Effective Negotiations

In business, effective negotiation skills are of paramount importance. Whether closing the deal, haggling over the price of a supplies agreement, or handling a pay raise conversation with a valued employee, a business owner relies on these skills for a robust bottom line. While you may already be an effective negotiator, you may want to consider some strategies that can help you maximize the chances of achieving the results you desire in business negotiations.

A truly effective negotiator seeks to arrive at mutually beneficial conclusions. Those entering negotiations are each seeking value that wasn’t there previously. To ensure successful negotiations, it is imperative to offer that value to the other party. Don’t ignore your own self-interest, but enter the discussion having first closely considered what may be needed or sought by the other party. If you initially reflect on upon partner’s priorities, it is much more likely that negotiations will work well.

Prior to bargaining on an important deal, be prepared. For example, if you are preparing to offer your product at a certain price level, be prepared to demonstrate commensurate value by offering testimonials about the quality of the your product, and its worth relative to like products in the marketplace, as well as offering information about the price of similar products sold through your competitors. Consider role-play practicing your sales presentation with a colleague, being sure to seek input on how to can improve your skills and approach.

It is wise to learn as much as possible about your negotiation counterpart prior to reaching the bargaining table. This will help you tailor your offer to meet the unique needs of your customer. For many in sales, it is all too easy to allow a sales call to proceed by rote, underscoring to potential customers that the negotiator has not considered their specific needs. Through the sales discussion, it is important to demonstrate that there has been much thought put into marrying product and service features with the needs of the prospect.

As a customer, you will be able to contribute strongly to your company’s bottom line using effective negotiations. First, arm yourself with information about the product or service you are considering. Having done your research on competitor’s prices and offerings will allow you to ask more pointed questions to gave value for your dollar. Be cognizant of the target price you seek, and the amount to which you would consider drifting from that price in exchange for further value, such as free delivery, or a discount based upon volume purchases.

Pay close attention to what your negotiating counterpart is asking for, and consider what flexibility you can offer to achieve a win-win scenario. As with any purchase, don’t feel rushed or pressured. Reserve the right to seek more time to consider any new requests or demands for concessions before you actually come to a final agreement.

In some cases, what you are negotiating may be quite large and have additional layers of complexity. If this is the case, be on the lookout for any hidden agenda, remind yourself of your objective, and postpone further negotiations as soon as you encounter something do not understand. On the other side of the equation, don’t unduly pressure your prospects to make an on-the-spot decision if they don’t understand. Bygone high-pressure sales tactics are short sighted, sacrificing the long-term profitable relationship on the altar of the immediate sale. At risk is could be your reputation within the business community.

Of course, some negotiations end with neither party being willing to offer further flexibility. Don’t burn your bridges! Remain genteel and respectful. Let your counterpart know you appreciate the time invested so far. Use this as a stepping-stone to building a relationship that could yield fruit down the road.

The Perfect Holiday Present – Wine Country Gift Baskets

You will seldom find gifts more exquisite and impressive than beautifully prepared wine country gift baskets. Be it your neighbors, clients, or your partner’s parents-these gift baskets are sure to solicit genuine warmth and appreciation for your efforts and thoughtfulness.

How often do you get to talk to your neighbors? If you’re not that close but still would like to reach out to them, California wine gift baskets will ensure you are clearly remembered and noted by the family. You can choose a few bottles of the red and white variety and set them in a unique and hand painted wine box. Line these boxes with velvet or checkered red fabric as an inexpensive way to add a touch of class to the whole gift.

If you are in the business of making important acquaintances then these gift baskets will prove to be your best money making strategy. A lot of people do not realize the importance of giving the lovely and well thought out gift. Clients and important accounts need to be impressed with your performance but sometimes all they get is a general impression of your work excellence. Give them a little push in the positive direction with the perfect selection of wine and cheese baskets.

