Archive for January 2021

Would you get married before going on a date?

You don’t have to get people to buy from you in the first sentence. You don’t even have to get them to give you money in the first conversation. This realization was vital to me when I started doing sales and business development. The trick is to think about a journey, not a single transaction. There are all kinds of courses, marketing funnels, pipeline, and sales processes that address this concept in detail. It is important to have a broad understanding before you get too far into such technical details.

I have found that a simple mindset helped me understand this at a high level. Here’s my framework to get started in a marketing or sales conversation.

I break my conversations and messages into three stages: Aware, Attract, Commit.

First, I want people to be aware of what I’m offering or proposing. When it appears my prospect is a good fit then I want to attract them with more details. Finally, if the conversation is still going well then I want to get a commitment. It could take a few minutes or months to walk through this process. It all depends on the size and impact. Trying to jump straight to commitment is like walking down the aisle before meeting your bride.

You can apply this framework to many different situations such as selling a product or service to a customer, getting your manager to approve your project, convincing your neighbor to help pay for a broken fence, and many more situations.

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Negotiating: Why you should improve and the simple method to do it

Negotiations happen every day by almost all of us. It might not be extreme as getting a hostage out of a bank. Negotiating your way through a car sales deal doesn’t happen very often either. So what are we negotiating? 

Negotiating happens in so many of our day-to-day activities. Examples include picking what restaurant to order for dinner, getting your children to go to bed on time, and how to split up the chores with a spouse or a roommate. Often stress starts to increase when the stakes get bigger, like when you think about buying a car or figuring out lease terms with a landlord. 

Most people do not like negotiating. If you want to be successful in business, then you must get over your fear and dislike of negotiations. We know that behavior drives results yet sometimes we forget that there is a step before our behaviors. There is a common and very relevant concept that your thinking drives your behavior. You won’t have good outcomes if you think negotiations are scary or hard or that you always lose. 

So before you try to improve your negotiation tactics and skills you have to fix your mindset. Here are three simple things to do to help: 

  1. Think collaboratively. Approach a situation trying to find a win-win outcome. It is almost always possible for both parties in a negotiation to walk away feeling good with the outcome. 
  2. Know there is common ground. At some level, there is common ground with everyone, especially your negotiating counterpart. Start with the fact that you are both human and get more specific from there until you get as granular as possible. 
  3. Relax. Don’t let your emotions run wild. Slow down, recognize, and address your emotions. Embrace whatever fear or anxiety you have then proceed through it. Chances are your counterpart feels some of the same things. 

There are plenty of tactics, skills, and approaches to help with negotiations but none of them will be successful with the wrong mindset. Begin by recognizing and improving your mental model about negotiations.