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There are many negotiation skills you need if you want to be a master negotiator. Finding deadlines is one of the important ones.

Negotiation Skills You Need To Know

Negotiation Skills You Need To KnowOne of the most important negotiation skills you can develop is to get in the habit of finding the other side's deadline. Time is of the essence. It even says as much on most business and real estate contracts. What does this mean in negotiating? It means that whoever controls or understands the elements of time involved in a negotiation has the better position.Many years ago I was looking at a truck for sale. I asked the owner why he was selling (always a good idea). He told me that the IRS was coming after him and he needed to sell the truck by the weekend (It was Tuesday). When do you think you would be able to negotiate the best price on the truck? Maybe right now, but certainly on Friday if the truck is still available. On Friday he would be desperate to get what he could from the truck before it was seized by the IRS.Using Deadlines As A Negotiation ToolThis guy wasn't using good "negotiation skills" . He gave away too much information. More specifically, he gave away his deadline. One of the most important things to understand in negotiating is deadlines. The two things to remember about them are: 1. Don't give away your deadline(s), and 2. Find the other side's deadline(s).Find out whatever you can about any relevant deadlines. Sometimes there isn't a clear deadline, or there are several deadlines for different parts of the negotiation. Whatever the case, the more information you can gather about those deadlines, the better.How do you use that information once you have it? The crudest method is to simply delay and wait until the last moment to negotiate. This only works if the other side doesn't walk away, and if your own deadline permits it. It also requires that there are not others who can take your place (as is clearly the case with a truck for sale - it might not be there Friday).A bit of sophistication is required to use this information effectively. You may want to start by identifying what is most important to you in the negotiation. For example, if you are buying an apartment building, is the price or the terms the crucial element for you?Let's assume that price is most important to you. When you wrote the offer, you put some price on it, but you have inspections and other contingencies that allow for everything to be renegotiated. The process of inspections and negotiations ties up the property, so your competition is excluded for the moment. Then you learn that owner really wants to sell by the start of the school year, because he will be moving with his children.Work on everything else in the negotiations except the price. Have inspections done, agree on what will be included with the property, etc. As the seller's "deadline" approaches, he will be getting anxious to close the deal. Then you let him know you're ready to close quickly. Of course, you'll need the price adjusted due to the results of the inspections.At this point the seller has the choice of throwing away the whole deal. This means starting over, and not moving when he wanted to. Alternately, he can be happy that he got what he wants most - a quick close. This means giving you your price.This points up the importance of getting information on the other's deadline, but also the importance of not revealing your own. When I was a real estate agent I heard the story of a man who sold his property for a large profit. He had to pay $80,000 in capital gains taxes unless he rolled the money into another property, as a "title 31 exchange." He had 60 days to close on the new property.Imagine the abuse he would open himself to if, with ten days to go, the seller learned of his deadline and the cost of the buyer missing it. He could threaten to delay closing unless the buyer paid $10,000 extra for some old coin-operated washing machines, for example. Overpay by a few thousand, or lose $80,000. What do you think he would do?For an everyday example of using deadlines, try buying your next car towards the end of the month. Many times there are quotas that dealerships want to meet for the month, and bonuses that salesmen get for monthly volume. Saying "I'll think about it and return on Thursday," (or whatever day is the first of the next month) can have them dropping the price fast. It's always good to practice your negotiation skills.

