Dynamiq Consultants http://dynamiqconsultants.co.uk Turning Change to Advantage Sat, 19 Aug 2017 08:03:34 +0000 en hourly 1 Copyright © Dynamiq Consultants 2014 support@blymi.com (Dynamiq Consultants) support@blymi.com (Dynamiq Consultants) 1440 http://dynamiqconsultants.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/dynamiqlogo-144.png Dynamiq Consultants http://dynamiqconsultants.co.uk 144 144 Turning Change to Advantage Dynamiq Consultants Dynamiq Consultants support@blymi.com no no Preparing for Negotiations (Part 2) – Setting Objectives http://dynamiqconsultants.co.uk/articles/preparing-for-negotiations-part-2-setting-objectives/ http://dynamiqconsultants.co.uk/articles/preparing-for-negotiations-part-2-setting-objectives/#comments Sat, 19 Aug 2017 08:03:34 +0000 Blymi http://dynamiqconsultants.co.uk/?p=2397

Preparing for Negotiations (Part 2) – Setting Objectives

Click here to download a PDF copy of this worksheet Nothing happens until we plan. We need a strong vision and some clear objectives. Setting these objectives correctly is important if we are to achieve the vision. We need first …

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Preparing for Negotiations (Part 2) – Setting Objectives

Click here to download a PDF copy of this worksheet

Nothing happens until we plan. We need a strong vision and some clear objectives. Setting these objectives correctly is important if we are to achieve the vision.

We need first to define the difference between a vision and an objective.

Let’s assume that I have a vision of becoming financially independent. Objectives are the battle plan, the stepping stones on the path towards the achievement of my goal. Therefore, a vision may have one or many objectives that I would need to fulfil to achieve my goal. For example, to become financially independent I might want to:

  1. Get out of debt
  2. Improve my saving
  3. Start a business

So in terms of a negotiation you may have a vision to penetrate a new market sector, this will inform your Negotiation Objective, which may be to win the business at a small overall profit. This will then in turn inform your individual targets for issues that are to be agreed.

Examples of a poor objective might be:

    • To win the business

This is too general and doesn’t give any detail so really doesn’t help at all.

    • To win the business at a 5% margin over 12 months with a no return policy and delivery to a central point and payment terms of 20 days.

This example is too specific and doesn’t leave any room for a negotiation.

Examples of better objectives might be:

  • We aim for a return on investment of at least 15% over the next twelve months.
  • We aim to achieve an operating profit of over £10 million on sales of at least £100 million Cap the increase in prescribing expenditure at 2% whilst maintaining a generic prescribing rate above 70%.
  • Commission services to cut average length of stay by one day, whilst ensuring no increase in re-admission rates
  • Cap the increase in prescribing expenditure at 2% whilst maintaining a generic prescribing rate above 70%.

Therefore in terms of creating a useful mandate these may be useful questions for you to ask

1) What is the Vision of your Business and how does this inform your Objective for the Negotiation

Describe the Objective for the Negotiation

______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________

Now ask yourself the following questions

  • Is it clear how success will be measured?
  • Is it specific enough?
  • Are there any circumstances where you may be prepared to revise this objective?
  • Have you shared this information with fellow negotiators?
  • Got agreement and full understanding across the whole team?

2) Now think about the other party and what you know or suspect about their vision of their business and what this may mean for their objective

Describe what you think their objective may be

______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________

Now ask yourself the following questions

  • What evidence do you have for believing that this is their likely objective?
  • Do you think there are any other possibilities?
  • What possible trades may therefore be attractive to them?
  • How can you best test this through skilful questioning?
  • What is the rest of the teams/organisations views about this

Doing this thinking will help you to achieve a desirable outcome in any negotiation. It will mean that you are well prepared and will form the basis for more detailed preparation.

It will mean that you enter the negotiation with the right mind set and other partners in the negotiation will know what you are aiming for.

