negotiation trainingIt’s no surprise that powerful outcome-based negotiation training drives business results. Negotiations training that provides actionable tools helps companies shorten sales cycles; close bigger, better deals; and build lucrative, long-term relationships with the opportunity for more recurring business. It’s one thing to make the claim, quite another when a client’s own analysis supports that claim.

Negotiations touch every part of your life.

No Matter Your Role, You Can Always Benefit By Sharpening Your Negotiation Skills

Negotiations Touch Every Part of Your Life and Career

It doesn’t matter whether you’re buying a car or an enterprise software system: negotiations touch every part of your life, every part of your career, and will have a major impact on your personal success. Dealing with a regular client who, at the eleventh hour, wants a little extra outside the scope of what has been agreed upon? You’re in negotiations. Trying to get consensus on a critical marketing campaign? You’ve become a negotiator by default.

Then there are all the formally recognized situations where negotiation is explicit, highly formal and usually high-stakes: sales, procurement, mergers and acquisitions, partnerships and licensing arrangements, to name a few.

One of the fundamental principles we teach in the course of our business negotiation training is this: the concept of M.O.R.E., which stands for Motivations, Objectives, Requirements and Edge — Edge being the advantage you gain once you understand the other side’s unique motivations, objectives and requirements.

You are much more likely to succeed when you come to the negotiating table with not only a clear sense of your negotiation counterpart’s business realities at the organizational level, but also the individual drivers of those involved. And making assumptions at either level can be foolhardy.

That’s why we advocate for a methodical, patient and constructive approach to negotiation that stresses listening and learning as much as possible, and taking concrete steps to discover what passions or pressures really drive a request or demand.

Of course, this means understanding your own M.O.R.E. factors, as well. (We all know what Sun Tzu had to say about the prospects for a commander who knows neither himself nor the enemy.) What are you hoping to achieve? What course can you set to articulate your own value drivers so that you have clearer guideposts to follow and create better deals for everybody?

This is why we focus on the needs and roles of every layer of a client organization: from each chair of the C-suite, to the sales director, to the project manager, to the lawyer who must carefully define and protect key terms.

Based on our three decades of work with leading global organizations, we created a high-level role-based view of negotiation from various chairs in the organization, including: CEOs, CSOs, CLOs, project managers, sales managers and attorneys.

How Sales and Negotiation Skills Training Can Fail the Front Line

I recently noticed and greatly enjoyed Dave Stein’s LinkedIn Pulse post, “If I Have to Sit Through One More B.S. Sales Training Class…” Dave discusses the major pet peeves of a sales “heavy hitter” who bristles at the thought of sitting through sales training meetings conducted by people who have never sold, don’t know sales’ specific challenges or how to have sales people leave the session with clear steps that will help them sell more.

Stein identifies a number of root causes for why sales leaders bring in the wrong training at the wrong time. If you have ever had a hand in sales training procurement at your organization, I highly recommend reading the post to see if you are walking into any of the pitfalls that Stein illuminates. Read more

Leadership in Negotiation: Selecting Your Negotiation Team and Rules of Engagement

Leadership in negotiations is critical. The leader is responsible for setting expectations and parameters for your side in regards to pricing, strategy, deadlines, process management and more. Failing to define this opens the door to many potential deal-ending difficulties, and is likely to erode your position on the way to closing.

There are many moving parts, not least of which is negotiation team selection. Who you choose to have on your side of the table—and more importantly, how they perform while they are there—is going to have a strong bearing on your chances of arriving at a favorable outcome. This consideration goes beyond picking those directly involved. You may need key technical or financial expertise in the wings to build your value case at critical junctures. We know that conferring with a keen financial team member behind the scenes can provide the insight to quickly defuse a potential customer’s objection, establish value and credibility, and keep the negotiation moving forward.

This is why it’s vital to include careful team selection as part of your pre-negotiation process in light of your objectives. What resources and talents will you need, and among those, who will be directly involved and who will take a support role? Having examined the deal closely, including the other side’s motivations and likely positions, you will see what mix of sales, services, finance, technology and legal support you will need to leverage. Most negotiations only involve a few people directly, but indirect involvement by team members with discrete fields of expertise is often necessary.

Once you have your team assembled, call an internal kickoff meeting where the rules of engagement and communication discipline are clearly outlined. Remember, a team divided is a costly team. Nothing can derail a negotiation process more quickly than undisciplined communication or a divided team. Cross-talk and side conversations during negotiations may muddy the value argument, degrade your ability to manage the agenda, and ultimately cost you credibility. A lead negotiator needs to know all the information that is being shared. If side conversations happen, they should be pre-planned within your team, including positions and the possible outcomes from them. Savvy negotiators on the other side know how to employ “divide and conquer” tactics to extract more favorable terms by creating parallel conversations with other members of your team. The result can be degradation of your deal, confusion or loss of face. Regardless of the amount of planning, surprises in deal-making are bound to happen. What is preventable are surprises that occur from your team.

