Featured column in Whistler Question newspaper ~ September 20, 2016: How to Be A Successful Negotiator
Are you a good negotiator? Are you in it to win it? Negotiating is often met with fear and trepidation because people lack two things: a plan and a win-win attitude.
Author and international speaker Shane Gibson acknowledges that while there are many aspects to successful negotiations, people fail the most because they perceive a negotiation as an event, rather than as a process.
Gibson’s expertise on social media marketing and social selling has earned him a top spot on Forbes.com list of ‘Top 30 Social Sales People in the World’ so he knows a thing or two about what it takes to be a successful negotiator.
Rather than focusing on closing the sale, he advocates a sales process that defines what a great outcome looks like from the beginning.
As a Sales Trainer, Gibson coaches clients to ask three questions before even starting the negotiating phase. TWEET THESE 3 QUESTIONS
- What is the ideal outcome I would like to see occur?
- How would the negotiations be conducted?
- What would my margin and total value of the sale be?
- How would we treat each other?
- What would the timing, specifications and legal terms look like?
- What “middle of the road” outcome would I still be happy with (and feel good about bringing back to my boss or team)?
- At what point is this deal not worth doing?
By answering these questions, a sales process is launched with an intent and purpose around all actions. Even a casual coffee with a client in the initial stages of a deal now has more purpose strategically.
All that planning is rooted in attitude. ‘Old school sales techniques’ are often construed as a throwback to telemarketer tactics or used car salesmen going in for the ‘kill’. This only adds fuel to the fear factor of selling whereas, in reality, what if you grounded your sales process with a win-win philosophy?
The great Dr. Stephen Covey so believed in thinking ‘win-win’ that he chose it as one of ‘The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People’. Considered one of the 20th century’s most influential business books, the aforementioned habit affirmed that success follows a co-operative win-win approach more naturally than the confrontation of win-or-lose.
Covey proclaimed ‘thinking win-win’ is a character-based code for human interaction and collaboration. Win-win sees life as a cooperative arena whereby agreements or solutions are mutually beneficial and satisfying. Conversely, when we adopt an attitude of succeeding in terms of someone else failing, life becomes a zero-sum game.
Building win-win mindsets isn’t focused on being nice or tough – in fact, it is based on a being both. It is a balance act between courage and consideration.
Gibson full-heartedly endorses that theory. Considering how your client or customer defines a successful negotiation or positive outcome is the cornerstone of a solid sales process. In order to establish a long-term business relationship, every negotiation must conclude with them feeling like they have won as well.
On October 5th, Shane Gibson will speak to an audience at the Whistler Open Forum Event on ‘How to Build Winning Sales Performance’. He will illustrate how a successful sales process focuses on the right customers and describe how to develop an ‘opportunity thinking’ mindset grounded in a win-win ideology. Get your ticket here: http://www.lighthousevisionary.com/upcoming-open-forums
At Lighthouse Visionary Strategies, Cathy Goddard offers business and life coaching, workshops and the popular Open Forum speaker series. She is founder of Lighthouse Mentor Network, a mentor program nominated for Small Business BC Awards 4 consecutive years and was a Finalist for their 2016 Premier’s People’s Choice Award. She writes this column for the Whistler Question newspaper.