E- Zine - May 2003


Tips to Outclass Your Competition – The #1 pitfall in negotiating.

Everyone negotiates. You negotiate with your spouse about where to go for dinner, with your boss about salary, and with your kids about what movie to see. The ability to negotiate successfully is crucial for survival.

Negotiation is not another word for fighting. It is a process by which you exchange information to find ways to satisfy the interests of both parties. Voicing your opinion is not being a bad guy and very often winds up being a reality check to better solutions. Don’t be afraid to negotiate. Everything is negotiable. Follow these steps for successful negotiations.

Be a good listener. Pay careful attention and occasionally ask “Do I understand correctly that…” Ask probing, respectful, questions and then zip up. Just listen, pause, think!

Be prepared by having as much information as possible. What do they need? What do you need? What are the options? Steve Cohen cites a negotiation story about two sisters fighting over an orange. Both adamantly wanted the orange. However, when a parent separates the two and asks why they want the orange, one sister says she wants to make juice and the other wants to use the rind for cooking. Both got exactly what they wanted, but only after asking the right questions.

Don’t judge, and don’t assume anything – collaborate, cooperate, have an open mind – and yes, ask questions. Be a detective – clarify, confirm, take notes.

And the #1 pitfall in negotiating – loosing control of your emotions. If you lose your cool, the other side gains the edge. Keep your emotions in check. Count, breath deeply a few times, ask for clarification, call for a break – do whatever you need to do regain your composure.

Negotiation is a life skill. It is a person-to-person activity. You are not dealing with a bank or a car dealership – you are dealing with people. Don’t neglect the “people factor.” Work toward a win-win result.

If people skills or social skills are important to your success – click here or call 405-341-3216. Find out how you can “Outservice, Outsell and Outclass your Competition.”

Customer Service Techniques – Customer Service Quiz

How do you score on the customer service quiz?

  1. The best way to handle a customer who enters my place of business with fire in his or her eyes is to:
    a. Turn and walk the other way
    b. Signal my supervisor
    c. Approach the customer with a smile and ask how I may help
    d. Wait until we are face-to-face to ask what might be the problem

  2. Most customers who have product or service complaints:
    a. Confront the manager with the issue immediately
    b. Never complain, but take their business elsewhere
    c. Write scathing letters to management after the fact
    d. Continue to use the product or service, but demand retribution

  3. A customer who brings a problem to your attention is looking for:
    a. Heads to roll
    b. Something for nothing
    c. Someone to listen, understand, and solve the problem
    d. All of the above

  4. Listening to product or service complaints can:
    a. Build better customer relations
    b. Improve quality
    c. Increase market share and profits
    d. Do all of the above

Answers: 1. c 2. b 3. c 4. d

How well do you or your employees handle complaints? To impress your customers, keep their business, and increase your profits, click here or call 405-341-3216 today.

The Coach’s Corner – What is success for you?

How do you define success for yourself? Most likely, others, your culture, the past, hope or advertising, define it. Only you can truly define success for yourself.

Ask yourself this question three times:

“I know how successful I am by how (fill in the blank here).”

Stick with this wording because this sets you up to articulate more clearly how you not only define success, but how you know you’re being successful at any given moment.

Some examples of well-phrased success definitions are:

“I know I am being successful by how little I react to situations where one would normally be upset.”

“I know I am being successful by how meaningful my relationships are.”

“I know I am being successful when I watch my kids becoming positive, compassionate, spiritual, loving adults.”

It may take you months to come up with these. Try them on, change them, and tweak them. Once you come up with your 3 definitions of success, see how closely your life is aligned with your definitions. What is pulling you toward them? What is moving you away from them?

As your coach, this is just one of the exercises we do. This helps us hone in on what is important for you at this moment. What changes do you need to make for you to live your definitions of success?

If you discover something from this exercise, I’d love to hear from you. I promise not to use your story without permission and would never use your name.

If you want to make significant changes in your life, hire me as your coach. Our coaching relationship is powerful, and when the going gets tough we stay in collaboration and work through to the other side. As your coach, you have my word that I am 100% committed to you being powerful, successful and to having the life you want.

Quotes of the Month – Never fear to negotiate.

“The bigger the pie, the more there is to share. Creativity in negotiation means looking for more for everyone.”
     --- Steven P. Cohen

“Let us never negotiate out of fear. But let us never fear to negotiate.”
      --- President John F. Kennedy

Ask the Expert - How can I hold my boundaries?

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