Negotiation skills for Virgins
Negotiating Skills for Virgins
Negotiation skills for virgins is a book that markets itself on total beginners and the series has other books also designed for “virgins”. The book starts with encouragement to the reader, that the starting level can really be anything.
The book explains that how anyone can become an expert negotiator and no experience is really required, only the attitude towards self-development. The book is worth reading, since negotiating basically exists in every situation in our lives. Negotiations can be work related, such as asking for a raise or a different position or even getting you teenage child to come home before 11pm.
In the book the entire mindset of selling and negotiating is different. The book advices to sell and close the deal as soon as possible to avoid negotiating to save time and money but always that is not possible, and the provided service or products must be negotiated to ensure a good deal for both parties. One thing that stood out was that in negotiations the main thing was not to emerge from the negotiations as a winner and the other party would be defeated or lose, but to find the best possible solution for both parties to ensure future collaboration and business. The writer has an interesting point that, no one wants to negotiate or are willing to do so, if the other person doesn’t have something they need, or they believe that the other party can’t help them. This might seem as self-explanatory, but its opened up in the narrative and the reader can grasp on the idea.
The book had many acronyms and mantras but the most important in my opinion was “information, information, information”. The book explained in great detail that why it’s important to find out as much as you can about the other party and their company before the business meeting. The more information that is gathered before the meeting, the better solution can be found for both parties. For example, financial gains might not be what the other part is after but exposure or saving time or other beneficial things. To know these things beforehand can really speed up the negotiations and leave both parties with something positive without the feeling that they have lost something in the negotiation.
In the book there were many negotiating tips and mannerisms to take note on. For example, “deconstructing the No” Etherington,Bob.,2008. Negotiation Skills for Virgins., was very interesting topic. In situations that the other part is negative, and No would be their favorite word, the book advices the negotiator to ask questions and try to understand the reason behind the negative answer. In some cases, there could be misunderstandings that are causing the No and it could be resolved by deconstructing and looking at the dilemma from another angle.
There are many reasons for the other party to use the dreaded “No”. It can be just because they want to leave the situation and they are feeling uncomfortable, or simply because they are not interested in the product or service being sold to them. In these situations, it is good to reflect on the book’s point, that no one negotiates, if you don’t have something they need, or they believe you can help them in some way. In a situation like this, the book has a few tricks you can fall back on, like resetting the situation and trying to use deconstruction of the No to define that it might be even a misunderstanding.
In any negotiation asking questions, even more importantly, asking the right questions is essential for keeping the other party engaged, instead of forcing you sales pitch down their throats, letting the customer do the talking to find out pressure points that can be later capitalized upon is a powerful tool in any salesperson’s kit. The book puts it in a great way
“Never make a statement when you can ask a question” Etherington,Bob.,2008. Negotiation Skills for Virgins.
Asking questions and finding the pressure points also opens up opportunities to sell something that wasn’t even thought of before. This method can even back the customer in a corner, that their talking has opened up a problem and you as a salesman are able to fix that and the customer is left with only option: make the sale.
One very important thing was a concept called “Letter In Your Back Pocket” Etherington,Bob.,2008.Negotiation Skills for Virgins. This idea was that if your preset goals couldn’t be met in a negotiation situation, you would have a plan B. The plan B should be good enough and premade to give you an emotional upper-hand and confidence in negotiations. In case the agreement reached in the negotiation is better that the contents of the LIYBP, then it should be accepted. If not, the agreement should be renegotiated until it would exceed the LIYBP. If that is not possible then the negotiation should be discontinued.
The book explains the differences in negotiating with different cultures and positions. For example, sales negotiations with people from Scandinavia or Europe can be more laid back and even have some humor in them. Similar type of behavior can be plausible even with Americans. If the negotiations are done with Asians, for example from China, Japan or those areas in Asia, the mannerisms are very different. In China its common that in negotiations, there’s the supervisor and the person who is speaking for the supervisor. Age is also really important in those cultures and addressing an older colleague by their first name is considered to be rude. Preparation is in even greater role in these cultures, since talking out of term and offending the other party is really easy to do. In these cultures, it’s not uncommon that the other party decides to not do business with the other at the first meeting, but still goes to the next ones just out of respect. To avoid wasting both parties time like this, preparation and studying their culture is a must have skill for any salesperson to have. The book has great examples as the narrator in these situations and how he handled them. The examples were clear and easily applicable to real life situations.
In conclusion, Negotiation skills for virgins was a quick book for anyone willing to develop themselves in negotiating. The 152-page information blast was a good read and would recommend it basically to anyone. Points were easy to comprehend, and the various real-life examples were realistic and easy to apply into own experiences. This book receives a high recommendation.
Etherington,Bob.,2008. Negotiation Skills for Virgins.