the bargaining process between two or more parties (each with its own aims, needs and viewpoints) seeking to discover a common ground and reach an agreement to settle a matter of mutual concern or resolve a conflict.
Sounds simple, right? Well, we all know that it takes quite a bit of skill to actually be a good negotiator and there is no shortage of advice out there so this week we are looking to some sales experts for what they feel matters when it comes to Sales Negotiation Skills.
What are the 3 most important rules or elements of negotiation?
- Try to find a win-win scenario.
- Negotiate in good faith.
- Don’t try to boink the receptionist.
What are the 3 most common mistakes people make in a negotiation?
- Taking things personally.
- Negotiating for trivialities.
- Using quotes from The Godfather.
Please tell us your best or worst negotiation experience?
I was part of the negotiation team from Digital Equipment Corporation in a bid to acquire Lotus Development Corp (which was later bought by IBM). My team was seated in a conference room with our backs a window, which had a broad view of the Charles River in Boston which (since it was late winter) was frozen over. The main point of the negotiation at this point was for the DEC team to explain how they’d promote the Lotus product, if Lotus were acquired. The presentation was given by a couple of DEC marketing drones, who made all sorts of promises. When they were finished, the Lotus folk thanked us for the presentation and we all rose to leave for a break. Somebody looked out the window and said: “Look, the Charles River thawed!” And sure enough, the ice was gone. The temptation was too great. I said: “Well, I guess the hot air in this room had to go somewhere.” True story.
For more from Geoffery on Negotiation Skills, check out this article:
Geoffrey James has sold and written hundreds of features, articles and columns for national publications including Wired, Men’s Health, Business 2.0, SellingPower, Brand World, Computer Gaming World, CIO, The New York Times and (of course) BNET. He is the author of seven books, including Business Wisdom of the Electronic Elite (translated into seven languages and selected by four book clubs), and The Tao of Programming (widely quoted on the Web as a “canonical book of computer humor”.) He was also co-host of Funny Business, a program on New England’s largest all-talk radio station and has given seminars and keynotes at numerous corporations, including Rackspace, Gartner, Lucent and Houston Industries. Geoffrey attributes his success to the uncommon realization that freelancing is “50 percent sales and 50 percent delivery.” When writing about Sales, he draws on his prior experience marketing and selling multi-million dollar computer systems, his daily experience selling his own services, and the fact that every month he’s personally being coached, one-on-one, by the world’s top sales trainers.