Here's the October 2010 issue of Psyche-Selling TM eNewsletter, and for the past 3 months, we have been getting lots of enquiries on negotiation skills training, not just sales negotiations, but also negotiations between foreigners and Chinese counterparts, as well as negotiating with "unreasonable" bosses.
In many cases, negotiating is thought to be akin to bargaining, or specifically bargaining over prices. In actual fact negotiation is a lot more than that, and seeks to jointly create solutions with the adversary.
Some will say that while this is the ideal, but that may not be very applicable to China, where negotiating parties are skeptical and distrustful of one another.
Hence, this month's topics:
This issue's main article is on "Sun Tzu and the Art of Winning Negotiations in China", and the focus is on how you can navigate the complex relationships and achieve winning outcomes.
In the meantime, please check out our upcoming events in November-December 2010:
Sun Tzu and the Art of Winning Sales Negotiations in China 4 December 2010 (Qingdao, in Chinese)
Sun Tzu and the Art of Winning Negotiations in China
by c.j. Ng
To many of his colleagues, Sandro is an old China-hand. Having been working in various cities in China for the past 7 years, Jack has more working experience here than most of his Chinese colleagues.
One of the key success factors that attributes to Sandro's career success in China is that he takes time and patience to listen and understand his Chinese colleagues, suppliers and partners. While some of the business practices in China may be very different, even contradictory, with the ones in his native Germany, Sandro has always been patient enough to understand why certain things are done in certain ways, and then seek to get his Chinese counterparts understand why some things have to be done the international way.
Hence, when it was time to negotiate a major deal with a key supplier, Sandro decided to have his Chinese Project Manager take the lead in the negotiations. As Sandro had not had the experience negotiating for such a large project in China yet, he thought it may be a good idea to learn from the local expert.
Halfway through the negotiations, Sandro found things to be diverting away from his goals, such as:
Having these observations in mind, Sandro was wondering if there's a better way to get long-term commitment to negotiated agreements in China.
Formulating Your Negotiating Strategy
"The victorious army plans for victory before fighting, the vanquished army fights before planning for victory" (胜兵先胜而后求战，败兵先战而后求胜), says Sun Tzu in the Art of War. The same principle applies to formulating negotiating strategies as well. We can use Sun Tzu's 5 elements:
To start with, you will have to define what is the goal, or desired outcome, for the negotiation. The most primary concern you need to have is if you just want to win the negotiation, or would you like to have a sustainable outcome of your preference.
Interestingly, while it is often mentioned that Chinese business people expect negotiated agreements to be re-negotiable later should there be some unforeseen circumstances arising, most Chinese negotiators tend to view a signed contract or agreement is an indication of negotiation success. They often are too myopic to see that if the agreement is not sustainable in the long term, or that if it is deemed unfair, their negotiation adversaries will want to re-negotiate. As such, the negotiated outcomes are NOT sustainable
Hence, to reach a sustainable negotiating outcome, you will have too consider a few more factors, such as:
Why should your adversary agree to your demands or requests?;
What are you willing to give in return for what you get?;
When to walk away and negotiate with someone else instead?
The next question then is: would it be safe to tell our adversaries what we want?
The best victory is the one that is won without fighting
In simple terms, negotiation can be defined as: getting others to give you what you want, by giving them what they want.
The problem is, most of us would like others to give a lot MORE of what we want, while we give as little of what they want. While the reason behind such thinking is to control costs or maximise profits, there are however some flaws in this logic:
As Sun Tzu says, "The best victory is the one that is won without fighting" (不战而屈人之兵，善之善者也). If you want your adversaries to give in to your demands or give you a lot of what you want, you may want to make your adversaries feel that:
Sun Tzu also says, "use conventional methods to get organised, but use out-of-the-box methods to achieve victory". (以正合，以奇胜). Talking endlessly about price will end in a stalemate, but if both parties are willing to explore the reasons why they want what they want, they might be able to come up with a creative solution that meets mutual needs.
There is a Chinese expression called "words spoken from the bottom of one's heart" (掏心话), which is actually quite common between buyers and sellers whom have done business together for a long time. It goes back to the Chinese ideal of taking care of the welfare of your business partners, even if they may be your negotiation adversaries. The trick is to make your adversaries trust you quick enough for this effect to happen.
Know Yourself and Your Adversary
When we mention we need to win the trust of our adversaries, it doesn't mean that we are just being nice and sacrifice all our profits. Hence, Sun Tzu says, "Know yourself and know your adversary, a hundred battles fought and not be imperiled in any" (知己知彼，百战不贻).
What this means for the negotiator could be:
In short, while there are overwhelming tips, techniques and other resources on how to win in negotiations, there is only one thing in the minds of your adversaries, and that is "Why should I let YOU win?".
Here's one last little story to illustrate why it is important to get your adversaries to want to let you win, rather steamrolling over them. We often see some unreasonable and rude guests in hotels or restaurants who make unreasonable demands to the service staff in very rude ways, knowing that because they are paying the money, the service staff will just have to say "yes" to most of their rude demands. While some service staff merely suffer in silence, some experienced service staff know how to get back by secretly spitting or adding other unmentionable "ingredients" into the food of the rude customer.
The moral of the story: even if you have overwhelming bargaining power, you may still want to make your adversaries wanting you to win. As in the Art of War, "To win, use reason to connect with your people, and use discipline to implement your strategies" (合之以文，齐之以武，是谓必取)
Need help in winning more negotiations in China? Simply e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call +86-136 7190 2505 or Skype: cydj001 and arrange to buy me a mocha. All information shall be kept in confidence.
