StrategyDriven Marketing and Sales Article

The Art of Persuasion: 7 Negotiation Techniques That Won’t Leave You Hanging

StrategyDriven Marketing and Sales ArticleNegotiation is an art form. It requires interpersonal skills, a masterful control of language, a deep understanding of human emotion, and excellent listening skills. This is perhaps why a small company’s success often hinges on the quality of its salespeople.

Find common ground

The very best salespeople don’t just push for what is best for them and their affiliates. They identify precisely what the other party wants to get out of the negotiations, then finds a way for both parties to leave the negotiations happy.

The only way to do this is by asking questions. Get as much information as possible about the other party and be upfront and sincere about what you hope to get out of the negotiations as well. Coming from a place of openness and honesty will prompt openness and honesty in the other party and the common ground will be found much quicker.

Build eye-catching visuals in presentations

Putting together boring sales presentations is the first way to turn potential customers and clients off. Put together engaging and eye-catching presentations with the presentation software that top companies use to enhance your sales pitches.

Know when to walk away

You can’t win every battle. Sometimes you just have to walk away, dust yourself off, and get ready for the next one. Knowing when to walk away is a skill. You should enter every negotiation with some red lines that you are not willing to compromise on. If these can’t be met, politely end the negotiations and walk away.

Set the first offer

The person that makes the first move sets the anchor around which all further negotiations will be set. It allows you to take control of the negotiations and forces the other party to react to your offer.

Appeal to human emotion

Humans are emotional creatures. We often display patterns of behaviour for no other reason other than the fact that our parents did. We buy the same products our parents did, cook things the same way, and have similar routines.

This can be applied to your sales strategy. If you have an existing business relationship with the company, stress this fact. If your team are very excited to start dealing with the company, show the other party this. A little bit of ego stroking can go a long way. They are humans after all.

Make sales a company-wide initiative

Selling isn’t just carried out by the sales department. Including other departments in negotiations can help close the deal. Maybe your marketing department could run a joint campaign and raise awareness of the other party’s brand? If you have inbound marketing strategies in place that use personalized content, maybe you could generate some content to drive traffic to the other party’s website?

Create a sense of urgency

Closing the deal is one of the hardest parts of the sales process. Even if clients and customers like the product or service, getting them to commit can be challenging.

One of the best ways to overcome this and get them to sign on the dotted line is by creating a sense of urgency in the negotiations. Reiterate that you can only offer this exclusive price if they sign today, otherwise tomorrow the price goes back up to its normal rate. This may be the nudge they need to seal the deal.

StrategyDriven Practices for Professionals Article

What Every Adult Needs To Know About Money

StrategyDriven Practices for Professionals Article
As an adult, the most confusing thing we often have to get used to in our lives is dealing with money and being responsible for a whole lot of things. We never get taught how to manage money in school so when we hit adulthood the terminology can be super confusing and it is no wonder so many of us are left in debt. If you are new to adulthood and need a few easy tips on managing money, here are the basics.

You need to start saving soon

Savings are so crucial for anyone to have and you should never take them for granted. Start saving even a few dollars as soon as you can and have it secured in a savings account for you to use later on in life. This acts as an emergency fund for if you are ever taken ill from work or you ever suffer from some sort of unexpected bill. Always save and be smart.

Tax is a pain

Tax is a word which can bring a collective shudder down the spine of pretty much any adult and it can be a real pain to manage. Tax is a form of payment we give to the government to help them run the services and other things which make the country. Everyone has to contribute a little bit and this is used for the better of the whole country. There are various things to think about with tax such as getting Qdos IR35 advice, thinking about national insurance and lots of other elements, and it is worth reading up on the basics of tax so that you know what your money is going towards.

Pensions are super important

Pensions might be something you don’t consider when you are in your late teens and early twenties but a pension can be a huge benefit to you later in life and the earlier you start saving the better it will be for you. If you can start your pension now you will have more money towards your life later on when you need it the most. It is a simple thing to set up and you won’t even notice the pension leave your bank account anyway!

Read your bank statements!

It cannot be said enough that those bank statements you get through the post or emailed to you every month should be read. It doesn’t matter if you haven’t really bought much or had any big costs this month, it is always worth knowing how much money you have and also how much money you spend on average each week. You might find that you need to cut down on lunch or coffee costs and work and this can help a huge amount towards your financial stability in the future.

Compare prices for your bills

If you own a house, first of all, congratulations. It is becoming increasingly difficult to be a homeowner these days so you deserve a little pat on the back! In seriousness, if you have bills to pay each month, it is important to make sure that you compare deals online to see if you can pay less. Even if you already have a provider there is no problem in switching!