Even Bill Gates Likes Free Software

Even Bill Gates Likes Free Software

Linux can save your business money. Powerful Linux applications power servers, desktops and laptops across enterprises and small businesses each day. Here in our business, our websites are open source, our support module is Linux, the CRM application and the Accounting system we use to run our business is "open source" software. Best of all our Linux tools, operating systems and applications, are all freely distributed. Linux people are different. They search for power and function, but that is not all sought. Linux people believe that software should be freely distributed. The Linux community respects Microsoft; fantastic company whose apps like Office have improve millions of lives, really cool. But the dark secret in Linux circles paints Microsoft as a dinosaur, Linux people believe that expensive software with painful upgrade fees is headed for trouble. Bill Gates Sees a "Sea Change" in Application SoftwareMicrosoft sells operating systems and applications, and keeps on selling them. Backward compatibility with applications like Word can be hard and is this pain is by design. Microsoft wants to create pain and then fix, with upgrades. Microsoft wants upgrade dollars. This software model is starting to collect some rust. And the reason for this: free software is good. Free software is now available; free business applications to run your business, which are maintained, supported and best of all, are freely distributed. Bill Gatess vision has focused on the on-line delivery model and even the free application delivery model. Linux Distributions are a Personal ChoiceLinux is built in distributions or releases, all slightly different. Ubuntu, a terrific linux distribution, is so good that it may be nudging Windows off desktops. Ubuntu is easy to deploy and easy to use plus it is loaded with applications for home users and business users. The Ubuntu desktop market share numbers are still viewed with a magnifying glass, but not too long ago, you needed a microscope. Ubuntu is easy to install and easy to use. Just get the software at the website and burn a CD. Ubuntu has just one CD or one ISO which loads in a snap. Red Hat, another distribution has 6 and takes much longer to complete. Ubuntu is lean because after the initial setup the user can craft his Ubuntu system just how he likes. The internet has Ubuntu distribution sites that power a tool called apt-get. All you do is apt-get install from a command line or user the Add Software GUI tools and you are getting the best linux apps right off the shelf and put right into your menu. Ubuntu DistributionThe Ubuntu distribution has an Office suite with word processing, a spreadsheet, and presentation modules. All work can be saved in common formats like .doc or xls and are completely compatible with Microsoft products. The base Ubuntu application is loaded with graphics applications, CD, DVD burning and creation, multi-media including music and movie players, back-up apps, powerful anti-virus tools and networking applications that are best of breed. There is built in VOIP and message clients and many cool apps like Sticky Notes to make you more efficient. Free Business Linux ApplicationsGNU Cash, free financial tracking, similar to Quicken. Cut an invoice, track bank accounts, run a budget and report your cash flow. Import your bank files and create buckets of spend for your financial analysis that will make an accountant jealous. PBX and Phone SystemsElastix will power up your phones. Did you know that most PBX commercial software is run using a freely distributed tool called Astericks. Elastix has re-packaged Astericks to ease the deployment and offers support. Expensive PBXs are not necessary. Linux has adapted other telephony tools like VOIP, predictive dialers, and call center solutions. Do you need a content management system? A website or an intranet for your company. Plone, Drupal, Joomla deliver big. The functionality in these freely distributed tools match the priciest CMS software. The tools are supported and you can even buy how to books at your local bookstore. Customer Relationship Management and CRMHow about sales tools, CRM or order management, even inventory management software? Full power CRM or customer relationship management tools are available for free or for super low prices. DataForceCRM, based in Dallas, is deploying a sugarcrm linux derivative that has been enhanced and strengthened and customers are shaving 80% off typical user fees. DataForceCRM offers wikis, forums, full documentation and will make sure user adoption is high. The tool is super flexible, has Outlook integration, manages marketing, tracks sales, eyeballs inventory, push button order management, gives customerss a support tool and is Freely distributed to companies with less than 10 users. If your business has over 10 users, prices are still a bargain. Companies pay high prices for customer support modules. OTRS, another open source backbone application in commercial applications, is there for the download and configuration. After set up your business will have a fully featured, professional trouble ticket tracker helping your clients get what they need. Virtualization is taking IT departments by storm. Virtualization turns your single computer, you need some memory, into many virtual machines. This streamlines hardware usage and turns hard ware utilization way up. State of the art Virtualization called Xen comes with many linux distributions. In Ubuntu do apt-get install vmware-server and a fine tool is on its way to your machine. The coolest thing about Linux is that in the 30 minutes I took to write this article, more applications were probably released. Sourceforge.net, a depository for linux tools is one of the busiest sites on the internet and full of Linux value added applications. Just yesterday I needed to edit a PDF. I google up pdfnet and there I went, for free. Very cool, ERP, or enterprise resource planning is free too. Linux support was targeted for genius level IQs but not any longer. Conclusion Companies realize good training and support drives value. Applications, even if free, are expensive if the learning curve is steep and if users are not guide. Smart open source companies are rolling out support modules to all service all learning types, wikis, live chat, forums, documentation and live phone contacts. Now with support in place, training available communities grow and grow. The applications I mentioned hit the tipping point where the user community is user support. Just this morning I was stumped with a virtual machine question. I googled the error code and added for Ubuntu. The page came up faster than I could call support, and the answer was clearly defined. Cool. New technology can be daunting to learn and use. The linux world knows this and just in the last few years, has put strong arms around user friendliness. Opensource software is easy to deploy, easy to use, powerful and supported. I just covered a tiny fraction of applications available today. Just for fun, visit the sites in this article. Check out the super cool applications and then put a number to your potential savings. You may become a Linux Geek.

