Effective Negotiation Skills Impact Your Bottom Line


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Effective Negotiation Skills Impact Your Bottom Line

  1. 1. Leading printing executives into the future Effective Negotiation Skills Impact Your Bottom Line By Jerry Scher Published: July 9, 2013 Throughout time one’s ability to negotiate the “best deal” has always been a critical skill; whether you are trying to resolve an inter-personal conflict or a highly complex business deal, your negotiation competence can dramatically impact the financial outcome. And while there are many different theories and approaches to coaching negotiation skills it is usually agreed upon that one’s “soft skills” are the most critical in this process. Now before I discuss the behavioral competencies that come into play I want to drive home the idea that you can dramatically impact your bottom line by coaching and developing your personal and/or team’s negotiating competence. Too often transactional sales people believe that the only negotiation they’re involved in deals with price; which is the furthest thing from the truth. In addition to price/cost there are so many tangible and intangible alternative currencies that come into play. This includes, but is not limited to the personal value proposition that must be communicated by the sales person. However, in my experience far too many sales professionals cannot describe the value they can add to the relationship and if they don’t know what it is, than how will their clients and prospects recognize and acknowledge their value. Behavioral Competencies Creativity and diagnostic capabilities are high on the list of competencies needed for successful negotiation. The tendency to try and persuade others as well as being assertive and diplomatic is certainly observed in skilled negotiators. Overall, one’s interpersonal skills will provide a basic foundation for negotiating successfully (learn more about Interpersonal Skills http://slidesha.re/19QOZ8g). Effective negotiators are well organized, open to assessing others’ points of view and willing to engage in a discovery process that will lead to different perspectives. They understand the impact of information and time constraints on negotiations and demonstrate flexibility. Of course they are comfortable with handling conflict and are always on the lookout for “out of the box” solutions. Traits to Avoid While there are numerous behavioral competencies to look for there are also traits or behaviors that we want to avoid. These include being too permissive, defensive, dogmatic, blunt and harsh. Any of these traits and/or a combination of them will have a negative impact on one’s negotiating competency. Consider what it feels like to negotiate with someone who has no
  2. 2. interest in your needs or perspective; someone who is clearly only interested in satisfying their requirements. And while there are many different schools of thought about how to successfully conduct a negotiation and how to train negotiators, the negative behaviors described above will inhibit one’s ability to interact effectively with others. Develop your Negotiation Competence It doesn’t require a sophisticated calculation to appreciate the positive financial impact that improved negotiating skills can produce. Whether you are buying or selling, an improvement in skill is a very wise investment in time and energy. Information focused on negotiating skills is readily available (and free of charge) for those willing to invest the time. However, gaining the knowledge while not having the necessary behavioral competencies to apply the knowledge will probably lead to great frustration. So I strongly suggest that you begin by determining your strengths and weaknesses related to the behavioral competencies I have described above. Complex Sales As the buying and selling process continues to evolve and the process becomes more complex, ones’ ability to engage in thoughtful negotiation will become more imperative. When transactionally selling a commodity there is a limit to what can be negotiated but if you are promoting a range of products, solutions and services the sale becomes far more complex. The sales cycle is considerably longer and the engagement with the client much more in depth. Whether you are coaching a team or working on your own personal development, focusing on the critical behavioral competencies impacting your negotiating competency is a very worthwhile investment. If you would like to assess your personal negotiating competencies click on this link http://bit.ly/11Xbw1m or if you want to assess your sales team’s negotiating competency contact Jerry Scher at jerry@peakfocuscoach.com or 404-931-9291. For information about the Harrison Assessment http://peakfocus.harrisonassessments.com/index.html Stay tuned to this continual series – as we continue to focus the challenges of building an effective team. Jerry Scher has been engaged in the graphic communication industry for over 35 years, Jerry's primary goal - make those around him more successful.
  3. 3. PEOPLE. PERFORMANCE. PROFITABILITY. About Peak Focus, LLC People. Performance. Profitability. Peak Focus gives you the tools to grow, develop and strengthen your team. With a mix of resources that we’ve created ourselves, as well as several powerful tools we’ve carefully assessed and believe in, we combine our passion and experience to guide companies and individuals toward optimized performance. Select your team members with confidence, help your key players develop their soft skills, and learn how to coach your entire team more effectively by engaging the experts at Peak Focus. For more information and access to free resources, please visit our website at www.peakfocuscoach.com Engage With Us Free tools, resources & updates LIKE us on Facebook Check out our blog Follow us on Twitter Follow us on LinkedIn About What They Think? WhatTheyThink is the printing and publishing industry’s leading media organization; offering a wide range of publications delivering unbiased, real-time market intelligence, industry news, economic and trend analysis, peer-to-peer communication, and special reports on emerging technology and critical events. WhatTheyThink also hosts webinars and live events that are timely and relevant o today’s busy industry executives along with consulting and speaker services that leverage a talented pool of writers and industry analysts. www.peakfocuscoach.com Peak Focus LLC © 2008-2013 • All rights reserved. Unauthorized duplication in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.