Many negotiators confuse experience with competence. All the research suggests that as people become more experienced and hopefully better that negotiation, they often assume that certain behaviours are what makes an effective. Sometimes they’re correct, but more often than not they’re wrong.
There is a temptation to over intellectualise what is going on in negotiations and use increasingly more complex models to try to map the negotiation progress. Rackham found in his research that this was usually ineffective.
Most experienced people will reject any training or coaching with a title that implies that their competence is anything other than reasonably well developed. The Illingworth studies showed that only 19% of sales people are strong or very strong in terms of negotiation competency – a massive 81% who were developmental or adequate! They also found that there was little structure evident around their negotiations even when they had been previously trained.
Buyers are much more competent generally at negotiation than sellers because they are very happy with the process, they normally control the process and they get lots of practice. Having said that, generally their planning is poor, so superior planning can easily give you an edge.
The difference in our approach from a number of other training companies, is that we recommend benchmarking the negotiators prior to the course. We would give them written feedback against our negotiation behaviour framework and a development plan, which could be used after the course to benchmark their performance improvements. Although we do this for a number of organisations, because of the nature of the sales role the initial benchmarking tends to be expensive. What you may prefer to do is for us to spend half a day running through the behaviour of framework with your line manager so they can do the benchmarking themselves. Apart from the cost this gives you the added benefit that the responsibility of the learning transference is shifted four square onto the shoulders of the line manager!
As our programs are written specifically for you there is no blueprint that some subjects that might be covered are:
- Recap of the negotiation process
- Influence and persuasion
- Research on what makes the best the best
- 360 Feedback (both internal and external)
- Action learning on a live negotiation issue
- ‘The Balance of ‘Power’ (what affects it and how to alter it and how to deliver key messages)
- Negotiation Tactics and what to do when they are used on you
- Interpersonal psychology including
- Creating rapport
- Transactional Analysis (including Karpman’s Drama Triangle)
- Non-verbal communication (body language)
- Coaching the team (how to improve the negotiation competence of your team members)
- Team negotiation (how to negotiate as a team)
- The Customer / Supplier Perspective
- Strategic Customer and Supplier Management (including customer business plans and decision-making processes)
- Bids Tenders and E auctions