The Captain of the Titanic Wasn't in Sales!

The Captain of the Titanic Wasn

Did you know sales success and icebergs have something in common? And no ...this article is not about cold calling! Many of us know an iceberg has about 7/8th of its mass below water. But did you know the largest Northern Hemisphere iceberg on record was encountered near Baffin Island in 1882? It was 8 miles (13 km) long, 3.7 miles (6 km) wide and rose 65 feet (20 m) above the water. The mass of that iceberg was in excess of 9 billion tonnes - enough water for everyone, in the world to drink a quart (litre) a day for over 4 years. Well thanks for the lesson on icebergs you're probably thinking but what has that got to do with sales? Go back to the first fact; the majority of an iceberg is below the surface. In sales, much of what controls our success is below the surface. Let me explain. Think of the iceberg, the tip which we see, could be compared to the action and results of sales professionals. We see sales results. Companies track share of market, percentage of plan, year-over-year performance to name just a few metrics. We also see what a sales person does. We can observe and track the number of calls made, appointments kept, sales made, and referrals obtained. What we can't see, the part under the surface is what the sales professional is thinking. This I submit is the most critical component for a sales person to be successful. We talked about icebergs, now for a short psychology lesson. Cognitive behavioural science suggests that what we are thinking about today determines our reality tomorrow. That is, a person's outer world is a reflection of their inner world. If a sales professional is interested in creating a new reality for themselves, whether that new reality is bringing in a new client or whether it is moving up to the next level in sales effectiveness, this new frame of reference is first created in the person's mind. It all starts with an idea, a concept and a desire for enhanced results. I've heard it said that a person sees more with their state of mind than with their eyes. For example, take an optimist and a pessimist to the same restaurant and afterwards they are likely to report quite different experiences even though the service, the meal, the company, and the location were exactly the same. The optimist's positive frame of mind focused on what was enjoyable while the pessimist's negative state of mind zeroed in on everything that was wrong.This fascinating area of psychology reinforces the concept that our thinking is our greatest ally in demonstrating effective sales competencies. In other words, top sales performers think in a way that helps them to perform at an optimal level. The good news is you can change your thinking style to improve performance. The best sales professionals are effective thinkers. They focus on what they want to achieve, they regularly review their sales objectives and they think in a constructive, supportive fashion, using their creative imagination in harmony with their intelligence, reason and free will. Think of this as their "mindset" which influences their focus, motivation and confidence. So the next time you see an iceberg (or maybe ice in a drink), think of what's below the surface of your mind. Think of the impact your mindset can have on your "sales success" .

Three Reasons Why People Wont Buy And Three Ways To Fix It!

Three Reasons Why People Wont Buy And Three Ways To Fix It!

