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February 19, 2018 · 6 min read
Sales skills aren’t only for your sales team. Whether or not we know it, we’re all constantly selling in our day-to-day lives, and especially at work.
Don’t believe us?
Well, when’s the last time you recommended a movie to a friend? You probably 1) knew enough about them to know they’d like the movie, 2) explained why you liked it and why they’d like it, 3) told them that it wasn’t what they’d expect, and 4) offered a concrete time to go see it.
Whether or not you knew it, you just covered 4 elements of a great sell: 1) preparation, 2) sell proposition, 3) objection management, and 4) making an ask.
You just sold that movie-going experience.
Dr. Joshua N. Weiss,s a Senior Fellow at the Harvard Negotiation Project and the co-founder of the Global Negotiation Initiative at the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School, claims that negotiation is a daily task.
“Each one of us negotiates every single day of our lives,” he says, “At work, with loved ones, and in other personal interactions. Whether you’re buying a TV, deciding on a vacation spot, getting your children to do their homework, or asking for a raise, your negotiating skills are continually put to the test.”
Basically what we’re saying is, you’ll be doing yourself a favor by upping your sales skills.
Becoming more convincing has some interesting side effects. You’ll have more compelling and productive discussions, arrive at better agreements, eat at better restaurants, earn a higher salary, and deepen your friendships.
And, contrary to popular opinion, negotiating doesn’t have to be daunting. The traditional “pusher” model — think Glengarry Glen Ross — is losing popularity. By taking the used car salesman tactic, you might get immediate results, but you’ll burn bridges.
But it’s not the 80’s anymore, and that model doesn’t fly. We can’t take advantage of others for our own profit and expect our reputations to stay intact. Communities are virtually connected across continents and our relationships — both personal and professional — are exposed to the world. In a world that’s smaller than ever, we need to constantly create good impressions, hence the growing focus on negotiation styles which preserve and grow long-term partnerships which benefit both parties.
In order to be an effective, empathetic, long-term salesperson, you’ve got to stop thinking traditionally. And that means: 1) communicating well, 2) pitching effectively, and 3) negotiating collaboratively.
Don’t worry, this stuff is FUN!
Everyone is equipped with a built-in sales mode, and it’s not difficult to figure out how to activate it.
Here are 3 sales and negotiation skills that are reasonably easy to improve upon in a short period of time, and that will make a huge impact in your workplace.
“If you would win a man to your cause, first convince him you are his sincere friend.” — Abraham Lincoln
We all have to win others to our side.
Charisma can be created. By cultivating sharp presentation skills, anyone can draw others into their sphere of influence. It’s of the utmost importance to and which, when addressed, can lift their conversations to the next level.
Leah Bonvissuto, co-founder of the communication company BeSpoken, writes that “93% of communication is nonverbal. It proves just how important facial expressions, body language and tone of voice are in communication…People make judgments within a tenth of a second of seeing someone’s face.”
Improving how we communicate is a comprehensive process, since there are many, many elements that a good communicator must control. However, the lion’s share of improvement can take place within just a few hours.
Leah runs workshops in which she gives participants tools tailored to their own voices, so they can make powerful verbal and physical choices on their own. When people are in control of their communication style, they can choose how people perceive them and affect the outcome they want.
“If you want to win, if you want to get what you want, you must make your audience respond emotionally.”
— Peter Coughter
The purpose of your pitch is to captivate your audience. Bring them into your world and make them LIVE your story.
However, the idea of pitching a concept can be daunting. It’s common to feel like you’re exposed, like you don’t deserve what you’re asking for…and these negative thoughts can severely hamper the success of a pitch.
So use a template! A solid, tried-and-true structure both give a logical cohesion to a pitch and reassures the presenter, who has a path to follow through the morass.
In his workshop, “The Elevator Pitch,” Joe Dolce gives participants a concise structure to apply to their pitches. Within this structure, he shows participants how to connect with people, grab their attention and get them to make a small commitment in less than a New York minute.
“In business as in life, you don’t get what you deserve, you get what you negotiate.” — Chester L. Karrass.
Negotiation is a crucial part of sales, but it doesn’t have to go down like a used-car sale. In only a very few cases is negotiation about seller-buyer opposition; rather, most of the time it’s based on collaboration. More often that not, you’ll need that person again soon — so it’s worth preserving and growing that relationship.
Dr. Joshua N. Weiss teaches how to implement a collaborative approach to negotiation, one in which both parties benefit from finding a creative solution to their respective problems.
A lot of myths exist that prevent people from negotiating well, such as: keeping emotion out of negotiation, seeing the other party as your opponent, and negotiating towards one objective. Dr. Weiss busts them one by one, and provides participants with simple strategies to greatly improve their negotiation skills.
When your office starts employing the above 3 tactics — solid communication, good pitching, and smart negotiation — there’s no doubt you’ll see impressive, tangible results.