The Benefits of Having Good Negotiation Skills

If you’re interested in the benefits of possessing good negotiation skills chances are you are a business person, seeking to improve your skills, a timid person, fed up with being at the bottom of the food chain, or the type of person who just likes learning new things.

Few people actually realize negotiating is nearly an every day part of life, the only thing which defines negotiation from “cutting a deal” is the perceived importance to the affected parties.

What exactly are good negotiation skills? We’ll explore this question in a manner a little more serious than negotiating “You can go out Friday night if you mow the yard”.

A good negotiator must be intelligent, which doesn’t mean you’re of Einstein IQ, sometimes just the opposite is true. A person must be intelligent enough to realize they are either ignorant of the subject, which is nothing to be ashamed about, nobody knows it all except a fool, or their knowledge is dwarfed by their opponent. One must be willing to research and perform his due diligence in order to understand the subject and be able to intelligently understand and converse about opponent’s proposals.

In order to become a good negotiator one must not only understand human emotions and behavior, but be able to perceive what emotion the opponent is experiencing, when they’re experiencing it and why. In theory negotiations should always be void of emotions, the “can’t take it personal” attitude, should always rule. However, who is negotiating; humans and humans have emotions, which some can control or hide better than others, but still experience. By analyzing your opponent, which a sharp negoiator will have a plan in place to extract reactions to certain questions or situations, you will be able to put yourself in your opponent’s place which could grant you insight to his motives and how to address them.

A great negotiator will maintain a reputation of being honest and fair, which doesn’t mean weak. Many inexperienced or arrogant people placed in the position of negotiating a matter or contract will maintain a staunch position of wanting everything their way, from all their demands to the temperature the air conditioner is set, which only creates an adversarial and confrontational atmosphere. Simple issues will become mammoth obstacles and it quickly becomes a “I’ll take my ball and go home” situation where everyone digs their heels in and refuses to bend.

The great negotiator will understand to arrive at a position both parties can live with, he must ultimately present a win – win situation and he’ll do everything in his power to prevent a confrontational atmosphere from being created.

I was once involved in a set of contract talks where the situation had become stalemated. The ground rules were any request for a recess had to be made onan alternating basis, in other words if the company was granted a recess they could not request another one until the union had used one.

I was taken off guard when the union chief negotiator suddenly requested an unexpected recess, then we just sat at the table doing nothing. When the company human resource manager returned to the table the union spokesman asked if he was alright. The man looked surprised and nodded his head yes. The union spokesman replied “Good, I could tell you weren’t feeling well so I called a recess.”

“I ate something bad at lunch,” the man replied. From that point on, because one negotiator displayed a human concern for the others well being over the importance of the contract talks, the logger head was broken and negotiations were quickly resolved.

Presentation Power – The Courage to Be Brilliant

If you are in sales, you present. Sometimes it’s a one-on-one across a desk. Sometimes it means standing at the front of a big room before a discerning audience that has assembled to decide who wins the sale. But no matter the arena, no matter the product or service you offer, your goal is to capture your listeners from the very first word and have them happily follow you right through to the end–and buy.

You can do what you always do–thank your audience for allowing you this opportunity, tell them you’re so happy to be there to inform them about whatever it is you are selling, introduce them to your team, tell them about your company, and make your pitch. Or you can open with power, have the courage to be brilliant–and win the sale.

It’s not as hard as you might think. Yes, it takes originality and intelligence–but you’ve got that in spades, right? So, here’s what to do.

First, decide on your message.

Your message is the most important thing you want your audience to remember if–at the moment you began your pitch–the world were to come to an abrupt end. It’s the key thing that gives your audience a reason to buy. To articulate your message, describe in one or two simple sentences what it is you are selling, its key benefits and why it is better than anything else in the marketplace. Polish it, refine it and make your message shine.

Next, identify the theme of your message.

Is it about change? Innovation? Technology? Financial savings? Improving something? Simplifying something? Magic? Whatever it is, you will use that theme to drive your presentation.

Finally, create an opening that leads to the theme of your message.

I’ve listed a variety of interesting ways to open below, and whether you choose from my list or invent an opening of your own, the point of your opening must be clear and lead directly to your message. If you’re really clever about it, your opening leads to a message whose theme you can use throughout your presentation. When you can do that, you’ll not only wow them from the start, your audience will be engaged throughout your delivery.

At the end of your presentation, restate your message, then tie it all together by returning to your opening.

So let’s summarize. Begin with an intriguing opening that leads to a clear and compelling message. State your message. Deliver your content keeping your theme in mind and referring to it from time to time. End by restating your message and returning to your opening–which is now a clever close.

Here are a few ideas for brilliant openings. Begin with:

  • a personal story
  • a quote from a famous person
  • a quote from your CEO
  • a magic trick
  • a musical introduction
  • a story from the news
  • a reference to a topic of national interest
  • a game or contest
  • a demonstration
  • a reference to a story with great emotional impact
  • a mind-reading act.

You won’t differentiate yourself from the competition by sounding like everyone else. To grab your audience from the very first word, you’ll need a memorable approach, a dynamic style, and the courage to be different. That’s brilliant!

Negotiating Credit Card Debt – The Do-it-Yourself Method of Debt Negotiation For Credit Cards

If your consumer debt has become too much to handle and you are starting to wrack up late charges, you may have considered negotiating credit card debt through a debt settlement firm. Although working with a settlement firm gives you third party expertise and stops calls from creditors and collection agencies, it can be costly. Instead, you may want to consider negotiating debt yourself.

With debt negotiation, the idea is to try and get your creditor to agree to accept a lower payment amount for the balance due. The agreed upon amount is paid in one lump some – payment plans are not part of debt negotiation. Creditors are willing to do this when they fear that they may lose the entire loan amount if a consumer files for bankruptcy. Because of this, they are generally not willing to negotiate unless you have fallen behind on your payments, usually by at least three months. If this is the case, then you can begin your negotiations by simply picking up the phone and calling your creditors’ customer service departments.

Before you make the call, you should do some preparation. Create a detailed budget so that you are aware of your financial situation – this will help you better explain it to someone else. Decide on the amount you can afford to offer the creditor. Never ask the creditor for the amount they are willing to accept, as this may not be an amount that you can afford.

When you speak with someone, try to remain calm and polite. Yelling or getting worked up with not help your cause. Explain your current financial situation with enough detail to get your point across, but not so much that you become long-winded. Inform the creditor of your goals to pay off your debt and avoid bankruptcy. Make it clear that by accepting your offer, the creditor will come out better off than if they leave it to chance.

Finally, as part of your negotiation, try to get your creditor to agree to report the account status as “Paid in full” or “Pay to delete”. With the latter option, the creditor agrees to delete your account history when you pay. Otherwise, you may get a “settled” or “paid as agreed” status, both of which can damage your credit score. In general, collection agencies are usually more willing to agree to lower payoff amounts and to alter their credit reporting than are other creditors.

With the right attitude and preparation, do-it-yourself debt negotiations can not only be successful at reducing your debt, they can save you the costly fees charged by debt negotiation services.