Later we will look at

  • Getting a clear mandate
  • Questioning – Great questions to ask, questions which reveal the other sides thinking
  • What are your negotiating preferences and what does this mean for your development
  • How can you best review a negotiation

Click here to download a PDF copy of this worksheet

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9 Strategies to Transform Your Next Negotiation http://dynamiqconsultants.co.uk/podcast/9-strategies-to-transform-your-next-negotiation/ http://dynamiqconsultants.co.uk/podcast/9-strategies-to-transform-your-next-negotiation/#comments Fri, 18 Aug 2017 20:03:01 +0000 Blymi http://dynamiqconsultants.co.uk/?p=2380

9 Strategies to Transform Your Next Negotiation

What does the other side really want? Do we ask the right questions? What sort of preparation will give us the best advantage? Here are 9 tips that can have a direct influence on your next negotiations, be that regular …

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9 Strategies to Transform Your Next Negotiation

What does the other side really want? Do we ask the right questions? What sort of preparation will give us the best advantage? Here are 9 tips that can have a direct influence on your next negotiations, be that regular internal meetings or complex contract negotiations. Even just a small change can reap great rewards.

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Effective Personal and Work-related Planning – Part 1 http://dynamiqconsultants.co.uk/articles/planning-part-1/ http://dynamiqconsultants.co.uk/articles/planning-part-1/#comments Fri, 18 Aug 2017 08:06:34 +0000 peter http://dynamiqconsultants.co.uk/?p=2500

Effective Personal and Work-related Planning – Part 1

Whilst all of us would agree that we never plan to fail, many of us nevertheless fail to plan. I was once a member of a large team of management trainers, working in the residential training headquarters of a Government …

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Effective Personal and Work-related Planning – Part 1

Whilst all of us would agree that we never plan to fail, many of us nevertheless fail to plan.
I was once a member of a large team of management trainers, working in the residential training headquarters of a Government department in the UK.

Many of our in-house jokes contained more than a small grain of truth! On a typical Monday morning, before our new groups of students arrived from all over Britain to attend training courses in supervisory and management skills, you would hear such comments as…

  • “I’ve been invited to attend a decision-making course, but I just can’t make up my mind whether to go or not.”
  • “I was going to go on a problem-solving course, but we had so many difficulties in our office I had to put it off.”
  • “I was going to attend a time management course, but I was just too busy to find the time.”
  • “Every time I’m invited to attend a seminar on motivational leadership skills, I simply can’t be bothered.”
  • “I missed out on a planning skills course because I forgot to put the dates in my diary!”
  • “I’d sort of like to go on an assertiveness course, please, that is if nobody minds!”

On first reading, these quotes can seem very amusing. However, they do demonstrate the tendency of many of us to assume that the only, or even the best way forward is to be immersed in a constant state of reaction and fevered activity, always seen to be firing on all four cylinders, ready to tackle any and every situation that arises in the course of a day immediately, confidently and swiftly.

Don’t confuse Speed with Efficiency!

So often, we confuse speed with efficiency, frenetic activity with effectiveness, and swift decision making (to achieve rapid, ‘quick fix’ outcomes) as being the virtue of decisiveness.

At the end of our working day, we often leave work feeling exhausted, “bloodied but unbowed”, feeling that we have made no real or meaningful progress but that, at least, we have weathered the storms of today: have given the outward appearance of being strong, organized and able to hack it, and hoping that tomorrow, perhaps, will prove to be less of an ordeal to be survived at all costs.

I put it to you, that in your work and in your personal world, the failure to plan how you will use your precious resources of time and energy, day by day, will usually result in you having very little of either under your personal control.

Almost regardless of whether you are at the very top of your organisational tree or at the sharp end of what your organisation delivers in the way of products or services: if you do not regularly seek to exercise a measure of control over how your time and energy are spent, you’re likely to experience daily life as consisting of an unending series of demands, crises, problems, worries, dramas, irritations and the overriding tyranny of the routine vs. the important: of the pressing vs. the truly urgent.

I will, in the next part of this article, share with you what I believe to be a simple, quick to apply, yet highly effective approach to everyday personal planning, be that in the workplace or at home.

The confusion of speed with efficiency is, in our view, at the very core of many of the unhelpful and profoundly wasteful business practices and personal attitudes (mental sets) prevailing in the technologically advanced and materially prosperous parts of our world as we move further into the ‘tweenies’.

I sometimes joke to mostly unreceptive ears that it’s as if we are shouting at each other, “We may not be getting anywhere but just look at how fast we are doing it!”

It’s often, however, those who regularly deal with extremely urgent and life critical situations who are best at adopting a planned and measured approach. My favourite example of the truth of this is the true story of the surgeon in charge of an accident and emergency department of the city hospital when a young casualty arrived in his operating theatre, having been multiply injured in a road traffic accident.

