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If you keep doing what you've been doing, you'll keep getting what you've been getting - Less 10% every year!
"Mark Neely has been a sales and negotiation skills trainer for AICC for five years.  His courses consistently receive some of our highest evaluations, no doubt due to his ability to understand our industry's issues and apply them to the day-to-day situations which our members face.  Mark's a winner!"

A. Steven Young
Executive Vice President
AICC (Association of Independent Corrugated Converters)

Listen to Mark "negotiate" a corporate travel contract at the ACTE XI Capital Ideas Global Impact Convention:
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In the 2-day program, Negotiating From Strength (NFS), attendees will focus on the long-term aspects of relationship building. The process of negotiation tends to create tension and pressure. Individuals who are unskilled at working through the conflicts that arise when points of difference exist or when personalities clash tend to magnify the already existing problems. Time is then wasted while relationships struggle to get back on track. Trust is a key point of discussion in the two-day NFS program. The purpose of this discussion is to help individuals to create clarity in their approach to customers so as to separate themselves in the most positive way from their competitors.

In the NFS program time is taken to help the whole customer-focused team – customer service, production, management and sales – to create a more fluid interaction for the purpose of demonstrating to each other as well as to customers a deeper individual and company trustworthiness for the purpose of diminishing conflict over “the price.”

The two-day program effectively addresses the short-term tactical aspects of negotiation while delving deeply into the long-term aspects and importance of relationship building as relates to the sales and negotiation process.

Sample Outline

(8:00 – 4:00)

  • Introduction
  • Role-Play
  • Dealing with Pressure
  • Intentions And Interests
  • Concession Making Technique
  • Hidden Dollars
  • Listening Exercise
  • Role-Play
(8:00 – 3:00)
  • Recap Day 1; Introduce Day 2
  • Role-Play – Winning, Part 1
  • Aspiration, Fear, And Motivation
  • Winning, Part 2
  • Winning (Conclusion)
  • The Tactical Approach
  • 10 Planning Questions For Negotiations
  • Role-Play (Reinforcing Effective Technique)
  • Concluding Remarks

Goals of the Negotiating From Strength Seminar

  • To become more self-confident in the Negotiation Process
  • To become more self-aware so as to work through customer tactics with strength
  • To maintain Professionalism under Pressure
  • To build relationships with a focus on profitability
  • To think through long-term needs while protecting short-term interests
  • To know the techniques of negotiation so as to be able to focus on relationship
  • To separate oneself from the competition so as to be seen as a problem solver and not a price reactor

Upon completing the course

  • Participants will be more prepared to handle conflict and problems in a cooperative and creative manner.
  • They will be able to think through needs and interests, both from their own point of view, as well as from the other party’s perspectives.
  • They will also be familiar with techniques on how to more effectively deal with each other as well as with other professionals at their own company.

Key Points of Learning
(Created by a sales rep from Weyerhaeuser after attending NFS)

  • Listening is the key – What’s driving the customer? 
  • Body language reveals much about how we feel during negotiations.
  • Preparation, Preparation, Preparation!  Write things down.
    • Anticipate objections
    • Concession strategies
    • Cost of concessions
    • Don’t give without getting something in return
    • Establish an Opening, Target, and Walk-away position beforehand.
  • Know where you are and why you are there – sell boxes, make money, work to help solve customer problems
  • Conquer our own inhibitors
  • Understand our pressures as well as customer’s
  • Know the $ value of all that you do for the customer
  • Use the Internet to gather info as a part of preparing for a call
  • Negotiate from strengths
  • Everyone has internal Windows of Certainty and Doubt – the customer strives to move us into the window of doubt – this is the basis of a tactical approach to negotiation
  • Once we satisfy a need the customer is not motivated to give anything back so ask for something in return before you make a concession.
  • Slow down, you’ll get there faster
  • New business in your pipeline provides leverage (confidence) in dealing with a demanding customer – makes it easier to walk away if necessary
  • Know the internal climate/culture of the customer
  • Be professional – You are the company
  • Don’t give the customer the sense that you are selling. Help him/her instead – the customer senses your intentions
  • Customer appreciates your value more than they will ever tell you
  • Bid only to specs in an Internet situation.
  • Brain shuts down under pressure and we are not as creative nor do we listen as well.  Stay under control of yourself and manage your own reaction to fear and pressure.
  • Internal relationships are very important – work to build those relationships at every opportunity
  • Get into the head of the customer – try to see what he sees
  • Set firm targets
  • Must believe in opening offer
  • Handling objections – Listen, Reassure, Clarify, Resolve – don’t skip the middle two out of time pressure or impatience
  • Tactics are short term.  Recognize when they are being used.  They are used to test our flexibility
  • If you keep doing what you have been doing, you will keep getting what you have been getting – less 10% every year.  Be open to new methods and tap into your own resource of adaptability!
  • Customer trust is vital. Just because you are trustworthy does not mean that the customer is going to trust you.

Contact Mark for an example of Post-class work for Negotiating From Strength

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