StrategyDriven Practices for Professionals Article

What to do After an Unfair Dismissal

StrategyDriven Practices for Professionals ArticleBeing made jobless can be an extremely traumatic time. The sudden loss of your livelihood can have a range of adverse effects on one’s mental health and well-being. If you were dismissed unfairly, the unjustness of your situation can increase these adverse effects. It’s not the time to despair, to be angry or to take a short break from work, though. It’s the time to act. This article talks you through the stages you will need to take after an unfair dismissal to ensure you receive justice for the situation while at the same time preparing for a new life with a new job.

Emergency Budget

Usually, an unfair dismissal comes out of nowhere, which means you’ll not have had time to prepare your finances or your personal life for the effects of being without your regular source of income. Take an overview of your cash situation and consider your monthly payments. This might be a time where your lifestyle is forced to pause while you consolidate your resources and await either a new job, the reinstatement of your previous position, or some compensation for your unfair dismissal.

Legal Routes

An unfair dismissal often means you’ll be able to pursue your previous employer in an employment court. It’s very simple to check whether this is a possible route for you to take. When you call the number provided at, you will receive expert advice on your case. If there are grounds for complaining about your dismissal as unfair, these legal experts will be able to take the case on for you and offer you any advice you may have to follow for your claim to be as watertight as possible. Unfair dismissals are traumatic and can affect your future, so you’re well within your right to launch a legal proceeding.

New Income

Nevertheless, compensation from your previous employer will not necessarily be swift to arrive in your bank account. There might be a few weeks or even months between you being unfairly dismissed and you being able to claim your compensation, and in that time you’ll need an alternative source of income. Begin job hunting as soon as you can, even for part-time or temporary positions in your area. Don’t be afraid to take a lesser job to your previous one initially. It’s essential you’re earning before you search for that dream new job.

The Legacy

As you move into the future, it’s important to construct a palatable legacy from your previous position from which you were unfairly dismissed. Dismissals from work are something of a stain on your CV and your employment record, and that’s why it’ll be crucial to set the record straight. Keep on good terms with someone from your old workplace who’ll be able to give you a reference explaining the circumstances of your dismissal in an accurate and flattering fashion. Ensure that you’re able still to draw upon the good moments in your old place of work, and don’t isolate yourself from them entirely.

Unfair dismissals are a significant speed bump in life, but they can nonetheless be easily navigated. These tips will ensure your unfair dismissal is not too damaging to your lifestyle.

StrategyDriven Talent Management Article

Want to Thrive in Today’s High-Speed, Hypercompetitive Business World? Teach Your Management Team to Iterate.

StrategyDriven Talent Management ArticleWhen boiled down to its essence, management is a system of managers, operating in concert, constantly adjusting resources based on new information coming in to keep the business on target. It involves coordinating complex efforts, enabling group work and constantly asking the question, “What’s the next most intelligent step from here?”

In other words, management is the feedback system of the organization. And managers who continually ask themselves and their teams what that next logical step to be taken is – and then take it, learn from it and repeat the process – are Iterating.

Iteration is the way effective systems solve problems whose solutions are too complex to be predefined. Just look for the highest?performing entrants in any given market space. Chances are they’re Iterating.

An organization that Iterates moves the right information up and down the hierarchy, in regular and useful ways, in support of good decisions. It doesn’t get stuck in an overly rigid plan, but instead stays flexible as it pursues clearly defined outcomes.

If you want to run a fast, flexible, focused management team, use these five key practices:

1. Output and Status Broadcasting. Managers must be crystal clear with themselves and each other about what they’re doing. They do this verbally via Verbalized Summary Outputs (the VSO), and they do it graphically with Pragmatic Dashboards. The VSO is a list of statements summarizing the output the manager will deliver to the organization into measurable, countable outputs – three to seven items that, together, account for roughly 80 percent of his or her results. The list should take 60 – 90 seconds to say out loud in a meeting. VSOs confirm alignment and provide a line of sight into how each manager’s (and thus each team’s) work impacts the bigger picture.

A Pragmatic Dashboard turns the verbal information of the VSO into graphic information, one graph per VSO item to avoid unnecessary data. The graphs are summaries of measurable output that include historical data on past performance, along with two futures: the planned future alongside what’s now expected. With these in hand, aimless monologues transform into specific discussion about the future because everyone can see what’s not going to go as expected.

2. Work PreView Meetings. In an Iterative organization, Work PreView Meetings are the regular meetings between a manager and his or her direct reports. They have a consistent rhythm that involves providing information, making decisions and ensuring plans are carried out with regularity. Meeting leaders strive to maintain a forward-looking orientation so that discussions of status are minimized and the focus is on “What’s going to happen in the future, and what should we do about it right now?”

