Seven Qualities of a Win-Win Negotiator

Most business people approach a negotiation hoping for a win-win agreement. But even with the best of intentions, they usually fall into the same win-lose patterns that characterize most negotiations.

What qualities do win-win negotiators possess? How are they able to consistently achieve win-win outcomes? Cultivating these seven qualities will improve your chances of negotiating win-win agreements.

Engage in joint problem solving

Most of us are conditioned to see a negotiation as a chance to win or lose. As such, we do what we can to win as much as we can, and the other side does the same. This competitive mindset leads to win-lose or partial win results.

Win-win negotiators, however, approach a negotiation as an opportunity for joint problem solving. Instead of seeing two parties each trying for their own win, they look at a negotiation as a single problem they must solve together for mutual benefit. They believe two heads are better than one.

Understand your interests and prioritize them so you stay focused on what is important to you. Know what you must have and what you would like to get from the negotiation before you begin. Have a list of other items you are willing to exchange.

Try to anticipate the other party’s interests as well. Explore ways to help him get what he needs at little or no cost to you. Adopt a collaborative mindset. Strive to optimize the overall outcome, rather than trying to maximize your gains on each of a series of items.

Share information

Most people play their cards close to the chest during a negotiation. They refuse to tell the other party anything of substance for fear the other party will use it to their advantage.

Of course, there may be some things you don’t want the other party to know. For example, you may not want to share your alternatives or your “bottom line.” However, it does not hurt to let your counterpart know what your interests are. They will often reciprocate, and you are then in a better position to satisfy both party’s interests.

But what if you share your interests and the other party keeps his to himself? Would that place you at a disadvantage? No, it would not! Recent studies suggest that even when only one party lays his interests on the table, a win-win outcome is still more likely. The mere fact that some interests are disclosed improves the chances that both sides will benefit.

Ask questions

Asking questions is one way to get information. But the benefits of asking questions go beyond mere information. Asking nonthreatening questions allows you to build rapport and put the other party at ease. It allows you to manage the discussion and gives you time to think. Questions also allow you to check your assumptions and confirm your understanding of key points.

Be careful how you ask questions. Do not ask questions with a sarcastic tone or that otherwise sound threatening. Ask questions that seek fair information and show a genuine concern for the other party and the negotiation process.

Listen empathetically

You learn more by listening than by talking, so encourage the other party to speak by listening attentively. Make eye contact. Do not interrupt. Do not form conclusions until your counterpart has finished speaking.

A good listener shows concern and respect for the other party. Try to really understand the other party’s point of view, even if you do not agree. Recognize that his arguments and needs have merit. Likeable and agreeable negotiators accomplish more than self-centered ones.

Explain before disagreeing

Do not be quick to disagree with your counterpart. An immediate rejection suggests you do not really care about the other person and are not open to his ideas.

Consider what he is saying. Look for common ground and try to build on it with your counterproposal. Offer your counterproposal as a suggestion rather than a demand, and be prepared to discuss it.

Persuade

Use data, evidence, and logic to support your proposals. Focus on the most compelling one or two arguments rather than trying to build support with a smattering of less convincing arguments. Quality is more important than quantity here.

Use fair and objective standards to support your proposal. Offer facts and reasons that make intrinsic good sense, such as market prices and historical trends. Do not offer arbitrary arguments such as “that’s all we are willing to pay.” Unsupportable rationales are not persuasive and will make your counterpart more resistant.

Think laterally

A win-win solution is not always obvious. The ability to develop creative options is a key to crafting win-win agreements. Learn to think out of the box.

By modeling these characteristics of win-win negotiators, you too will become a better negotiator.

Designing Custom Cases For Product Presentation and Sales

Nothing is more frustrating than arriving at a potential clients to make a sales presentation, only to discover that the centerpiece of your presentation has been damaged during transport. After all, you want to exude the most professional and capable presence possible, and a mangled product or product samples certainly doesn’t help your overall image. Unveiling a classy and well-designed presentation of your products or equipment is critical when making a powerful, convincing impression; custom cases will help ensure that you are looking sharp and present a dazzling 1st impression.