“He turned to his team of surgeons and nurses and said, “Let us not hurry for there is no time to waste.”

…..to be continued …..

by Ian Flemming and Peter Collett ©2013 Dynamiq Consultants

To discuss this theme or any others you have read about on our website, or to suggest any theme or topic you would like us to write about, please get in touch with us at any time via CONTACT US, or e-mail our resident writer peter@dynamiqconsultants.co.uk, remembering to provide your contact details.  We hope to hear from you soon.

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Video: An Interview with Ian Flemming on Negotiation Skills http://dynamiqconsultants.co.uk/articles/video-an-interview-with-ian-flemming-on-negotiation-skills/ http://dynamiqconsultants.co.uk/articles/video-an-interview-with-ian-flemming-on-negotiation-skills/#comments Thu, 17 Aug 2017 20:03:06 +0000 Blymi http://dynamiqconsultants.co.uk/?p=2358

Video: An Interview with Ian Flemming on Negotiation Skills

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Video: An Interview with Ian Flemming on Negotiation Skills

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You Have Control?! http://dynamiqconsultants.co.uk/articles/you-have-control/ http://dynamiqconsultants.co.uk/articles/you-have-control/#comments Thu, 17 Aug 2017 08:03:17 +0000 Blymi http://dynamiqconsultants.co.uk/?p=2474

You Have Control?!

You are not a happy bunny!  You’ve been standing in a slow-moving, then virtually stationary queue for over two hours, caged in a like a rat in a trap, nothing to do or look at other than the ‘cage maze’ …

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You Have Control?!

You are not a happy bunny!  You’ve been standing in a slow-moving, then virtually stationary queue for over two hours, caged in a like a rat in a trap, nothing to do or look at other than the ‘cage maze’ surrounding you on all sides and even above you, listening to the same two minutes of pre-recorded music, noise and nonsense, waiting to go on a ride that is guaranteed to scare you witless and throw you around in all directions for a couple of minutes, when a cheerful – almost a gleeful and merry voice – pre-recorded, of course – tells you and the thousands waiting with you to disperse ‘immediately’ as the ride is now closed due to technical problems.  Who has control here?

“You have control!” a voice says in your ear as you are sitting belted into a seat several hundred yards above Bristol, at the dual controls of a Chipmunk training aircraft (giving my age away now!) on your first ever flight as a R.A.F. cadet.  Minutes later you are experiencing the exuberance of flying an aircraft that does what you tell it to do – every time – go left, right, up, down, faster, slower, round and round, all of these at once! – the world’s your oyster, or your lobster, as one of my favourite Mr Malaprop’s used to say in those days.   Push the joystick forward more than a fraction of an inch and you start to go into a dive, much to the annoyance of the proper pilot who says “Not like that, old boy, we want to stay in the air if possible don’t we, not make a nasty mess on the ground?!  Ease it back a tad … ah … that’s better!”.

Who has control here?

You are enjoying some ‘me’ time, as we love to call it these days.   Those bedding plants you’ve been meaning to plant out for the past week or more – already looking a bit limp and sorry for themselves – are beckoning you to take care of them.   So, you walk away from the ‘glass teat’ in one corner of the room (thanks to Stephen King’s book  “On Writing” for that one!), or the ‘thin controller’ (the one with the keyboard) in another corner, open the back door to the garden and the front door bell rings.

It’s your next door neighbour asking to borrow a small hammer.   You know what happened to their thumb last time you lent them a small hammer, so half an hour later – good deed done – you head for the garden again.   This time your mobile ‘phone plays you a tune that one of your children put on it to surprise you before they went to school.  You wonder where the hell that tune is coming from when you feel the vibration of the ‘phone, pull it out and answer it!

It’s that lovely person from TalkTalk, asking you if you’re having a good day and if you’d like to hear the latest special money-saving, super-fast-broadband etc. deal for ‘TalkTalk’ customers only.  It will only take a few minutes of your time.   Half an hour later, with another £ 10 per month going out of your account for the next year for an amazing package you like to think you understand – at least in part – you stand perplexed, wondering what you are doing in the garden!  Who has control here?

You switch off your mobile – toss it casually through the back door onto your favourite armchair, where it happily slides down between the cushion and the side, not to be found for quite some considerable time, as you’ve set it so it will not switch on in any circumstances other than by you pressing the button that manually switches the power on – how quaint!

