain optimisation, strategic sourcing and supplier management initiatives). This has had the effect of leveling the playing field with most organisations deploying sales and purchasing strategies and processes that are similar in nature and design.

To achieve superior revenue & margin growth in a ‘standardised’ market environment requires a fresh approach. Deployed effectively, Negotiation Training will act as a catalyst to facilitate the continuance and entrenchment of competitive advantage.

Before exploring the best ways to deploy negotiation training to optimise returns, it is useful to consider why negotiators typically fail to achieve optimal returns from their negotiation efforts.

BUSINESS NEGOTIATIONS

At the highest level of abstraction, negotiators fail because they don’t negotiate in a ‘whole brain’ way. Research has proven that our actions and communications are most effective when they occur in a holistic, whole brain format. In the context of business negotiations, this means that negotiators must guide their actions and communications effectively by focusing on four core areas of negotiation:

Value

Business negotiators must ensure that they have an acute understanding of the facts that underpin any negotiation. Failure to gather & understand the relevant facts that support optimal deal making results in failed negotiations or negotiations where value is left on the table.

Process

Any negotiation without a robustly defined negotiation process and management infrastructure runs the risk of resulting in a sub-optimal outcome. A framework within which to operate is required to provide an environment within which risks can be pro-actively managed. A robust negotiation process ensures positive momentum and provides a referential framework that mitigates unforeseen complications & risks.

Relationship

Agreements can only be concluded between people or organisations represented by people. It goes without saying that the way we interact with other people is a critical determinant of negotiation success. The importance of relationships within a negotiation context is amplified when we find ourselves in an environment where ongoing partnerships and longstanding relationships results from our business interactions.

Vision

To achieve a collaborative deal frame, it is necessary that parties to an agreement have a shared vision of the losses and benefits associated with any agreement. It is only by having an understanding of all parties to an agreements respective vision that we can understand their driving motivators or interests. A key part of negotiation competency involves the ability to generate options that will serve the needs & interests of all parties.

World class negotiators develop their skills & competencies in each of the 4 main areas, thereby empowering themselves to deal competently in areas that would fall outside of their natural areas of ‘preference’.

NEGOTIATION SKILLS TRAINING

Effective negotiation skills training can be implemented in two ways:

  • Generic leading practice based (off the shelf)
  • In house training format
  • Public access open course training format
  • Verticalised & customised (suited to industry & organisational specific challenges, needs & strengths)
  • In house training format

The most effective negotiation skills training interventions will be preceded by the definition and/or design of a negotiation strategy and supporting process. This will ensure the establishment of a negotiation capability at an organisational level, equipping the organisation with a key competency in negotiation, which will result in competitive differentiation.

To ensure optimal positive impact, any negotiation training programme should cover the following key areas:

  • Individual negotiation preference & competency profiling.
  • Individuals must get an understanding of their preferences, negotiation style and negotiation competencies in the context of business negotiations.
  • A proven understanding of strategic sourcing and the approaches taken by buyers to negotiate purchases.
  • Sales negotiation training programmes should be built upon a strong foundation of understanding the procurement and purchasing functions within organisations. This is a critical element which will ensure that delegates are equipped with the skills to apply ‘mission specific’ negotiation strategies & tactics.
  • Provide delegates with a practical, simulation based environment within which to learn & deploy negotiation skills.
  • Research has proven that learning is accelerated by a practical learning environment.
  • Make provision for delegates to demonstrate their understanding and acquisition of new negotiation skills by means of a post course assessment.

Too many training courses don’t achieve their objectives because they don’t provide a post course assessment environment that encourages delegates to internalise the skills acquired.

Provide delegates with an individual Personal Development Plan based on their demonstrated preferences & competencies. It is hardly likely that one or even two negotiation training interventions will provide sufficient time for each delegate to fully develop their negotiation skills. It is therefore of critical importance to provide each delegate with a personal development plan that will assist them in the continued development of their negotiation skills.

To read about developing a personal negotiation development plan find my article entilted “Key Steps To Becoming an Advanced Negotiator” on this website or EMAIL ME FOR FREE

How To Make An Effective Powerpoint Presentation

If you need to make a Powerpoint Presentation, it is not enough that you just finish it off. It is of great importance that the presentation is done effectively to ensure that it will deliver the message you want to share.

Microsoft Powerpoint has made creating a project easier for you. With the templates and effects readily available for you, making a presentation is as easy as a few clicks of a button. However, to make the project an effective one, you need to take note of several details in the creation process. Read on and find out how to make an effective Powerpoint presentation for whatever purpose it may serve you.