This is why having a lead negotiator who defines the rules of engagement and serves as a single point of control for agenda management is so important. Have you set expectations for how to respond if the lead negotiator on the other side bypasses your lead negotiator to probe one of your junior team members for sensitive information or better terms? Who will control the drafting of documents and therefore help you control the conversation and manage the agenda? These are all things you must make clear before your team begins the process.

The level of detail on team selection can vary greatly depending on the size and complexity of the deal. But one thing never changes: Teamwork is critical, even if it’s just two people buying a car. In business, a carefully selected team that knows their objectives and can present a unified front will win more deals than the team that does not.

Negotiation Blocking Techniques

In one sense, negotiations are a strategic exchange of ideas and information. But the value of what information we give (and when) can have a very real bearing on our success.

As you seek leverage in the deal, you are trying to find key information from the other side. If you’re negotiating with seasoned professionals, you can expect them to do the same with you. Sometimes difficult questions arise that, when answered, could erode your position. For example, if you have few or no real alternatives to doing an important deal, revealing that fact to the other side can cost you dearly. That’s why experienced negotiators have a handful of practiced blocking techniques they use when they feel a certain question must be deflected. As always, consider your purpose, audience and personal style as you decide how, and when, to use any of these strategies. Read more

Negotiator Training Works: ROI for Global Training and Negotiating Firm

negotiation training resultsClient teams that walk out of our negotiating seminars come out with actionable tools they can immediately apply to shorten sales cycles; close bigger, better deals; and build lucrative, long-term relationships with the opportunity for more recurring business. It’s one thing to make the claim, quite another when a client’s own analysis supports that claim.

K&R Negotiations engaged with a global training and consulting firm for complete negotiation training aimed at closing more business for their services, based on the K&R Win Wisely methodology. They were quite pleased (and so were we!) with what they found:

  • The client’s closing ratio was 35% prior to negotiator training, with a targeted goal of 50%. After training, closing ratio increased to 73%.
  • The client’s goal for margin of improvement of all national deals was targeted at 15%. They exceeded this goal by attaining 17% improvement.
  • ROI for the client’s negotiator training was calculated at 271.5% for a seven-month payback period.

This is a strong testament to the value of investing in your staff’s negotiation skills. Our global client was not the first to report results like these. If you would like to learn more about how K&R Negotiations helps clients Win Wisely at the negotiating table, please see our negotiation success stories.

Negotiating Seminars in a Box: K&R Negotiations Offers Free Video on Principles of Negotiation

Negotiating seminars often come at a price. For businesspeople who want a quick foundational primer on best practices without attending negotiation classes, K&R Negotiations now offers a complimentary, one-hour video – a negotiation seminar in a box.

The video features a talk conducted by K&R Negotiations CEO Mladen Kresic, whose firm has helped companies across the globe close hundreds of millions in deals using practical and proven methodology. Watch from the comfort of your home or office as one of the world’s negotiation experts shows you the foundational principles that have resulted in shorter close cycles, bigger deals, more repeat business and long-lasting, profitable relationships for K&R Negotiations clients.

In a short amount of time, you will learn these secrets of successful negotiation:

  • How to create positive negotiation leverage
  • How to use your leverage cycle to drive negotiations P&L
  • How to quickly discover the other party’s motivations and objectives
  • Your winning edge: How to gain the negotiation advantage
  • When and how to use concessions to negotiate a better deal

Like the negotiation classes that K&R successfully delivers all over the world, this one-hour video will help you to find agreement in a way that helps both parties discover and gain the most value, together. Join global negotiations expert Mladen Kresic as he introduces you to the concept of value-based negotiations leverage, and why it is a powerful tool for moving conversations to an agreement. Follow the link to get this powerful negotiation seminar in a box. It’s complimentary and it will illustrate principles that you can start applying today to drive bigger, better deals for you and your clients.

Summary: Negotiation seminars in a box: complimentary video offers powerful and effective primer in successful negotiations.

Sales Negotiator Training: Better Forecasting Closes More Deals

negotiator training improves sales forcasting

Sales forecasting is a critical activity for any team, but many companies have a hard time getting it right. Business pressures or subjective measures – emotions and opinion – often have too much weight, and distort the process. For business leaders who want to give their teams a dependable way of analyzing deals so they can focus on activities that will result in more closes, sales negotiator training should include some aspect of sales forecasting.

Most sales or negotiation training focuses on the process, rather than the “why” and “how.” Yet this process delivers more repeatable success if we know how to analyze and predict the outcomes of our sales opportunities. Some of the most critical negotiation work happens during analysis and preparation – long before we discuss pricing and terms at the negotiation table. Negotiators who learn a structured approach to sales forecasting learn more about: Read more