By now the afternoon is wearing on so you decide to feed the pets, water the garden, mow the lawn, have a refreshing cup of tea and then take a look at those bedding plants – maybe even plant some out – water them at least.   By sheer perchance it is getting dark and your dinner is ready by the time you turn your attention to the bedding plants … never mind, there’s a day tomorrow isn’t there?

Who has control here?

We live in an age where there has never been more potential for control of just about every second of our conscious and semi-conscious time.  But who is doing almost all of the controlling?!  If you would like to be doing a lot more of it, and your business and colleagues and everyone else to be doing a lot less of it, so that you have – oh dream of dreams – some time to think, plan and make stuff better (rather than just keep running the treadmill of ‘the way it is’), why not give us a call on 0114 2363781 or e-mail us at info@dynamiqconsultants.co.uk with a ‘bullet points’ summary of your business frustrations, challenges, problems etc.   If you feel like getting lots of words down, feel free to do so, reading takes very little time compared to writing, as writers know only too well!   Just remember that “a word in earnest is as good as a speech.” (Charles Dickens).

We aren’t Fairy Godmothers, or Godfathers come to that, but we do have big, listening ears.  We tend not to display our wands, because it’s your magic, not ours, that they need to be charged up with.  The first time we meet you we’ll even listen to you at our expense and promise not to come up with any silly ‘instant fixes’ – we both know those don’t work, don’t we?  But do be aware that, if you ask us the time, we may ask to borrow your watch (a     very old joke about consultancy that carries a grain of truth)!

Whatever else happens, we promise to give you a good listening to, go away quietly and reflect on what you’ve told us, then drop you a line and come and see you again with something positive, productive and pragmatic to propose to you.

What do you have to lose but a weight off your mind and maybe your shoulders?  What do we have to lose but another learning experience?   What do we all have to gain?   Remembering your own youth again, that amazing voice in your ear that (in my case) actually said, “YOU HAVE CONTROL!”

by Ian Flemming and Peter Collett

Dynamiq Consultants

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Problem Solving: When Theory Meets Practice http://dynamiqconsultants.co.uk/articles/problem-solving-when-theory-meets-practice/ http://dynamiqconsultants.co.uk/articles/problem-solving-when-theory-meets-practice/#comments Wed, 16 Aug 2017 20:02:41 +0000 ianflemming http://dynamiqconsultants.co.uk/?p=2463

Problem Solving: When Theory Meets Practice

Many years ago I was working with a small business producing industrial fume scrubbing equipment. My role was to provide management training and related development services to the managing director and his management team. On this particular day I was …

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Problem Solving: When Theory Meets Practice

Many years ago I was working with a small business producing industrial fume scrubbing equipment. My role was to provide management training and related development services to the managing director and his management team.

On this particular day I was running a session on the theme of problem solving.

I thought the session was going very well! I had explored linear approaches to solving problems and was beginning to work with the team on lateral, including brainstorming, approaches to problem solving.

Suddenly, the managing director said “Stop talking Peter! I want everyone to listen.”

As silence enveloped the training room we could all distinctly hear a regular banging noise coming from the factory floor. The M.D. said “Now there is a problem!”

Not unreasonably, I asked “What is that noise?” The managing director said “Let’s all go and have a look!”

There was quite a stir on the factory floor when a small procession arrived, led by myself and the M.D., together with every member of the Company’s management team.

Two fabrication workers were standing on ladders striking a large cylindrical plastic pipe in order to fit it inside another plastic pipe of a slightly larger diameter.

“What is the problem?”, I asked.

“Well it’s pretty obvious isn’t it?”, said the M.D.”When working with plastics it isn’t possible to achieve the exact tolerances that can be obtained when working, for example, with steel or other metals. The best we can do is to achieve an approximation of the required diameters of both pipes, knowing that we then have to fit one pipe inside the other to provide a sufficiently strong structure for containing gas emissions within the fume scrubber.”

“How long has this been a problem?” I asked. “We’ve had to do it this way for years, and I’m concerned that, one of these days, someone is going to get injured using the present method”, he said. “Let’s all go back to the training room” I suggested. So we did.

Finding The Solution

I could see that my credibility as a development consultant was undoubtedly on the line. Even so, I decided that the best way forward was to continue the session with a brainstorming exercise on possible alternative approaches to the highly specific problem we had just witnessed.