Creating An Effective Presentation

There are basically three rules when it comes to creating an effective Powerpoint presentation. The first one is to ensure that the design of the project matches whatever the purpose is for creating one. The colors, templates and images in the project must all match your goals such as informing, persuading, selling and the like.

Another important rule is to make everything simple. There is no point cluttering one slide with too many fonts or images. The audience will appreciate a presentation that is easy to their eyes rather than one that appears too heavy and cluttered for them.

Lastly, make it a point that your presentation is consistent all throughout. Use the same kind of template for all slides as well as colors and texts. Though images can always vary per slide, at least make it a point that the style of each image is almost identical. This is especially true if you are creating a Powerpoint presentation in the professional scene.

Making A Presentation Effective

The process on making an effective Powerpoint presentation does not end in creating the presentation itself. Once done, it must be converted into another format to guarantee you that it can be presented successfully. The project can be converted to flash, DVD, video and other known formats. This can be helpful especially at times when Microsoft Powerpoint is not available in the location where the project will be presented. For instance, if it is in video format, it can be played using almost any kind of media player.

With this, it is important that you get a good Powerpoint converter to ensure that the quality and features of the original files will all be retained. Though there are a lot of converters that you can download on-line, you must be careful when choosing software to trust. Check the features of a particular converter first and also read several reviews of it to help you determine the best one for your needs.  For instance, not all converters can convert a presentation into flash so make sure that when you need a flash conversion, get a converter that can support such need.

Take note that in creating an effective project, it is not only about designing it. The effectiveness of a presentation can also be dependent on how well it is presented. Therefore, converting it into a different file will make the creation of an effective project a successful one.

Ways to Negotiate Credit Card Debt and Avoid Bankruptcy With Credit Card Debt Negotiation

If you feel that settling your debt is already bordering on the impossible, credit card debt negotiation is your next best option. Creditors are always after the assurance of payment. The tendency of people with debts is to shy away and neglect all the notices. This non-action forces credit card companies to send more letters and give you calls that unfortunately strain you psychologically and border on harassment. Apart from that, non-payment means additional penalties or late charges. The longer you ignore these notices, the deeper you’ll be sucked into financial hell. Debt negotiation is a way out of the stress of your situation.
What is Debt Negotiation.

Debt negotiation (also referred to as “debt settlement”) is the time-tested, foolproof method of clearing up those acquired collection accounts. With a debt settlement attorney as facilitator, you can forget about declaring bankruptcy and look forward on getting back on the right financial track. (Plus, you will also be safe from the threats of credit card lawsuits!)

Although declaring bankruptcy seems to be the best way out when your accounts get unmanageable, bankruptcy also carries a lot of disadvantages. It may be relatively easy to justify, but bankruptcy can burden for the rest of your life, and your financial life for at least the next seven years. It also entails a lot of legal documentation which becomes a matter of public record forever.

Three Reasons Why Debt Settlement is Your Best Option:

1. It requires little work on your part. Find a reputable debt settlement lawyer and your debt problems are as good as solved. The debt settlement attorneys will do all the talking and negotiation for you. They may even tell your creditors that you are seriously considering bankruptcy and may not have the necessary amount of money to pay off all your debts given the limited finances at your disposal.

Your chosen debt negotiator will be your representation, which means you will be saving yourself from the burden of receiving those endless letters and scary phone calls. Someone else will negotiate on your part, and you can have your peace of mind that the job is done correctly and within the law.

2. It will force your lenders to rethink about their options.Most credit card companies are owned by banks. When you are suddenly unable to pay your balance, they will be concerned with your ability to pay off the debt. Credit cards, classified under unsecured loans, are not backed by collateral. They generally do not have the power to use your other assets as mortgage and they are simply holding on to your promise of paying. Banks are aware that if you declare bankruptcy, there will be a large possibility that the entire balance of your credit account will be wiped out. Not receiving any sum of payment is the worst-case scenario for any credit card company. A company doing negotiation on your part will give your creditors the assurance they need. Creditors will more likely settle or adjust the terms of payments, than not receive any amount of payment at all. This means that you can reduce your debt to as much as 60-70%, eliminating all those overwhelming penalties and other unnecessary charges.

3. It will save you precious time and valuable money. With the debt settlement attorney doing the negotiation, you can save your self from spending gruelling hours worrying about how you can pay off your creditors. With the credit card company’s eventual change of priorities, you are likely to remove almost all the unnecessary interest and overdue fees from what they are trying to charge you to settle the account.