The ultimate goal of any Work PreView Meeting is to decide what to do with the resources at hand given what the team knows now and what is has to work with. To do this, members present issues using an “OSIR Structure” – they begin with an Objective that involves measurable results; then a Status statement of future prognosis and expected variance; a short summary of the Issue causing the variance; and finally a specific Recommendation for a suggested action. This format ensures that the “presentation” is over within about three minutes, leaving the majority of the group’s time for productive discussion about what action to take next in light of the new information.

3. Group Decision-Making. Ideally, groups solving problems together are made up of only five to seven individuals. Larger groups can come together to approve or decline recommendations, but not to attempt to solve problems. Whether a group decision is happening in a large group or a small one, the process comes down to members teaching and the decider learning. When the focus is on understanding each other, rather than on obtaining agreement, information transfer is clearer and more complete. Once the decider has learned all he or she can and made a decision, the team implements without failure or sabotage, even if they don’t personally agree. The team is always Iterating and no decision is “final,” but every decision must be fully implemented or else no learning can come from it.

4. Linked Teams. Redefining how managers and their reports conceptualize their relationship to others in the organization means moving away from the notion of managing a group of individuals and instead running a team with a single charter. Everyone succeeds or fails based on whether the entire team succeeds or fails. This allows Iteration through proactive resource sharing, and it tears down silos as peers ask, encourage and even push each other to accept help. Managers are better off, and the organization is more successful, when peers on a team work to understand each other and make trade-offs in support of higher-level goals.

5. Front Line Self-Sufficiency. The fundamental function of front line managers is to make individual employees as self-sufficient as possible at both delivering their output and at forecasting it. To do this, managers need to put in place clear goals that are defined in terms of output, not task or process. Managers must also give front line employees ready access to the resources they need to do their jobs. Once front line employees know what they’re supposed to do and have what they need to do it, all that’s left to promote self-sufficiency is to make sure they’re keeping track of their own work – without management intervention. As individual contributors make accurate forecasts – promises – about their future output, trust improves between front line employees and managers, and better information flows up to higher levels of management, helping the organization as a whole to IterateSM.

About the Author

Ed Muzio, CEO, Group HarmonicsEd Muzio is CEO of Group Harmonics and an award-winning three-time author. An expert in the scientific study of measuring and modifying human behavior, he is a sought-after consultant to business and industry worldwide and a popular media source. His new book is Iterate: Run a Fast, Flexible, Focused Management Team (An Inc. Original, 2018). Learn more at

Group Harmonics, Inc., claims the exclusive right to use “Iterate,” “Iterative Management,” and the family of “Iterative” marks in connection with business consulting goods and services.

StrategyDriven Practices for Professionals Article

Unexpected Issues with Business Trips

No matter how well you plan your business trip, sometimes there are events that take control away from us entirely. The best-laid plans are often the ones that fall apart in the face of adversity, and if you’re in an airport lounge or driving across the country, those hindrances can heavily impact your travel arrangements and business schedule. Sometimes, issues with business trips are completely out of our control, but knowing how to react and respond to them will go a long way to minimizing their impact on you and your career. Here are the best ways to cope with the most unexpected of issues.

World-Changing Events

Getting swept up in global events can be very frightening, and the fact is that there is, unfortunately, very little that you can do to prepare for them. Natural disasters, worker strikes, and even political unrest can have a severe impact on your travel plans, and they are far too big to manage on a personal level. The only thing that you can do in these big situations is to ensure that your friends, family, employer and work colleagues are aware of your location and your plans. In worst case scenarios, contact your nearest embassy and get advice on what to do next.

Car Accidents

Business trips by car are a great opportunity to discuss your strategies with your team and bond closer. Even if you’re traveling alone, car trips can be ideal for organizing your thoughts and mentally preparing yourself for the work commitments ahead. Car accidents are, of course, all too common, and if you’re injured while on a business trip, then there are going to be additional issues to consider, such as the insurance of your employer. As with any kind of traffic collision, it’s worth seeking legal advice from a team that has experience in automobile cases. Ideally, you want a legal team that works cross-country, with firms like who can advise you and guide you on the best course of action and has specialist knowledge of road accident cases.

Lost Luggage

If you frequently travel for work, you will have already perfected the art of packing! Lost luggage can be a considerable source of frustration, but the smart traveler will be prepared for the eventuality. Never pack vital work equipment or notes in your check-in suitcases, and always keep the most critical parts of your inventory close to hand. Never travel on a business trip without adequate travel insurance, and always be aware of the responsibility of your airline or coach when it comes to lost luggage. Of course, the best advice to avoid lost luggage is not to check any in and rely on your carry-on allowance instead.

The more that you travel for work, the more likely that you will eventually encounter mishaps, mistakes, and accidents. Always be aware of the potential for them and know what to do in the more extreme cases. Delays and cancellations may impact the end result of your business trip, but your safety and security should always be the priority.