Archive for category Negotiation

Wisdom comes in many forms…

Fast thinking and wisdom can work wonders, I saw this today and thought it’s well worth reproducing here, enjoy!

A wealthy old lady decides to go on a photo safari in Africa, taking her faithful aged poodle named Cuddles, along for the company.

One day the poodle starts chasing butterflies and before long, Cuddles discovers that he’s lost. Wandering about, he notices a leopard heading rapidly in his direction with the intention of having lunch.

The old poodle thinks, ‘Oh, oh! I’m in deep doo-doo now!’ Noticing some bones on the ground close by, he immediately settles down to chew on the bones with his back to the approaching cat. Just as the leopard is about to leap the old poodle exclaims loudly, ‘Boy, that was one delicious leopard! I wonder if there are any more around here?’

Hearing this, the young leopard halts his attack in mid-strike, a look of terror comes over him and he slinks away into the trees. ‘Whew!’ says the leopard, ‘That was close! That old poodle nearly had me!’

Meanwhile, a monkey who had been watching the whole scene from a nearby tree, figures he can put this knowledge to good use and trade it for protection from the leopard. So off he goes, but the old poodle sees him heading after the leopard with great speed, and figures that something must be up. The monkey soon catches up with the leopard, spills the beans and strikes a deal for himself with the leopard.

The young leopard is furious at being made a fool of and says, ‘Here, monkey, hop on my back and see what’s going to happen to that conniving canine!

Now, the old poodle sees the leopard coming with the monkey on his back and thinks, ‘What am I going to do now?’, but instead of running, the dog sits down with his back to his attackers, pretending he hasn’t seen them yet, and just when they get close enough to hear, the old poodle says ‘Where’s that damn monkey? I sent him off an hour ago to bring me another leopard!

The moral of this story….

Don’t mess with the old .. age and treachery will always overcome youth and skill! Knowledge and wisdom only come with age and experience.

I am in no way insinuating that any of you are old, perhaps some are just youthfully challenged!

Over time I have come to respect the wisdom of the more “mature” around us, and as I get older I hope I  can benefit more from my own wisdom and have the good sense to draw more on the wisdom of others.

In business it can seem like we know it all, (or we think we do) but the reality can be different. I guess the point being to know the difference and profit from it.

Don’t yell at me lets chat first…

Many of you know I have a business seminars listing service on another site, I have a bunch of events put in there as a service to the wider business community so people can find events in a “one stop shop” approach for aussie businesses.

I list only publicly available events and have done for about 6-12 months now.

This weekend I got a nasty note “take down our events off your website or we will take legal action”… whoa lets not get too pushy now. So I sent back a note, apologies for not asking permission but hey can we now have permission?

Short answer no… Okay so I pull the events off and send back an apology for creating hassles.

1. There is no need to shout (offering legal action straight up is a bit much in my view) I hear you okay…

2. If the guy had said, “Hey Steve, thanks but no thanks, please remove within 24 hrs as it upsets our measurement systems etc, hope you understand…” I would have been more than happy to do so. Now it just gives me a chance to write another blog entry on communicating.

Ok… so it’s not a big deal but why should he “shout”, when a “chat” would do it just as elegantly and effectively.

Some before the sales stuff…

Lets say you have done things right and you have a good service or product to sell, and yet people are not buying… What next? Well consider these three interlinked points and see if you can do something with this.

Firstly people start off as suspects, they move to prospect next, then when they buy they become a customer.

So lets figure out the ‘suspect to prospect’ part and see if we can find ways to get them engaged enough to want to buy what you have.

Here are the three points.

1. You are not offering them what they want right now – In a shop, they might walk in to kill some time, or they might want something but they can’t see it right now…

2. Not offering them enough information for them to “sell themselves” on what you have to offer -You can have the best product or service in the world, but if the info is not there to support it how can they ‘process the information.’

3. They don’t want to talk to you, maybe they want to check things out a bit first – This can be a case of “I want to look first and see if it’s okay by my ‘standards’.”

That’s the three points, so lets pull it apart a little.

Okay so we are talking about the psychology of sales, or more correctly, pre sales. So what’s going through the persons head? Probably at a sub conscious level they have a need or want to be met and are “cruising” to find a solution. If they have no need or want, they may be open to an idea, if it fits with their values and beliefs.

So they may be on a search for an answer or could be open to an idea. If they are searching in a retail context for something they “want” they might be readily put off by a sales person that says “Can I help you”, the suspect does not make it to prospect. If on the other hand they have a strong need for something they might respond more positively to the “call for help”…

Lets go for the person that has no idea of what they want, a blank canvas… a person comes along and offers them a “Business opportunity” they may turn straight off. Why? well the idea does not appeal to their values and beliefs, the things they find important at a core level.

If however the sales person was to set things up so they were in alignment with the persons values and beliefs, they will probably have a much better chance of success.

An example… You have a business proposition, the economy is down and you have a sure fire way to assist them to get through it.  1. figure out what they want, $$, financial freedom, peace of mind they can get ahead, that sort of thing. 2. Give them info that shows the benefits of fitting to those needs. 3. Give them the chance to check it out a bit first, no hassle, no bother…

The challenge is to do it in ways that do not put them ‘offside’ in the process.

How to train to Win/Win

From an original article on various business success pointers, here are the individual “how to” possible options for you to explore.