First we wrote a definition of the problem on the white board. Simply stated, the problem was “how best to fit one cylindrical plastic pipe tightly inside another cylindrical plastic pipe of a slightly larger diameter”.

Even before the brainstorming session began I had intuited (as maybe you have by now!) what the solution might be! However, it is a central tenet of effective management development work that you must, wherever possible, encourage your client to examine their problem and come up with a workable solution thought through, proposed, and therefore owned by them, not by the consultant!

So the brainstorm began.

Many ideas and keywords were thrown into the room by all present. These included flotation of the pipes in order to float one pipe inside the other: manufacturing the plastic pipes more accurately so that they would be easier to slide together: shrinking one of the pipes so that it would slide inside the other and fit tightly once it had expanded again: using bigger rubber hammers to bang the pipes together… then somebody said just one word, “Heat!”.

I felt very excited as I wrote the little word ‘heat’ on the whiteboard and tried to sound casual when I asked if there were any further suggestions. I was not surprised that no further suggestions were forthcoming. Every face in the room had the same expression, most easily described as “AHA!”

Problem Solved…

I played the theorist for a little while longer, asking the team which of the brainstormed suggestions was most likely to be helpful in solving the problem. Almost in one voice, the team suggested that heat was the most promising approach!

By the end of the day there was no longer a problem. The heating gantry, a standard cold weather facility in the factory’s workshops, was brought into use to heat up the larger of the two plastic cylinders to the point where the unheated smaller cylinder could simply be dropped inside it, thereby achieving a perfect “shrink fit”; an ideal solution, achieved safely, swiftly and inexpensively using existing equipment, plus achieving a better, more tight-fitting product. I went home that day feeling elated! I felt that this was the single best example in my experience of theory meeting practice and proving equal to the challenge.

In my next 1 to 1 discussion with the M.D., I asked him why he thought that the firm had tolerated this problem for so many years without solving it. He said “It’s obvious Peter! We had never given focused attention to the problem until yesterday’s training session. The focus achieved when we all witnessed precisely what the problem was – then defined it and brainstormed potential solutions – was the reason we were able, so quickly, to come up with what was always an obvious solution.”

So maybe the next time you come across what seems to be an intractable (or even an insoluble) problem, you will remember this true story!

There is a very old proverb that every problem contains within it the seeds of its own solution!

In Summary:

  1. Observe the problem and focus closely upon it.
  2. Define the problem as precisely and simply as possible.
  3. Use both linear and lateral thinking approaches to list, or brainstorm, keywords or short phrases that might play a part in achieving a satisfactory solution to the problem.
  4. When all ideas have been gathered, initially without discussion of their individual merits and demerits, examine the list and see if the key to the solution is not already written down, ready to be explored, developed and implemented.

AN AFTERTHOUGHT! “If all else fails, read the instructions! If all else STILL fails, follow them!”

by Ian Flemming and Peter Collett

Peter Collett, Sheffield, United Kingdom

You can e-mail Ian or Peter at info@dynamiqconsultants.co.uk

Peter is a development specialist from Yorkshire, England, whose background includes training managers in the U.K. Civil Service and in large and small businesses in the private sector. He has also worked widely in I.T. systems development and testing, quality management systems design and development, plus commercial and technical authoring of plain English open and distance learning modules on a wide variety of management and development themes.

He describes himself as ‘fascinated with the learning process’ – the whole issue of how and why people learn (or fail to learn!) from cradle to grave.  He is hoping never to recover from this fascination!

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The Changing Face of Sales, Part 1: “So, What is Changing?” http://dynamiqconsultants.co.uk/articles/the-changing-face-of-sales-part-1-so-what-is-changing/ http://dynamiqconsultants.co.uk/articles/the-changing-face-of-sales-part-1-so-what-is-changing/#comments Wed, 16 Aug 2017 08:04:48 +0000 ianflemming http://dynamiqconsultants.co.uk/?p=2479

The Changing Face of Sales, Part 1: “So, What is Changing?”

Peter: So what is currently happening in the world of sales? Ian: I think that the whole face of the world of selling is changing dramatically. As ever, there is both good news and bad news. The bad news is …

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The Changing Face of Sales, Part 1: “So, What is Changing?”