Make no mistake, these wine and cheese baskets will go a long way in securing a much elusive business contact. Let’s not forget your boss also. While the clients supply the much needed funding of any business-presidents and managers have the power to directly affect your career. It’s not a matter of bribery or dishonesty; it is simply presenting yourself as the best candidate for the job by making sure you give the best in every aspect of your work, including gifts. Alright, maybe it’s a little bit of apple polishing; but mostly it’s making sure you stand out from everybody else.

How about the family of your significant other? You will need them on your side should you ever decide to take the next serious step in your relationship– giving them beautiful California wine gift baskets will make certain you are on the right track.

If you are not all that familiar with wine selection, it is always a good idea to go for one red and one white wine. If you have to go for one, choose a Chardonnay or a Cabernet Sauvignon. Ask the seller for his input but always make some personal research beforehand.

Choose a carefully crafted wine wicker basket they can reuse after, or a dark wood (synthetic, stained wood is fine) for a classic and graceful look. If it seems appropriate and will fit well in the container, include some pretty glass jars of nuts and dried fruits and nuts to the gift.

Stand out from the norm of giving wine as a generic, thoughtless gift to groups of people. Take care in the presentation and put in a handwritten note of sincere well wishes to the recipient. With charming wine country gift baskets you won’t need to do much more-simple elegance will be the standard of your association.

General McChrystal and BP CEO Tony Hayward Forgot They Were Negotiating

Do you consider good negotiation skills to be important? If you don’t, you should. Do you realize that you’re always negotiating? Anytime you exchange information that gives insight into the way you think and/or the position you hold pertaining to situations, in reality you ‘are’ negotiating. General Stanley McChrystal, British Petroleum (BP) CEO Tony Hayward, and BP’s Chairman Carl-Henric Svanberg all forgot this valuable insight, and they paid the price for their forgetfulness.

You might not consider yourself as negotiating during a ‘normal exchange of information’, but the exchange of such information gives insight into your character and highlights your beliefs on stances that you’ve adopted, or might adopt on certain positions.

Consider statements recently made by McChrystal, Hayward, and Svanberg. You would think people with their level of experience and position would know, you’re always negotiating. Thus, McChrystal should have known better than to trust comments he made to a reporter, in thinking those comments would not be printed or find its way to ‘other’ outlets. Hayward should have thought about the ramifications of saying, “I want my life back”, after the accident caused by BP disrupted the lives of so many people in the United States. Svanberg should have given thought to how his statement of, “the little people” would cast him and BP as elitist, detached from those of less fortunes and the doubts people would have about BP being genuinely concerned about the oil spill. Even if you harbor such thoughts, you keep such views to yourself. Through your words and actions, you’re always negotiating.

In McChrystal’s case, since the Rolling Stone article in which he made his disparaging remarks has not “hit the stands”, a lot of the backlash that he experienced came about as the result of the perception his remarks cast. Those remarks painted a perception of him being a soldier that was ‘out of touch’ with the administration to which he serves.

From a negotiation perspective, there are times when it’s appropriate to allow people to draw their own conclusions from what you’ve said, without correcting them. In so doing, you still have to manage their perception of your thoughts, actions, and words. Once those thoughts transition into a negative sphere, in which they become detrimental to your position, it behooves you to correct their perception.

Even worse, when speaking, since people can ‘hear faster’ than one speaks, people will ‘grab’ sound bites. Thus, if you say something provocative, or something that is truly out of character with what’s considered the norm, you open yourself to possible retribution.

One thing that everyone should keep in mind is the fact that the more status you possess, the more media savvy you must become. In addition, one should remember that status is perceptional and thus one should always mind one’s tongue. One errant word can destroy a career, a future, a life. Therefore, as you go throughout your daily activities, remember, you’re always negotiating… and everything will be right with the world.

The Negotiation Tips Are…

· When negotiating, your spoken words express your attitudes. Watch the actions to which your words commit, in order to be framed in the most positive light.

· Like alarm clocks kill dreams, a lack of negotiation skills kill future opportunities. Be aware of the impact your words have on others. Become a better negotiator.

· If you use words appropriately during a negotiation, you won’t have to settle for what you get, you can get what you want.