Advanced Technology Makes Designing Custom Cases A Cinch

Thanks to advancements and improvements in manufacturing technology, it’s easier than ever before to order a custom case and have it designed precisely. Things like variable size thermoforming, blow molding, wood and aluminum fabrication with CNC technology and many other advanced techniques have made achieving optimal results more reliable than ever. There’s no longer any need to cobble together a makeshift case when you have oddly- sized, exceptionally fragile or multiple items to bring along for an important sales presentation, thanks to the technology behind creating custom cases and foam.

Maintain Professionalism With Custom Cases

First impressions matter. From your personal presentation to the way you transport and present your case contents, your goal is to give the best product and company impression possible. Nothing can compromise your carefully considered presentation quite like a shoddy looking case. Arriving at a potential client’s office with a sleek, custom designed case is vastly preferable to arriving with a cardboard box or pulling product from an unorganized jumble from the bottom of a cheap carrying case.

Custom Cases For All Of Your Branding Needs

Even if the centerpiece of your sales presentation is a logistical nightmare to carry or ship from place to place, there is bound to be a custom case solution out there that will meet and exceed your expectations. The right case consultants will be more than able to fulfill your needs and come up with custom case designs along with recommendations on the appropriate selection of case fabrication that will allow you to get your items where you need them safely and securely. All the while, you will maintain your professional appearance – a win-win situation.

For an additional branding perk remember that most cases are available with custom printing options. What better way to make your mark than to have your company’s logo printed on the case in color. Remember you will never have a second chance to make that first impression and case consultants will ensure your success.

Business Presentations – Are You Scared?

Most people don’t like to stand up in front of an audience to give a talk or presentation. Some are even uncomfortable presenting their information in business meetings, especially in front of senior executives. Stage fright is the number one obstacle in giving a presentation. People feel nervous, get “butterflies” in their stomach, and feel like they can’t remember what to say. But take heart, if you have stage fright you are in the majority.

The most important thing you can do is to simply acknowledge that giving a presentation is an uncomfortable task for you. Notice I didn’t say a weakness; it’s simply an area where you need some help in developing the skills that give you the confidence to talk before a group. The uneasiness you feel just before you talk is really just adrenaline, a natural “energy boost”! Any top athlete or performer has this same adrenaline energy rush that helps them to perform their best. The butterflies you feel in the pit of your stomach are “a good thing”.

The first step in improving your presentation skills is to stop thinking of it as a negative task or experience. Master these soft skills and all you’ll have to fear is fear itself:

• Organize the presentation properly – There are three clear-cut parts to any presentation. The introduction, the main body and the conclusion. Make sure you have all three or your presentation will not be cohesive.
• Introduction should tell the purpose – It’s important to let the audience know at the start and during the introduction the reason for the talk. Also make sure you grab their attention in the beginning. Start with a related story, quote an expert or statistic, or ask a question, such as “Did you know that Twitter already has 86% of the internet Social Media market? ”
• Main body – There should only be three to five main points. That’s about as much as the audience can absorb and process. Back up each of the points with stories, pictures, facts or details.
• Conclusion – Make sure the close is effective. Briefly recap the main points and end on a positive note or call to action. Following the conclusion, take questions if appropriate. Always repeat the question before you give your answer.
• Practice – “Practice makes perfect”, so take the time to practice the presentation out loud and in front of a mirror. The more times you practice, the more comfortable and confident you will be with the delivery of the material.
• Physical Considerations – Dress appropriately for the audience you are addressing. Posture is key. Stand with your legs 4-6 inches apart to help with weight distribution and make sure to keep your shoulders back. Watch your hand gestures. Vary the volume, rate and pitch of your voice. Make eye contact with the audience. Never point a finger at the audience; use an open hand, palm up instead.
• Other Things – Be careful with humor. Arrive early to check room set-up and audio visual equipment. Keep Power Point slides simple – use a title and 3 bullet points per slide and go easy with the graphics.

Remember, when you act well, you do well.