Peter: So what is currently happening in the world of sales?

Ian: I think that the whole face of the world of selling is changing dramatically. As ever, there is both good news and bad news.

The bad news is that customers in all sectors are simply not as loyal as they used to be to their various suppliers: they increasingly tend to use them for a limited time and then move on, often quite capriciously, with little if any warning or preliminary dialogue, or so it frequently seems to the now “ex” supplier!

Peter: Why would that be?

Ian: The reasons are many and some are complex, but it’s becoming very common that people use a supplier for a certain period and then they get a more competitive bid or develop a different (perceived as preferable) relationship, and just decide to move on.

This happens in business to business sales, and is even more evident and obvious in the general consumer and retail sectors.

The Accelerating Pace of Change

Organisations are changing ever faster and people are aware of having many choices about which suppliers to use and how best, using the myriad available forms of contact, to use them for their own maximum convenience and economy.

So the bad news is that, as an organisation, you now need to be seeking new customers constantly, not just periodically or on an ‘ad hoc’ basis. Maybe you always did need to do that, but nowadays the importance of continuity and regularity of selling activity is paramount for businesses that expect to survive, let alone to flourish in the ‘teens’ and onwards into the ‘twenties’.

The Other Side of the “Coin of Change”

The good news, of course – the other side of the ‘coin of change’ – is that because many, in fact most customers are not as loyal as they used to be, there are many more opportunities to get and to win new clients and new work … so many more ways of attracting them …meeting them … convincing them … then taking them away from their current supplier and giving them your services instead!

There is also a tendency for there no longer to be dedicated and specialised sales forces in organisations. Often you have people working in a highly technical capacity and servicing clients – and looking for opportunities to grow and extend the business being done with them! So actually these mainly technical and specialised people must have, or develop, different skills to those needed to effectively deliver the actual products or services supplied.

P: So, in these times, is it more about the getting of the work than the doing of it?

The need for social competencies…

I: With IT projects there is often a lot of opportunity for extending and increasing the scope of services provided, so that all staff need to become proficient at engaging effectively and personably with the customer in developing that process. They also need to have the negotiating skills to talk through and agree what the extras are going to be, and the accompanying social skills and confidence (with a real sense of empowerment) to engage with customers in a way where they feel they can talk freely about all aspects of their requirements.

The rise and rise of social networking…

There is also a growing trend for everyone, and especially perhaps for technical and scientific people (or is that an unfair “assumption”?), to use I.T. and various forms of social networking as much as possible in order to avoid, whenever possible, personal encounters with others. I think that, sometimes, this growing preference for “arms length” interpersonal communication de-skills people in their personal relationships – those vital skills of building a relationship with someone face to face: and you need to do that in a business.

P: Do you think that people are generally seeking alternatives to meeting others face to face?

I: I think that often people do use e-mail, the internet, Facebook, Twitter, texting and so on when it would usually be better and more effective (and quicker as well!) to simply pick up the phone to sort things out, or to set up a meeting. This is, after all, the time honoured way of doing business and was in use for many decades before social networking, or even computing were in their infancy.

Everyone now needs to judge the moment and the occasion, and to choose and use the appropriate form and style of communication that is likely to be most effective, as opposed to most ‘comfortable’ or ‘risk-free’.

Be willing to extend yourself, and move further out of your comfort zone!

Certainly there are always risks in talking to people, but it is our willingness to take those risks and to develop relationships based on meaningful 1:1 human contact that gets the best results – both in business and much more obviously in personal relationships. It was ever thus and will ever continue to be thus while people are people and not Messrs’ Spock.

People need to become less reliant on I.T. in places, situations and at key points where they could do so much better by talking to or meeting the customer.

To be continued…

If you wish to discuss your teams communication, negotiation and selling skills further, give us a call on 0114 236 3781.

by Ian Flemming and Peter Collett ©Dynamiq Consultants U.K. 2013

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Negotiation Preparation & Success – Part 1 http://dynamiqconsultants.co.uk/articles/negotiation-preparation-and-success-part-1/ http://dynamiqconsultants.co.uk/articles/negotiation-preparation-and-success-part-1/#comments Tue, 15 Aug 2017 20:06:42 +0000 ianflemming http://dynamiqconsultants.co.uk/?p=2532

Negotiation Preparation & Success – Part 1

One of my colleagues recently said they found it very useful to attend the Dynamiq Consultants U.K. negotiating skills training. They especially appreciated the concept of putting yourself in the shoes of the other party! When any of us are …

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Negotiation Preparation & Success – Part 1

One of my colleagues recently said they found it very useful to attend the Dynamiq Consultants U.K. negotiating skills training. They especially appreciated the concept of putting yourself in the shoes of the other party!