Most of us at some point in our career have experienced the frustration of being unable to close the deal! Weve walked away wondering what else could have been said, shown or done in order to GTC (Get The Check).Well, Im here to suggest to you that sometimes its simply not the right time for the prospect to get in, do the deal or sign up. For some unknown (or known) reason, the timing just doesnt seem to fit their lifestyle right now. Weve all heard the expression, No doesnt mean NO it just means, not right now!I submit to you that people dont care how much you know, until they know how much you care! It is up to you (the seller) to communicate to your prospect with every means of communication you have, to become their friend. Thats right their friend!! No one wants to buy from a stranger; everyone prefers to buy from someone they know, someone they feel they can trust. Its our job to get from stranger to friend as quickly as possible.Three reasons why people wont buy:1 No Money2 No Need3 No TrustWhen responding to someones interest, we must first determine at what level his or her interest lies. Simply put, theres a big difference in someone who is just interested as opposed to someone who is committed .If you are working over the phone or through email, the following three questions may help you in determining a persons interest level and assist you with qualifying your prospect.You may open up your memo or conversation with Im responding to your request for more information about the ecommerce opportunity found on our website.1 What kind of work are you in now?You are wanting them to say (or write) something to the effect of they are tired of what they are doing or looking for some sort of change Most likely if they are not unhappy with what they are presenting involved in, there may not be enough motivation to commit to another opportunity. They at least need to want to supplement what they are currently doing with an additional plan.2 Are you looking for something full-time or part-time?This will give you a good idea of their commitment level (if any). Everyone has his or her own definition of what part-time means as opposed to full-time. Most would agree that full-time is anything over forty hours in a single week. However, keep in mind that a great number of individuals wind up treating a part-time position as a hobby and therefore, getting paid as if it were a hobby! Someone who is truly hungry for a change in his or her lifestyle may need to under go a complete paradigm shift.3 What do you see yourself doing five years from now?Listen to their answer, it may be a bit undefined but you will sense in their story whether or not theres a fit for them in your business.Begin to tell them a little bit about your business. Give them the sizzle message about whats hot with your deal and why they need to be a part of the team. Include several buzz words to describe your opportunity and allow them to feel your excitement and level of energy!Most important! Ask them a direct YES or NO question. Preferably a call to action of some sort, that will enable you to take them to the next step of your system and lock them into a commitment. A question such as Does that sound like something you would like to hear (or receive) more information about?A lot of times people want YOU to answer more questions at this time. They may ask you things like:1 - How much is it?2 What do I have to do?My suggestion is to plug them into a system and let the system answer their questions. Even if you know the answers, its still better to let the system do the work for you. Why? Simply put its duplicatable! You may be a super savvy salesperson but your prospect may not have your talent or skill level. Therefore, they think they have to be like you in order to make things work for them. If you have a system, everyone can do it!! Its the old KISS method, (Keep It Simple Sweetheart).Become their friend and service them again!See ya sometime

Are Routines Holding You Back?

