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How to achieve win/win during a negotiation

  Definition: “The process which takes place when the buyer’s need to buy is roughly equal to the seller’s need to sell.”   Pre-requisites: 1. Both parties prepared to move 2. Customer convinced of need to acquire product / service but not convinced about details of purchase. (The detail will be the subject of negotiation.)   Real negotiation is not about arguing your point until you get what you want – it’s about arriving at the greatest value for both parties. Unsuccessful negotiations are when either side feels they’ve compromised too much, given way when they didn’t want to, felt unduly pressured or threatened or if they made sacrifices they didn’t want to. In those situations the other party might believe they’ve won and go away feeling good about themselves; but not for long. They may have won in the short-term, but the other party will never trust them again and will not choose to repeat the experience. The battle may be won, but they won’t have won the war. What if negotiating were about giving away as much as you possibly could, without feeling unhappy about it? What do you have that you are willing to give away that the ‘other side’ wants? What pressures can you bring to bear that won’t feel like pressure, but rather will feel more like good, hard bargaining. As a sales professional, you are seeking to form long-term beneficial relationships with as many people as you can. A client is also looking to form a long-term beneficial relationship with those people who can deliver the solutions/products/services they require to help run or...

Why sales training does not work

Every year millions of pounds, and much more in terms of downtime and opportunity cost, are spent on sales training in the b2b sales arena. Jeff Downs looks at why in his opinion, it doesn’t work. Public programmes, evening seminars and in-company structured events – in terms of improving sales productivity, what do they really achieve? In my experience, very little. Well-constructed sales training modules delivered by competent trainers develop tremendous enthusiasm but far too often (I’d estimate in 95 percent of cases) the training binder ‘gathers dust’ and very little is implemented. The reality is that most programmes demonstrate ‘how it should be done’ and the better ones allow ample time for role play so that delegates’ ‘light bulbs’ are well and truly turned on. At the most, this develops enough competence and confidence to ‘give it a go’ in the real world. Some people do, most don’t. Even the ones who do, try it once, don’t like it and then don’t feel inclined to try again. So why is sales training so popular? One reason is very clear: because it’s dead easy to ‘tick the box’; spend some cash and for sales management to be seen as investing in the team in the traditional way. HR departments that dare to venture into the world of ‘sales’ justify their position on such a premise and worry more about pedagogics and logistics than achieving improved sales performance. Sales management naivety is often a factor here too with a belief that sales training is the simplest and quickest route to improved sales productivity. Beyond these issues, there are a number...

How to get the best from coaches

November 2013 and some of us remember it was 50 years since the assassination of the late President of the United States, John F. Kennedy. We also remember in 2003 England won the final of the World Rugby Championships beating Australia 20-17 in the last minute of extra time. John F Kennedy will be remembered for many things, but his skill to relate and talk to his people in a language they understood was fantastic. His messages were clear, powerful, positive and really got to the heart of the American people. It was not by accident that JFK achieved the position he did. One of his mentors was his father Joe who was a very successful businessman. He was quoted as saying “selling politics is like selling soapflakes”. In other words, look at your proposition, make it appealing and attractive and ensure you communicate it to an appropriate target audience. It was with great pride and passion that the England Rugby team received the William Webb Ellis world cup trophy. What a fantastic match with nerve-wracking excitement throughout. The success was the culmination of years of hard work, dedication and practice. What caught my eye at the presentation ceremony after the game was the number of coaches who, as part of the team, received medals . There was a coach for kicking, one for line outs, one for throwing etc. These coaches are all ex players themselves who have spent many hours over the last four years coaching the best rugby players that England can produce. Why then when it comes to business is there a macho approach that...

7 easy ways to increase sales – fast

Bob Leduc   “What am I doing wrong?” That’s a question business owners often ask themselves when business is slow. Often, the answer is… “You’re not doing anything wrong. You just need to do some things better – and you need to start doing a few things you’ve been neglecting.” Here’s a list you can use to evaluate your own marketing efforts. It includes what I’ve found to be the 7 most important marketing principles contributing to the success of ANY business. 1. TARGET SPECIFIC NICHE MARKETS Everyone may be a prospect for your product or service. But your marketing efforts will produce the best results for the lowest cost when you target prospects with the greatest need for what you offer. Identify a niche market. Customize your promotional material to appeal to their greatest need. Then multiply your results by defining several other niche markets and slanting your promotional materials to appeal the biggest need of prospects in each market. 2. PROMOTE YOUR OWN USP USP is short for “Unique Selling Proposition”. It’s the compelling reason why a prospect will do business with you instead of with your competition. You’ll attract the maximum number of customers when you offer a benefit they cannot get from your competitors. If you don’t already have a USP, create one by adding something to your business you’re not already offering. Convert it into a benefit statement and include that statement in all your advertising. 3. NEVER ADVERTISE WITHOUT AN OFFER Always include a powerful offer in your advertising. Offer free information related to your product or service to generate inquiries or website...

How to increase sales productivity through motivation

Introduction Motivation is one of those things that is very difficult to define, mostly because the genuine article is an entirely personal experience. Without motivation, even the most skilled and well-supported people will suffer a continuous decline in performance as this ‘soft’ aspect is probably the most closely linked to effecting the ‘hard’ commercial results. Motivating sales people could be argued as one of the easier tasks, simply because the job itself requires a strong degree of self-motivation in order for the individual to keep using personal energy, confronting sales targets and pushing open market and prospect opportunities. This tends to mean that people who are drawn to a sales role have an aspect of their character that is able to motivate itself and is, in fact, made more satisfied in the process of energy self-renewal. The downside is that this group can often miss out on having an external support and ‘mirror’ as a reference point to help in their development, in fact the sales people themselves may be quite resistant to the input; considering themselves to only require skills or competency input, given the behavioural habits they have built up to survive and succeed in a highly visible job, to date. As there is often a mutually hesitant approach to engaging with what motivates sales people, managers often try to motivate them through the ‘carrot and stick’ approach – offering or withholding material rewards as a means to an end. When this happens, the results may show initial positive benefits but any motivational impact is likely to be short lived and in fact can mean an ever-increasing...

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