When any of us are negotiating we often go in with a pre-set frame of mind when all we tend to think about is “I want this – I want that – I want the next thing”, rather than the other way round, by which I mean thinking about what’s important to the other side, and why is that important to them?

Conceding reluctantly

They may want things which you can give them quite easily, but you should generally try to make sure that you get something back in return. The way to do this is to avoid making it obvious when what they want is not a problem for you! In this way you might get an ideal outcome from your angle when they might think that you’ve had to compromise more than in fact is the case.

They may want flexibility of design in the event or process you are offering to them. They might ask you to modify your designs and plans, having no real idea if this will be easy or difficult for you, though it is really important to them.

It may be very important to one of my clients that I be willing to restructure and modify the design of a training programme which I know I can modify pretty easily, in fact. But if I am a shrewd negotiator, I don’t give that fact away for nothing. I do a little reluctant conceding In other words, I give the impression that I will be in some difficulties providing what they are asking for, but in reality it’s not a problem, or only a little one, for me. They get something they value a lot from me, and my willingness to concede ground may increase their willingness to do so when I am seeking a concession of some kind from them.

Developing Leverage

This is all about developing increased leverage; some things I can give away relatively or very easily that the other side value a lot. In all negotiations, they want lots of things as, of course, I do!

Getting paid more quickly

In the case of one of my current clients, I reckon they could pay me a lot quicker than they do! I could renegotiate my invoicing and payment arrangements with them. I could suggest that, in exchange for a modest discount, they could pay me more quickly or on a monthly or on some other ‘preferred supplier’ basis reducing my running costs and business overdraft charges. This may be really easy for them and not an important issue, as they are a cash rich organisation to which my fees are a mere drop in their fiscal ocean! I must be aware, however, that they may – in turn – do some reluctant conceding before agreeing to this. They don’t want it all to seem too easy, any more than I do!

As in all negotiating situations, you must try not to give the impression that many of the things being asked for or demanded are of little or no importance or difficulty to you. If an issue is very tricky or you think it could consume more time than is needed or available right now, then saying “Can we come back to that later, as it’s really important and will need careful consideration?” can be a very useful expression if not overused!

If I am a relatively small enterprise, It may be extremely helpful to me to be paid very regularly, on a retainer or standing order basis for example, but I need not let on to them about that as a ‘needy’ issue – better to stress that it would simplify the project’s cash flow and facilitate future programme planning, resourcing and co-ordination – to the benefit of both sides.

Mirroring

Another term for this is mirroring! Example …. “If you could pay us on a monthly standing order basis, representing 1/12th of our contracted business with you over the year ahead, then we could accommodate your requirement for a high degree of flexibility in our event and programme planning, which is a time and resource intensive issue for us!”

One key skill to be imparted in training people to negotiate successfully is to stress the importance of aiming for a WIN WIN outcome for all, or as perceived by all. Even the most skilled and successful negotiators need to keep remembering to use this skill in all their business negotiations.

Issues of importance to clients…

Some issues are especially important to clients including the flexibility of design, price, quality and standard of delivery. As you can see from our negotiating video and the accompanying articles on this website, good negotiators prepare in advance and give thought to all of the issues that you want to cover and how important those issues are to you. Then you think about your ideal outcome and compare it with the least that you might accept.

In my fee structure I might for example want to charge £12,000 ideally. Then I think about what concessions I might need to be willing to make, so I might be prepared to do the deal at £10,000 but not go lower than that. In this way I develop a realistic set of parameters for the piece of business in hand.

Unless anything radically changed! They might suddenly say they want twenty programmes, so I might modify my target fee structure.
The most important thing is to think about these possibilities in advance, so that you are prepared when they occur. Sometimes you will be working in a negotiating team when this is even more critical.

In our video on negotiation skills I talk about a colleague who worked in the Health Service as a Director of Procurement. He used to go with the Chief Executive of a PCT (a body that funds hospitals) to meet the Chief Executive of a Hospital Trust to negotiate. He told me that the only preparation he did was in the lift on his way to the conference room.

