Negotiate Successfully by Using Debating Techniques

In the last negotiation lesson, I expounded on the benefits that proper positioning has and the role it plays, before, during, and after negotiating. This lesson expands upon that theory and takes into account how any negotiator can enhance the outcome of a negotiation by using a few debating techniques.


First, I’d like to cite an experience I encountered at a conference at which I recently spoke. There was a very powerful speaker who spoke on the topic of leadership. I heard him speak in the past, but this time I was moved by his words to the point that I wanted to purchase the DVD set he offered for the continuation of the expansion of one’s mind. As luck would have it, a lady in front of me purchased the last set. She heard me exclaim how I couldn’t believe the bad luck I had to miss purchasing the set. Then, this well poised and well spoken women, turned to me and said, ‘you can have it’. I looked at her suspiciously for about 30 seconds and in my mind, I was wondering what she might want in return (read between the lines if you wish. she had already paid for the set and she was giving it to me for free). It was as though she read my mind when she said, ‘there are no strings attached’. She gave me her contact information and said I could send the set to her after I’d listened to it. As it turned out, this woman whose name is Tori really didn’t want anything in return, but due to her generosity, I’ll assist her in her endeavors in the future.

In the above example of positioning, Tori was not seeking anything from me, but think of what you can do before entering into a negotiation that can endear you to whom you’re negotiating.

After you endear yourself, how can you utilize debating techniques to enhance your negotiation position? The following are a few debating techniques and how they are related to negotiation tactics and strategies.

Debating Techniques:

When debating and negotiating, there are certain principles you should follow …

Clarity: When debating, you should understand the argument.

When you negotiate, you should always confirm your understanding of why you’re negotiating. You should also confirm the other person’s understanding, and get their perception, of what is being negotiated; the reason for doing so is to make sure everyone involved in the negotiation is ‘on the same page’.

Accuracy: When debating, you need to ask yourself if what you hear is true and can it be proven.

When you negotiate, you should at a minimum, mentally question the validity of information presented to you. You should also observe the body language and manner in which information is presented. If you observe the body language of the person you’re negotiation with, you could discern hidden or additional information in the message.

Precision: When debating vague assertions can be assumed to be true until exceptions disprove them.

When you negotiate, if the person’s words that you’re negotiating with are not synchronized with their body language, you can allow the person to continue to unveil their method of ‘bending the truth’ to the point that you’ve gathered enough knowledge of how they use their body when lying. In so doing, you’ll acquire insight into how they lie and you’ll be able glimpse the inner workings of their mind and the mannerisms displayed when doing so.

Depth: When debating, you should observe the comprehensiveness of an argument. In essence, listen for that which is not stated that could prove to be a benefit to your position.

When you negotiate, you should listen for the unspoken word, observe body language, and take note of how unspoken words are used (this is not an oxymoron). In a lot of negotiation situations, that which is not said can speak more loudly than the words that are spoken. You should also take note of words used that could contain dual meanings. Keep in mind when negotiating, just because someone offers a comprehensive rebuttal to a request, doesn’t mean you have to subjugate your position to theirs.

Breadth: When debating, give consideration to whether the argument covers all of the possibilities.

When you negotiate, initially, you should not display your full intentions until you’re somewhat sure that you can get that which you seek from the negotiation. In essence, you cannot allow yourself to become enveloped in a haze when it comes to disclosing your intent of the negotiation less you lose your negotiation advantage.

Logic: When debating you should consider the impact of fallacies in an argument.

When negotiating, a good negotiator can make a plausible argument using false or invalid inferences, the purpose of which may be to heighten the appearance of red herrings. It thus behooves you to be very cognizant throughout all phases of the negotiation.

When negotiating, the more strategies and techniques you’re aware of, and can utilize during negotiations, the better you’ll be at negotiating … and everything will be right with the world.

The Negotiation Lessons are …

– Before negotiating, consider the tactics you’ll employ. Proper planning will give you an additional edge as the negotiation progresses.

– Understand the illusion and value that red herrings can create. When used effectively, they create the opportunity to give something that has perceived value to the person with whom you’re negotiating, but that which has little value to you.

– When negotiating, as is the case when debating, a synchronized plan, aligned with the path that you’ll take to achieve the outcome of the negotiation you seek, will allow you the insight of more maneuverability throughout the negotiation.

Why a Sales Training Coach Is Crucial for Your Business

Even the most natural born salesperson needs to refresh his or her skills with a constant focus on excelling at selling. Since the sales field changes about as much as the trends in the fashion industry, selling is a skill that is always evolving and always needs improvement. A sales training coach can help sales force members develop and implement the right techniques and skills to increase their confidence and effectiveness in today’s challenging and competitive marketplace.