Training to win/win
You and your staff should be trained to make the whole show win, then the customers can win too. A great position to get to and stay in.  For some the idea of training staff means showing them the bare basics of their job, but go a bit deeper and encourage thinking around the idea of Win/Win, when they get the idea the concept will probably become infectious.

  • Find out more about win/win and how you might create some examples you can discuss with your team.
  • Look for examples of win/win already at play in your business.
  • Use the concept to develop a team get together every so often to ask about and pass on ideas in business development.

Getting all this together is a great way to cause the team to work effectively together and can build the business to a strong position where people feel valued. This will then pass on to the customers and cause them to feel valued as well, in the end that’s what we all want.

10-20-30 the planning guide for the rest of us…

I have been on about the Guy Kawasaki 10 – 20 – 30 planning device for a while now (since I found it in early 07) Well this week I had the good fortune to use it myself and have created a template to be used in Power Point.

Unfamiliar with 10 -20 – 30? It’s a simple device for pitching ideas, I see it as a way point in the planning process, not so much as an endpoint which seems so logical when you figure it being used to pitch ideas to investors etc. Ideally if you have a business idea I would STRONGLY suggest you use this to assist in sorting out its usefulness.

So it’s 10 slides presented to a max of 20 mins and the smallest text is 30 Pt. see I said it was simple… but of course there are fairly explanatory headings and some body text in it to assist you to make your pitch viable/useful. I feel sure you will be charmed by the thing once it’s used a few times.

The 10-20-30 power point business presentation

As you will see when you download the file, it is a plain old BxW, simple presentation. All you need to do is put the words in that fit for your project even the basic animation is done (when you view the slide show, you can click the forward button and see each point come up one at a time, how it should be, and not a whole page of text.)

I used it on an idea as a way to ‘flesh out’ a few things and in following the headings I found I was really challenged to come up with appropriate answers, after quite a while of cutting, pasting and soul searching I got it to a point where it seemed to work.

I see all sorts of possibilities with this. For pitching ideas to a boss on an area of business or a dept, which is not doing too hot, to put thoughts together for a business partner to look over, then of course to show info to prospective investors. These days when people pitch ideas at me I say to them to do this, then show me the result, thing is not one has actually done it (yet).

Those in the know, figure that’s because it causes people to look at things logically and not just emotionally.

Have a play with it, read it though, jazz it up with imagery etc and see what happens, I’m sure it has lots of uses, I hope you find the same.

Win win marketing

Most of you will have heard of the term win win, meaning a positive outcome for both parties, I thought about it as I was pondering some marketing options for a business.

My thought went like this, what if a marketing Co (lets say a newspaper selling advertising) were to only offer win win advertising so I knew I would get work from that advert that was greater than the cost to place the advert… (yeah I know its not about to happen any time soon.) But what if they did? Would I want to spend more $$ with them in the future… YOU BET!

What would it take… let’s see a measurement device (to see if the advert is working) and a more cooperative approach to working out the marketing “ploys” to make it work. You see often an advert on its own is not enough, it may need to have a deal attached to it, a call to action, a loss leader int he acvert as a solid draw card and so on.

It would take more effort than an artist creating an advert and the sales rep pestering you to place the ad. But would it be worth it.. OF COURSE IT WOULD… after a while the relationship built between the sales rep and the business placing the advert would become rock solid and after the initial process the rest may well become much easier.

So next time a advert sales rep says they want to chat to you about your advertising, ask if they can guarantee it’s a win win advert…

Now if only I can create a win win situation with my wife…hmmmm… 🙂

Activity and decisions, there effects on your business

Have you ever thought about the activity and decisions that takes place in your business, or in your life for that matter? Let’s get a handle on things to explain more about what I mean.

Active and inactive – It’s either one or the other and not much in between, of course at the either end there can be a lot or a little of each.

Reactive and proactive – the other aspects to activity one being positive and the other negative.

A situation takes place, e.g. an employee makes a mistake, a proactive stance could be “Well you made a mistake, did you or are you able to learn from it?” reactive could be “YOU DID WHAT! what will that cost us!!! Oh No!!!”

An inactive stance would be to do nothing and an active stance is to do something. The question is how do you make the decision and do you think much about it?

Okay enough of the basics, which way you turn with this can have a solid bearing on outcomes in your business, in the case of staff if they keep getting reactive responses from you on all issues, after a while they will not tell you anything. On the other hand if you are always proactive they can (in time) see you as a “soft touch” a person that always sees the positive even though it may be doing great damage to the business.

The flexible approach is to be able to flip responsibly between each area, you could choose to do nothing, something, react or be proactive. Lets pick another example, a person slips on the floor of your shop, you could do nothing (inactivity) and perhaps act as if it did not happen. Yet if you react and tell them off for not seeing the puddle on the floor it could go against you as well. A proactive stance might be to offer them assistance (but probably avoid mentioning that it is the companies fault.) and see if they are okay.

The choice is up to you, so you hope the decision you make is the one that is the best option all round.

Here’s the point about all of this, it’s about making decisions and often snap decisions at that. Many people say making decisions is hard and that can be true, the challenge is to make more of them (even poor ones) so that you get used to making them often and therefore get comfortable with making them.

Once comfortable with making decisions you can check consciously if they are reactive, proactive or inactive. Then in time you will probably make more of the right decisions automatically.

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