Does that mean that he was a highly skilled negotiator or just a lucky one?

He was unlucky I thought because he’d have been a lot luckier if he’d prepared. It’s like the golfer, Arnold Palmer, who famously said “The more I practice the luckier I get!”

In part 2 of our series ‘Negotiation Preparation and Success’ we look at preparation in more detail, and what makes a negotiator successful.  If you would like more help and guidance on negotiation skills, please contact us or call on 0114 2363781.

Article by Ian Flemming and Peter Collett .

Dynamiq Consultants

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Video: Commercial Skills And The Sales Process http://dynamiqconsultants.co.uk/articles/video-commercial-skills-and-the-sales-process/ http://dynamiqconsultants.co.uk/articles/video-commercial-skills-and-the-sales-process/#comments Tue, 15 Aug 2017 08:03:11 +0000 Blymi http://dynamiqconsultants.co.uk/?p=2456

Video: Commercial Skills And The Sales Process

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Video: Commercial Skills And The Sales Process

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Why Do Your Technical People Need Sales and Influencing Skills? http://dynamiqconsultants.co.uk/articles/why-do-your-technical-people-need-sales-and-influencing-skills/ http://dynamiqconsultants.co.uk/articles/why-do-your-technical-people-need-sales-and-influencing-skills/#comments Mon, 14 Aug 2017 20:03:46 +0000 Blymi http://dynamiqconsultants.co.uk/?p=2430

Why Do Your Technical People Need Sales and Influencing Skills?

Recently I was asked to deliver some short sessions on influencing skills for a local client… they were concerned that their people, whilst technically highly qualified, lacked the essential skills of influencing others. They had identified this was mainly in …

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Why Do Your Technical People Need Sales and Influencing Skills?

Recently I was asked to deliver some short sessions on influencing skills for a local client…

they were concerned that their people, whilst technically highly qualified, lacked the essential skills of influencing others. They had identified this was mainly in conversations with their clients and customers. Staff were agreeing to extra work within a project without additional charges to customers and tense relationships developed. So “what is the need here” is it ‘influencing skills training’, ‘communication skills training’ or ‘sales skills training’?

When I looked into this situation a little deeper, it was in a range of relationships where they had difficulties, not just with customers. They also had issues internally with each other, resulting in duplication and a real lack of co-ordinated work. This resulted in poor service delivery and tensions between the company and its customers. Not good news, I am sure you would agree.

So probably any training would help, but would it address the fundamental problem that was not just a lack of skill, but also a lack of confidence coupled with high anxiety.

Why does this happen and what is the solution?

Many people who are highly skilled technically develop their set of skills precisely because they enjoy dealing with certainty, for example; doctors, scientists and technicians. This expertise can really pay off for their patients, clients and customers, but when it comes to communication they can struggle because they are not dealing with such a predictable set of parameters.

This situation I describe above was compounded by the fact that they were also really busy and couldn’t give up a lot of time. Sending staff on an intensive course probably wouldn’t have worked in the long term and the company just couldn’t afford to release them for long periods of time. Part of the problem was their “busy-ness” they wanted to do everything really quickly and were often distracted by things other than the communication they were involved in. So the first thing was to get them to stop, slow down and think about the purpose of the next communication, think about the people involved and how they needed to behave.

We ended up running short sessions (2 hours max), in small groups on a series of topics i.e. Account Management, Negotiation, Sales and Influencing skills. We then continued to meet with them individually for 40 minute coaching sessions, once a fortnight. We also stayed in touch by email and telephone and this has continued for around six months now. These sessions offer the opportunity not only for coaching but enables us to introduce further techniques and skills that the person can apply individually in their practice so learning is personalised.

What impact did the training in sales, negotiation and influencing skills have on the company?

This intervention has been transformational for the company. The relationships with customers and each other, whilst not perfect, are a lot better. Perhaps we are moving to a different approach to development with more individual support and less attendance at traditional courses. This is having a more profound and long term effect on the people within the organisations we work with.

Working with this client has led us to re-evaluating the way we deliver our training in sales, negotiation and influencing skills. We need to think about training delivery and what would be the most effective way for the client that considers the underlying factors present in any learner.

If you want to discuss your teams negotiation and selling skills further, give us a call on 0114 236 3781.

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