Negotiation Is a Fundamental Selling Skill

Negotiation in selling is quite a complex subject matter if we decide to analyse it in any great detail. Today in this article I’m not going to reach those depths as I will attempt to break it down to the most essential elements that I believe count the most when it comes to getting results. We all want the “Perfect Sale” but this can’t really be achieved in most cases without some form of negotiation. Everybody uses negotiation in their everyday lives but some of us are better at it than others. Remember, in every negotiation there is always someone who comes out better. An expert sales negotiator can make a customer feel like they have “won” when in reality they haven’t.

1. Expected Outcome

We cannot go into a negotiation successfully without having a clear picture in our head of the outcome we expect. We need to know the exact threshold of compromise if this is indeed one of our options. On the other hand, if we are able to give concessions it would be a much better strategy to incorporate these into the plan beforehand, so they can become that “extra card up the sleeve” when needed.

2. Positive Attitude

It’s critically important to enter sales negotiation with a positive attitude in order to set the correct tone right from the outset. This can be helped by analysing all the competitive advantages and benefits beforehand which will in turn strengthen confidence in a successful outcome. Positivity is contagious and can therefore also influence the prospect’s general attitude, making it more difficult for them to be negative.

3. Reading The Situation

Reading the prospect’s state of mind and personality profile is probably one of the key factors in determining whether a sales negotiation will be successful or not. If you know how someone will react negatively or positively to certain behaviour you will be more likely to follow the flow of the surrounding energy. The one thing that you can never do in a sales negotiation is to contrast the prospect’s opinion, whether they are right or wrong. I see this a lot so it’s by no means obvious. Sales people often react instinctively when they don’t like what the customer is saying. In my mind, this is like running out of petrol while driving through a dangerous ghetto. You’ve got yourself into trouble, but how are you going to get out of it?

In an ideal scenario the best negotiator, like a good chess player, will be able to look one or two steps ahead. This will depend on “Insight” and the ability to predict behaviour from the other side of the negotiating table. Obviously we can’t always predict the outcome of the prospect’s reaction but even if we can predict 60 or 70% we already have a distinct advantage.

4. Patience

Never over-react to the reaction. In fact reacting during the negotiating phase is bad in general. It would be much wiser to “respond” with a solution rather than reply with “impulsive” or “emotive” reactions. The best poker player never shows emotions and all great sales negotiators should do the same.

One good example of this could be negotiating on price. If the customer asks for a reduction in price, any signs of a chink in the seller’s armoury could easily lead to a loss of control and a different perception of the overall value on the part of the prospective buyer.

So always remember that a little bit of brainstorming and planning before the sales negotiation will give the sales person the edge.

Focus on the Future, Not the Present and Not the Past for Successful Investing

Investors who got caught in the pre-construction bubble listened to advice that described current booming situations in several areas during 2004 and 2005. As a result tens of thousands of eager speculators poured into the market just when wiser pundits were advising their clients to get out of the hot markets in Las Vegas, Phoenix and South Florida. The Investors who survived the pre-construction bust got out at the height because it was clear from analysis of market cycles that the economy would soon be in a downward slide. What comes up must come down.

No one has a crystal ball so accurate that you can take all the risk out of investing. No one could have predicted the nasty hurricane season of 2005 that led to building delays in summer of 2005 and huge construction cost increases in 2006 that further delayed jobs that went into contract a year or more earlier. Only a few naysayers were predicting a total collapse of the housing market, and it turned out those who took a conservative approach to investing in housing in 2004 and 2005 are the ones who prospered.

Those who got caught in the housing bloodbath are now often paralyzed with fear to get into the hunt again. Focusing on the past is just as devastating as focusing exclusively on the present. Let the past inform your future, but not control what you do in the future.

Once again there is a lot of uncertainty in the housing market. Will we go into a double dip recession? Will housing prices scrape along the bottom for a protracted period before a gradual turnaround happens? Who knows for sure? All we can do is watch the trends and project from there. Always have a backup plan that provides an alternate exit strategy in case circumstances change.

In this uncertain environment a strategy of flipping short sale, REO or other wholesale property makes a lot of sense. Even though prices are starting to rise in some markets, many expect further declines or stagnant prices to be widespread over the next couple of years. That means “buy and hold” properties purchased as rentals will need to justify themselves based on cash flow and not on fast appreciation. Only property that can cash flow should be purchased to hold right now. Everything else should be flipped at prices attractive to those who are in a “buy and hold” position right now.

For most Investors accumulating cash through short sales and other transactional deals is the best primary strategy. It allows the Investor to pay down debt and be in a strong position to weather any further dips in the economy. When the ultimate buy signal occurs, short sale investors will be in a great place to take advantage with a strong bank account and low debt to income ratio.

Creative Tips to Make Your Presentation Folder Stand Out

When it comes to perfecting your business materials, first impressions are vital, and nothing is truer when preparing presentation folders for meetings with customers or clients. Taking a creative look at how you present yourself in the boardroom could propel companies of all sizes to new heights and we have a few tips to ensure you and your brand stand out, even in very crowded marketplaces and sectors.

There are so many ways that you can make your business materials memorable and many printing and packaging companies provide laser cutting, embossing, foil stamping and other services to give you the edge you need to get ahead. Laser cutting is an excellent way to put a creative stamp on materials around the office and can often provide an exciting extra to give to prospective clients. Laser cutting machines are a complex piece of machinery, these can be used to cut creative shapes in a variety of materials as well as improve edge quality.

Thermography is another service provided by printers and packaging specialists, this method adds texture to printed designs and works in unison with embossing and lithography. Foil embossing is a popular technique used to jazz up presentation folders and customised ring binders. Utilising a specialist printing method, the material is raised creating a three dimensional effect that is simple yet unique.

Foil stamping is another favourable method and tends to stick in the mind of potential clients, making it a highly recommended addition to business materials. Stamping adds a powerful, creative touch to presentation folders, business cards and other materials and tends to command the attention businesses of all sizes are looking for. Die cutting can also be used to create a customised and unique shape or design, and is an affordable but impressive option.

As well applying different textures and effects to your presentation materials, why not consider making the folder itself an unusual shape or size? Generally folders are made to a standard size to accommodate standard sizes of paper but going a little larger or smaller can really make yours stand above the rest. The contents of folder is also important, many companies don’t really go into much depth when it comes to demonstrating their assets to their target audience so make your folder more than just a logo and slogan – go into great detail and describe your business ethos, introduce your team, provide customer testimonials and more to present a well-designed product with undeniable substance.