24-25 November/ 4 December 2010
Join international Sales Force Effectiveness coach and trainer c.j. Ng in these workshops in Shanghai and Qingdao respectively where you will find out:
How to get past the price issue and focus on issues that really matter to both parties;
How to get your adversaries to keep and adhere to their negotiated agreements
DATE & VENUE:
PRICE: please click the above links for the pricing and detailed information, or contact Viven @ +86-21-6219 0021 for details. Limited complimentary 1 night stay @ the Crowne Plaza Qingdao is available for the first 3 registrants.
For optimal training effectiveness, we are expecting a small group of
about 15 people for each workshop only. Please e-mail your
enquiries to email@example.com .
Need a Keynote Speaker for your Major Sales Conference?
Whether you are holding a conference for your regional staff, resellers or even customers, we have the right speaker who can help you deliver the spirit of your conference, and effect positive changes to meet your goals.
The topics our speakers can speak on include:
Simply e-mail your requests to firstname.lastname@example.org or call +86-21-6219 0021 for enquiries. Sample video and audio recordings available upon requests.
Practical Tips for Cosmetics Sales People:
Creating Outstanding Sales Results by Focusing on the Customer
By c.j. Ng
I have been asked this question by many retail or FMCG (Fast Moving Consumer Goods) companies if the concepts that Psycheselling.com has been applying successfully when selling to corporates or businesses can also be applied onto selling to consumers.
The fact is, since we focus largely on B2B (Business-to-Business) sales, we don't quite have the exact answer. That is until recently.
We happen to have this "confession" of a skincare cosmetics promoter, Sharon, who was very new to her job and was almost hopeless with numbers, but is now the top sales person of her team and is currently coaching her more senior colleagues how to improve their sales too. Here are some excerpts of Sharon's "confession":
"I started my new job on 1-Sep-2010 as a cosmetics consultant because a long time friend whom I lost the number called me asking me if I know anyone who wants that position. I took the job, without time for interview, put to be the make-up artiste there because of a discussion I had with my friend (my new boss) who happened to see me doing a demo for a customer who bought all the colours I recommended $400 in all.
"Best of all I didn’t know what the promotion mechanics were so all the items I sold were not discounted or 'vouchered' as I was NOT informed about them... ...I was put to work immediately after a brief training. I broke the sales records, 80% of my receipts were high-value items in ala-carte items undiscounted. The balance 10-20% were small items like single lip balm items or small hand creams mainly because those customers are really on a tight budget and were willing to give one out of 3 or 4 my recommendations a try."
"To my surprise, those non-discount customers were the ones who came down from Orchard to Raffles City (quite a distance in Singapore) to look for me when they hear from my colleagues that I am on duty at Raffles City. They came to me with their friends to seek advice for their skin/hair/body-care problems and they also paid WITHOUT discount and/ or free gifts. Hey...come to think of it may be I am the gift!"
"It’s not even end of September, and I don’t even know the ingredients and technical details in the products! Yet, I am already training the new girls who only came in days later than me and giving refresher training to the girls who came in earlier than me. To my surprise girls with problematic attitude opened up to me about their concerns and dissatisfaction. These are the two girls my boss says were fighting with each other, and they don’t fight anymore after the 2 sessions of training with me."
"She (my boss) asked me what I did? I said I really don’t know... ...I only shared what I know and think can help my customers and colleagues. All constructive and non-constructive details were sounded out there and then."
"My only fear is my boss test on my technical details.
I only know how to sell them by the usage or the
solutions they provide. I don’t know what are the
technical details that make them different from other
brands. People buy from me because I got them to
open up their skin/hair & body-care problems and I just
bring the bottle as the problem solver to them - based
on the bottle’s labels. I am still learning the
technical details at my own time and I hope my boss
doesn’t think I am incompetent or ask me lots of weird
questions on 'how I did it?' *Shrugs*"
It's also noteworthy that Sharon sees her products as "solutions" to her customers' problems. The term "solutions" seems to be used more frequently in B2B sales than for consumer sales, but in this case, it has become relevant to consumers.
Also, Sharon probably thinks she is selling "solutions" to her customers, even though what she is doing is to provide a solution that fits individual customer's needs. Her skincare/ hair care/ body care advice are an integral part of her customers' solution as it is the products they buy. If only more retail sales promoters could be more sensitive to customers' needs, they will also see faraway customers beating a path to buy from them too!
If you would like to get more and better ideas how to create outstanding sales results by focusing on the customer, you can e-mail email@example.com or call +86-136 7190 2505 or Skype: cydj001 and arrange to buy me a mocha. All information shall be kept in confidence.
Sales... ...the lifeblood of a company, a matter of "life and death", survival or extinction. Indeed, something that needs to be studied, applied and re-modified consistently.
Psyche-Selling TM is set up so that companies and sales people can make healthy profits and STILL provide genuine solutions to customers.
Psyche-Selling TM would like to create an environment where customers can trust sales people to give them what they want, and NOT be pushed with all kinds of products and services. In return, customers will become loyal fans of these ethical and professional sales people, and repay them many fold for the long-term.
Psyche-Selling TM will not rest, until the above is achieved. Not just in China. Not just in Asia. But everywhere where buying and selling takes place.
Psyche-Selling TM is a wholly-owned brand of Directions Management Consulting Pte Ltd that specialises in the field of improving sales performance by enhancing the performance of the entire sales team. Apart from the regular "selling skills training", Psyche-Selling TM conducts pre- and post-training analysis, interviews, monitoring and reviews, working closely with managers and even senior management, to deliver real improvements in sales leadership and performance.
Hence, Psyche-Selling TM would like to be known as the preferred choice of outstanding and remarkable clients, and pride ourselves as such. We will also be continuing to assist our clients achieve greater heights in 2009 and beyond.
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