Improving Negotiation Skills

Actually, business – like international diplomacy – is really based on negotiating. It is no coincidence that the Spanish word for “business” in virtually every Latin American country is negocios. Business negotiation skills that have not been properly developed and honed to a fine edge can fall prey to intimidation and often result in surrendering on issues that you may not have wanted or needed to. In fact, business negotiations are all about give and take, ultimately resulting in a solution that is satisfactory to everyone. Negotiation training is the most effective way to “level the playing field.”

Having yourself and your staff go through negotiation courses taught by experienced consultants is one of the best ways to prepare your business for all contingencies. Negotiation training can be offered at your place of business on a schedule that works best for you.

During negotiation courses, students will have the opportunity to practice the necessary business negotiation skills in an environment that is less threatening in order to gain expertise and confidence. During this kind of training, your consultants will provide simulated situations that people are likely to encounter in the real world. As they are taken through these scenarios step-by-step, they are shown how to work through them and overcome objections. Improvement in business negotiation skills among sales staff and executives is steady and impressive.

Social Networking Strategies

Like learning anything new, online marketing tools bring with them a small fear of learning something new. Even though there’s a learning curve involved, once this hurdle has been negotiated, business owners will be glad that the to the jump.

Over the previous five years, social networking is totally reinvented the way people market products and services. It is a great leveling the field that stands between small home-based businesses and major Fortune 500 corporations. This is why this is such a great marketing tool to add to your marketing channels because of the great return on investment that it provides.

Gone are the times when business owners looking to attract potential customers have to attend networking events. This is now totally automated and provides the business owner with several hundred times the outcome than old-school traditional approaches. Social networking allows you to reach and engage your niche target audience like never before enhance your customer service and brand image online.

There were many companies that use social sites like twitter as their customer service department. Companies like Dell computers and many of the major airlines have found that using twitter provides a real-time customer contact tool far better day and old-fashioned call centers. Customers can easily contact a customer service representative by lighting into their twitter account and sending a tweet to the company profile. Many of these companies have full-time workers who do nothing more they answer the social networking inquiries. What better way to reduce the amount of anxiety ridden calls that customer service reps have to endure than minimizing the length of message a customer can send.

If you are out to attract prospective customers and develop your online presence and exposure, you owe it to yourself and the financial future of your business to learn everything you can about Internet marketing.

Makes A Good Negotiator

To supply an answer and provide something that we can all benefit from regarding our own negotiation styles and practices, I looked to three opinion polls that Chester L. Karrass wrote about in his book “The Negotiating Game.” These polls looked at attorneys, accountants, retail buyers and real-estate brokers to see how they viewed negotiations. Additionally, the literature of diplomacy, business and collective bargaining was probed for a deeper insight into the personality makeup of successful men and women in general. Karrass writes that as a result of the studies, the ability to measure bargaining skill objectively and to understand how the attitudes of these various professional groups differ with respect to the qualities necessary for a first-rate negotiator was now available.

Nearly five hundred negotiators took part in the survey, and it not surprising that there were significant differences between the answers of the various groups. Industrial negotiators, such as salespeople, engineers, buyers and contract-management people differed in their responses compared to commercial negotiators such as attorneys, accountants, real-estate brokers and retail-clothing buyers. As a group, those in commercial activities placed greater emphasis on analytical ability, self-esteem, and patience. Attorneys and accountants see negotiation as a problem-solving affair rather than as a quest for reaching objectives. No other professions surveyed were so emphatic on these points.

Karrass reports that this study provides two clear lessons: 1) the difference in opinion between various professionals is significant, and 2) when members of different professions assist one another at the bargaining table they are likely to view negotiations traits in diverse ways. We are now back where we started; acknowledging that there are many ways to negotiate and successful negotiators come in all shapes and sizes and possess various traits.

However, the professionals that were surveyed, and who should know the most about negotiation, collectively believe that the following seven traits are most important:

1. Planning Skill

2. Ability to think clearly under stress

3. General practical intelligence

4. Verbal ability

5. Product knowledge

6. Personal integrity

7. Ability to perceive and exploit power

This is not a bad list. I’m sure we can all agree that these traits are important during negotiations. Are they the be all and end all of negotiation? No. Are there other traits we can develop to improve our negotiation success? Certainly. The list does give us a good start in answering our question of what makes a good negotiator. It would benefit anyone who wanted to improve their negotiation skills to critique these traits within themselves and work toward developing these traits to their maximum potential.

Besides the list above, I think it would be beneficial to examine all the traits and how they were ranked by attorneys in the survey. The following is pulled from the Appendix of “The Negotiating Game.” The traits are ranked from highest importance to lowest among each group.




Product Knowledge






Power exploitation


Team leadership






Personal integrity




Personal attractiveness





Verbal clarity


Warm rapport






Gain opponent’s respect



Ethical standard

Personal dignity

Risk being disliked

Gain boss’s respect

Organizational rank


Clear thinking under stress

Analytical ability


General practical intelligence


Negotiating experience

Broad perspective


Workers Compensation Insurance

In many states, a majority of employers STILL operate without the required workers compensation insurance. And, most of those do not plan to purchase insurance. But, employers MUST have workers compensation insurance if their business meets the minimum requirements in their state of operation. It should be thought of as a non-negotiable business expense and not a “nice to have” line item.

Employees must be protected on the job from workplace injuries through safe work environments. When injury does occur on the job, employees must have safeguards against personal financial hardship. It’s the law for most businesses and a good idea for everyone else. And, if you’re concerned about fraud from lazy or disgruntled employees, don’t be. Less than 1{7321bd14b259fcf2621295902ea867e1193d482c35cb847d06f395fb5682e5c8} of workers compensation cases filed prove to be fraudulent.

If you do not yet have workers compensation insurance, there are many resources for you to get it quickly and easily. You can shop by phone, in person or online. The last of these is a great way to shop and buy insurance. There is no need to leave your office and you can get all the information you need immediately regarding your state’s regulations and rates. Insurers Web sites that specialize in workers compensation insurance will be well equipped to help you wade through all the complexities of your state’s laws to arrive at the most cost-effective plan.

Several factors may affect your rates including:

* Number of employees in your business

* Level of personal risk for jobs done

* State where you conduct business

Also good to note, if you’re paying more than $5,000 annually in workers compensation premiums, you should be getting a dividend back each year.