What routines are preventing you from increasing your sales?Whether you realize it or not, you are a creature of habit. Unless you do shift work, you probably get up at the same time everyday, follow the same routine to wake up and get yourself ready for the day, drive the regular route to work, do the same things once you get to work, and take the same route home at the end of the day. Once there, you probably have dinner, watch television or read the newspaper, and follow some sort of routine once its time to go to bed. You set the alarm for the same time and when it sounds the next day, you start the cycle over again. Dont get me wrong. Routines can be good. They help us improve our productivity. They allow us to multi-task. They make us feel comfortable, safe, and secure. They reduce stress. Plus, when we have developed a great routine, we can often generate more business. However, the drawback is that they can be difficult to break away from. When you become accustomed to a specific schedule, it can be easy to forget changes in it. For example, if you usually schedule your first client meeting after 9:30 it is very easy to miss a meeting that was recently scheduled at 8:30. I recently encountered two situations that relate to this.The first was an appointment with my massage therapist. For several years, she scheduled her appointments on the hour or half-hour. So when she booked my massage at fifteen minutes after the hour, she forgot about it and was several minutes late. The second was my fault. I normally meet with my trainer early in the morning, three days a week. I had to re-schedule one workout due to a business commitment and made my appointment for a later time on a different day. Unfortunately, I arrived at the gym at my usual time only to realize that I was several hours early. The change in the schedule messed up my routine.So, how does this relate to selling? As a sales professional, you need to recognize that routines can prevent you from achieving your full potential. However, if you persist at incorporating that new technique into your sales approach, it, too, will become part of your new routine. Thats the great thing about the human spirit and brain, it is very adaptable. The most successful people in business and in sales know that changes to their routine will cause them some discomfort. But, they are also very aware that these changes will become more comfortable and part of their routine if they work at it long enough.It can certainly be challenging to change your behaviour and routine when you are used to making a certain number of calls every day, or meeting with a specific number of clients, customers, or prospects. When you have a specific daily routine, it is usually difficult to incorporate something new. Or, when you have developed the habit of selling in a particular manner, it is very stressful trying to change your approach. I see this in my sales training workshops all the time. People can intrinsically grasp a new concept or principle but experience difficulty trying to actually implement it into the way they sell. Thats why many sales training programs dont work; you cant expect to change your behavior or routine immediately. The key is to keep applying the concept even though it feels uncomfortable and foreign. In fact, in most cases, you will begin to feel comfortable with the concept immediately after you experience the greatest frustration and difficulty. Consider learning a new sport, hobby, or task.At first the movements feel uncomfortable. Your moves are not smooth, accurate or natural. And this feeling usually persists for quite some time. However, just when you feel like giving up because it has become too difficult and frustrating, something clicks and the movements start to feel more natural. You have now progressed to the stage of being able to achieve results. The same process happens when you decide to try something different when selling. Most sales people dont enjoy cold calling because they dont work at developing their skill long enough. They go through the motions of making their calls everyday but they dont focus on improving their skill nor do they stick with it for the necessary period. People who do acquire the ability to effectively cold call have made enough calls to understand the dynamics, develop their skill at calling, and incorporate it into their routine.Routines are powerful. However, to get the most from them, you do need to change them regularly. 2008 Kelley Robertson, All rights reserved.

IT Sales: It's about Relationships and Benefits

IT Sales aren't automatic--you have to put in the time and effort to make the sale. In this article you will learn that showing your clients the benefit of your services and developing a relationship with them will help your IT sales. What Benefit Can You Give Them? If your prospect has an IT problem you can't solve, then to get "IT sales" you need to focus more on the problems that you know you can solve and the things that you can do that are really going to cause them to say, "Wow, that sounds really good!" Know Your Pitch for IT SalesIf you can talk about things that youve done in the past with other customers, and the benefits that your clients have achieved from the type of solutions that youve recommended, designed, set up, supported and serviced for them, the more your pitch will resonate with them.Let the Relationship EvolveSometimes it takes a couple weeks or months to be able to get a commitment from your prospect. Be patient and persistent. Send email, faxes, postcards, and make phone calls. Dont be obnoxious. You dont want to get to the point that youre calling them every day, but if they told you its something they want to do over the next couple of months, its perfectly appropriate for you to call them once or twice a month just to see where they are.Answer Any Additional QuestionsSee if they had any other questions or issues that have come up. Ask if they need anything revised in the initial quote or bid that you sent them. The key thing to remember is, if theyre saying great idea, Ill get back to you, thats not the end of this discussion. The only way its the end of the discussion is if you let it be. You havent given them a good enough reason that they need to do it today, or no matter what you say to them, theyre not going to agree to IT sales today. You need to be able to get to the bottom of that by asking the basic questions like:oHow important is this?oWhen do you want to get started?oIs there a sense of urgency to this?oWhere are you in the decision process?oWhere are you in the research process?oIs this a good time of year for this kind of project?oHave you budgeted for it yet? Theres a lot of different ways that you can ask those questions. For IT sales, dont let later turn into no by inaction on your part! Copyright MMI-MMVI, Computer Consulting Blog. All Worldwide Rights Reserved. {Attention Publishers: Live hyperlink in author resource box required for copyright compliance}

Summary

There are many negotiation skills you need if you want to be a master negotiator. Finding deadlines is one of the important ones.