The Demand for Training

Customers want to know they are dealing with knowledgeable and skilled staff members-regardless of what the company is selling. Effective training provides sales team members with the knowledge and skills they need to provide a customer with confidence not only in them, but in the company and its products/services as well. Sales team members-even those with successful track records-will eventually see their sales numbers drop if they are not investing in their skill development. Often the most basic principles and techniques get lost after years of working in the industry. Refresher courses and ongoing programs led by a sales training coach can prevent sales force members from becoming lazy or falling into bad habits that drive sales down.

Evaluating the Cost

The old adage, “You have to spend money to make money,” is true. When it comes to improving a sales team, companies are spending money on their people so they can go out and make the company more money. The relatively small upfront cost of hiring a sales training coach will prove to be well worth it, especially when companies consider how avoiding the costs of sales training can actually cost a company more in the long run as the lack of sales compounds and team members fall behind their competitors.

Benefits of a Sales Training Coach

Proper sales training can improve a sales force in a variety of areas, including basic skills that may be overlooked after years of working in the industry:

• Improved communication: Most people in sales like to talk. After all, much of their job involves talking to customers and prospects and convincing them that their offering is better than their competitors’. But having success as a salesperson takes more than just good conversation. It requires being able to effectively communicate with customers to truly understand their needs and then selling them on a solution that meets or exceeds those needs. A sales training coach helps sales force members learn how to be active listeners, how to pose the right questions, and how to more effectively connect and communicate with prospects in any situation.

• Sales methodology: There are many sales methodologies out there that are proven to be effective. A sales training coach can teach sales force members how to recognize the signals that indicate whether or not a prospect is interested in buying, how to close more sales faster, and how to keep customers satisfied and coming back long after the first sale was made.

• Overcoming customer objections: Objections are a natural part of many sales conversations and processes. Sales force members who are improperly trained accept customer objections and move on, giving up on the sale too early and missing opportunities. But a trained sales force member knows how to overcome customer objections and still close the sale. A sales training coach can help sales force members anticipate the potential objections they may face and provide them with the necessary skills to alter the customer’s way of thinking.

Sales training is something that should be done on a continual basis to keep sales force members sharp and on-point. With the help of an experienced sales training coach, companies can start reaching even their most aggressive sales goals by a making a smart investment in developing the skills of their people. In the end, companies must consider the cost of not providing their sales forces with high impact sales training that can transform individuals as well as entire organizations.

Why You Should Have it in Writing

There is an old saying in the West that says that if the preacher talks too much about stealing, better sneak out a little early, race home and lock the cellar!

The same holds for the good old boy that says, Ah, we don’t need to have a contract. You can trust me. The most innocent reasons for putting something in writing are that frankly each of us forgets, changes our minds or some folk just plain lie!

Robert Ringer famously said in the 70’s, If you have it in writing, you have a prayer. If you don’t have it in writing you just have air! Sadly, old Bobby was right more times than wrong.

A Contract is a meeting of the minds. When two people finally have that, it means that they think the same thing, or at least at that moment in time they think that they think the same thought! So a good thought is to write that good thought down in black and white so both parties can look at it. When you both see it in those bold letters and it is really what you both were thinking, then you really do have a contract. The final touch is when each of you put your John Hancock’s on the dotted line.

Then in the future when your partner decides that he doesn’t remember it the way you do, each of you can pull out that paper and refer to it to refresh your aging memories. Of course, you keep a copy in your 40-ton vault just in case your partner still doesn’t agree ‘cuz that’s what courts are for! Besides, we want to fall into the status quo.

The US has 5% of the world’s population, 95% of the world’s attorneys and 98% of the world’s litigation. And if you were to sneak a peak at the stats, I’m sure we’d find that a goodly part of that is split between New York and California! (quote me and I’ll deny it!) So don’t worry, sue him. You’ll be right at home in good company.

Most all of us want to think the other person is honest and wants the best, or at least is a straight shooter, (the exception, of course, is if you are in the crosshairs of his very large rifle scope!). But thinking that someone thinks what we do and will continue thinking that way is rather dicey.

Ever played that game where you all sit in a big circle and you whisper something in the person’s ear to your right. That person in turn repeats what he thought he heard to the person on her right, and so on around the circle. The rule is that no one can repeat themselves. Each one has to repeat once what he thought he or she heard.

When the last person repeats what he heard to you and you tell the group the two statements the group usually rolls around in laughter! Remember that game? Of course you do! It’s crazy and that’s why we have courts! That’s why we have everything worth remembering exactly put down in writing and witnessed.

Some of the kindest, sweetest people I have ever known have said, OK, great I’ll have my attorney draw up an agreement. Actually it was a compliment. Those kind of people are unique and usually those contracts gather dust in my active files.

It’s the oily guy with the new porcelain smile and his $3,000 suit paid for by his last victim that says, Ah we don’t need to have a contract. You can trust me…NOW That’s when I sneak out early, race home and lock the cellar!

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