10 Ways to Quickly Boost Your Power in Any Negotiation

At the end of the day, negotiating is all about power , who has it, who wants it, and what to do with it. You can read every book out there, you can attend every training class offered, you can even do your own field research, but ultimately what you will be trying to find out is how you can boost your power when you are in a negotiation.

I’ve got some great news for you , you don’t have to do all of that reading, attend all of those classes, or even do any field research. I’ve pulled together the top 10 ways that you can boost your negotiating power. Without any further ado, here they are:

  1. Set the stage to get a “yes” answer: This one is pretty simple , if you make the negotiating environment a positive one you are more likely to get the other side to agree to your proposals. This means that you need to provide plenty of food and drink and you need to take the time to get to know the other side on a personal level.
  2. Take Many Notes: : there is a whole lot of talking going on when you are negotiating and things can get confusing, pretty quickly. The great negotiators are always easy to recognize , they are the ones who are taking lots of notes. This is how they can remember who has made what concessions.
  3. How You Look Matters: : when you are negotiating, you need to dress as though you were at least two, maybe three, levels higher in the company than you really are. The way that you look is the way that the other side of the table will treat you.
  4. More Is Better: : never enter a negotiation by yourself. Make sure that there is always someone else on your side of the table. An extra set of ears, eyes, and notes can only help you do better.
  5. Bring Proof: : Often during a negotiation you will take a position and the other side will challenge you to change your mind in order to make a deal happen. If you have brought along published rules, regulations, or statistics than you can easily defend your position and the other side will have to leave this issue alone.
  6. Practice, Practice, Practice: : Always take the time to practice what you are going to say and how you are going to react the day before the negotiation starts. This is what the pros do.
  7. Keep Your Options Open: : don’t go into a negotiation thinking that you have to have this deal. Instead, do your homework before the negotiation starts and make sure that you know what other options you have.
  8. It’s Not Over Until The MOU Is Signed: : when the negotiations have finished, make sure that you are the one who writes up the final agreement , this is the most powerful role in the whole process.
  9. Keep Your Mouth Shut: : the more you say, the more ammunition the other side has to use against you. Make sure that you say as little as possible and your power will stay strong.
  10. Always Be Ready To Walk Away: :… and ready to come back to the table. The ability to get up and walk away from the negotiating table is a powerful tool. However, don’t be foolish , always come back and see if you can find a way to make more progress.

What All Of This Means For You
Power is a tricky thing in the best of circumstances. During a negotiation, it is even more challenging to deal with. Since it can’t be seen or measured, all too often negotiators decide that there is nothing that they can do about it, you either have it or you don’t.

It turns out that this is not correct, negotiating power is something that the great sales negotiators know how to grow and cultivate. There is no one thing that you can do to build up your negotiating power, rather there are a lot of little things that you can do.

Print out this list and bring it along with you the next time that you start a negotiation. Review it the night before the negotiations start and then put it somewhere where you can easily see it during the negotiations. You’ll be amazed at just how much power you find that you have after all.

Wireless Contract Negotiation – Understanding the Priorities of Wireless Contract Negotiation

Many organizations fall into the same trap when negotiating wireless contracts – listening to the wireless carriers. All wireless carriers know where the savings opportunities are, and most importantly they know what you’re spending. Negotiating the buckets of spending that your carriers offer will only end you with an ineffective contract.

There are a few guidelines you should follow when negotiating with your wireless carriers.

Know your spend. The most critical rule is knowing your spend. You wouldn’t go into a gunfight without ammo would you? You must understand how much you spend on voice and data plans, feature charges, minutes used, equipment purchases and replacements, etc. You will not get an acceptable contract without knowing your spend and where to focus.

Ignore volume percentage discounts. I’ve seen many companies focus on volume discounts, but it’s the absolutely wrong approach. I guess it’s a bragging right to tell all your procurement buddies, “I negotiated 25% from Carrier X.” I’d much rather take the initial 20% offered and focus on rate plan, features, equipment costs. The extra 5% would only equate to $50K annually for every million you spend.

Focus on service charges. Like the guideline above, focus on the service charges. After all, it makes up most of your wireless spend. Negotiating $10 off your rate plan costs would equate to an annual savings of $120k for every thousand users you have. Much more savings than focusing on the percentage discount.

