Christine K. Clifford, CSP is the author of nine books including Let’s Close a Deal! Turn Contacts Into Paying Customers for Your Company, Product, Service or Cause and YOU, Inc. The Art of Selling Yourself. She is CEO/President of Christine Clifford Enterprises and The Cancer Club, helping companies and individuals craft their story and designs “knock your socks off” Media Kits for companies, individuals and entertainers.
Let’s start with a basic question – what are the biggest negotiation mistakes that novices make?
The biggest mistake made by most sales people—both new and old—is thinking of a sale in terms of “What’s in it for you, and what’s in it for me?” I call this the typical “Win-Win” situation. Rather, a sale always has a third party beneficiary: your company, your family, a charitable organizations, etc. So instead, look at the sale as, “What’s in it for three?” I call this the Win-Win-Win. If you keep in mind all parties involved, you have a much greater chance of success.
What is the quickest way to improve your negotiation skills within a short time period, say, six weeks?
Ask everyone you know (your boss; colleagues; friends; family) what you are doing right, but more importantly, what are you doing wrong? This information can be gathered fairly quickly and you can start acting on it immediately.
Face to face meetings and personal interactions are becoming increasingly rare. How do you negotiate in the age of Facebook, Twitter and Whatsapp?
Getting your face—and body—in front of a potential client is still the best way to close a deal. But if you can’t accomplish that, send a short video, Skype, or Facetime so you can actually interact with the other party.
Many newer companies, especially startups, take pride in the fact that they don’t have a sales department single sales person, even in the niches that are still dominated by direct sales, like enterprise software. What’s your view on this trend – is salesmanship a skill that’s going to be always in demand or are technological advances, especially Big Data, leaving less and less room for ‘old school’ sales tactics?
We are all salespeople… in every aspect of our lives. So the question is not, “Is there a need for a sales person?” But rather, “How can I be more effective?” Every person in every organization is a “face of the company.” And because of that, they are selling the company/product/service/ or cause. But this becomes even more reason to be as effective as you can be given the small amount of time or exposure you may have to a potential client.
Could you please give a few specific tips for negotiating over the Internet – email, LinkedIn, Skype, etc.
I sold a $2500 sponsorship to PORSCHE by simply sending a cold/call query email. Why did it work? Because it captured their attention, explained briefly what the benefit would be to them to participate, provided a history of the success of the organization I was soliciting for, and asked them for their business. Tips for negotiating over the internet are these: be brief, brilliant, bold and brave.
If you were to pick one person to be world’s best negotiator of all times, who would that be and why?
Taylor Swift has become one of the world’s best negotiators because she has clout; she asks for what she wants/needs in a way that is not offensive; and she is liked—no loved—by all. Positioning yourself in a place where you cannot fail is what Taylor has accomplished in a culture-changing way.
What books, blogs, podcasts and other resources would you recommend to our users who want to learn more about negotiating successfully?
I would recommend my two books: Let’s Close a Deal: Turn Contacts into Paying Customers for Your Company Product, Service or Cause, and YOU, Inc. The Art of Selling Yourself.
Thank you for the interview.
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