Negotiate out of service level contract terms. The carriers will push for service level contract terms of one or two years. Negotiate out of this if at all possible. A service level contract term will complicate your wireless management, or you’ll be hit with early termination fees. If a line is under a two year service contract and that user leaves the company, cancelling the service early could result in a $200 termination fee. It’s much wiser to give back some of volume discount percentage to eliminate the early termination fee issue. If you can’t negotiate out of this clause, you’ll need to ensure you manage wireless numbers and reassign rather than cancel.

Fight for fixed equipment pricing. Like service line contracts, you don’t want to manage upgrade pricing. Many carriers will subsidize the first piece of equipment heavily but force you to pay extremely high costs if replacing within a year or two. Paying $500 for a Blackberry three times because you have an executive who keep dropping them off his yacht is not fun. Try to negotiate flat pricing for equipment. Don’t focus on specific models, as they always change, but on classes. Put the responsibility on your carrier to offer devices in the same class or higher at the negotiated rate.

Look for other benefits. Does your organization have other needs? Are you looking at Wi-Fi for your locations, bar code scanners at your warehouse, Fixed Mobile Convergence? Work with your carriers to provide these services as part of your contract. It’s extremely difficult to get capital approval in today’s environment. Let your carriers fund your projects. Wireless carriers are happy to provide these added services as it carries over into more usage and more users. As long as it’s related to wireless, your carriers can help.

Speed is a strategy. How long have you seen wireless contract negotiations take? Six, eight, ten months or longer? What value comes out of these long negotiations? I’ve seen organizations in a year long contract cycle and only achieve 10% greater savings than the offers exchanged in the first 2 months of the contract.

To clarify my point, let’s assume the initial contracts offered the potential for $500k in annual savings. The additional savings over a three year contract (at 10%) would equate to $150k.

  • Initial Contracts Savings Potential Annually = $500,000
  • Monthly Savings Potential – rounded = $ 42,000
  • 10 Month’s of Savings Lost = $ 420,000

In this scenario, the organization lost $420k in savings to achieve an additional $150k. Now, you could argue that the organization will still get the $420k, it’s just pushed out farther. This is true, but when you factor in the amount of time and man-hours invested into the longer contract cycle the $150k in extra savings erodes pretty quickly. In any event, I’d rather start getting $42k in savings now and move on to the next opportunity.

The specific approach to a wireless contract negotiation varies based on your organization’s specific needs, but these guidelines will help you focus on the true savings opportunities.

Why Does Your Dog Deserve a Present?

Birthday – Everyone gets a birthday present. Your kids, your parents, even you. It’s not fair that your dog sees everyone else getting spoilt on the anniversary of their birth, but not them – and they do know, trust me. So treat your dog to a wonderful birthday present this year. Unlike your kids, they wont moan if you bought them a PlayStation 2 instead of 3, they’ll just be thankful that you thought of them.

Anniversary of when they were bought - If you can’t remember their birthday, or you can but you want to treat them for both instances, get them an anniversary dog present. I’ve heard the saying a happy dog makes a happy home, and just think how happy the home will be if the dog is doubly happy!

A ‘well done’ present – If the dog in question is a puppy in training, you might want to congratulate them on going a whole week without doing its business indoors. Even if it’s not a pup, you might want to say well done because they keep doing things that really surprise you. They might have done something courageous like saved a life, or found something you were looking for. I’m sure your dog does so many things that deserve praise, so don’t just say it, show them how proud you are.

Thank you – You might have just gone through a relationship break up, or lost a job or a family member. You might have just had an operation and are in need of a friend who can really cheer you up. If your dog has done this for you, they deserve something to say thanks.

Apology – You might have been neglecting the dog recently in favour of the cat, hamster or rabbit you’ve just bought. You might have been spending more time at work recently and aren’t giving your dog the affection they’re used to. Either way, a nice dog present ought to soften the blow a little.

Cheer up – Your dog might be upset about something too. They may have lost a companion, a cat, another dog, or their playmate from the park might have just moved away. Whatever the reason, the poor thing needs something to cheer them up, so don’t hesitate to do so.

Return from holiday – Imagine your whole family goes on a 2 week Caribbean cruise and you have to spend that time holed up with a bunch of strangers smelling your behind? Exactly. Find something on that boat that your dog will love!

Just because – A bit of spontaneity goes a long way with humans, so why not dogs? Treat them because they’re your best friend and always there to make the day a little brighter, however dark the weather may be.

I’m sure these aren’t the only reasons to buy your dog a present, but it just goes to show that there are many ways to do so. There are plenty of shops and websites available with a huge array of dog presents aimed at any dog, any breed, any age, any size and any price. Time to start shopping!