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ALM business method Strategic Selling The Intercultural Negotiators’ Training

Communication, Sales Consulting and Complex Negotiations

© Article translated from the book “Strategic Selling: Psicologia e Comunicazione per la Vendita Consulenziale e le Negoziazioni Complesse” (Strategic Selling: Psychology and Communication for Consulting Sales and Complex Negotiations) copyright Dr. Daniele Trevisani Intercultural Negotiation Training and Coaching, published with the author’s permission. The Book’s rights are on sale and are available. If you are interested in publishing the book in English, or any other language, or seek Intercultural Negotiation Training, Coaching, Mentoring and Consulting, please feel free to contact the Website on Intercultural Negotiation

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Communication and negotiation are very delicate areas of human existence. Successes and failures, victories and falls, as well as the possibility of making dreams and ideals come true, depend on communication skills and that’s why the following articles will revolve around the tools for building our future: communication, strategic selling and complex negotiations.

Our desires, our human and professional aspirations – the ideas we would like to realize – our own life projects, etc. are all linked to this often-unexpressed ability to communicate, a latent skill, a flower to be made bloom. A skill that we rarely cultivate and study. 

It represents one of the most precious power of human nature: being able to express and share feelings, ideas, thoughts, visions, dreams, projects. 

Here below I would like to make a few examples related to the vital importance of communication skills: 

  • a diplomat or an officer have the lives of thousands of people on their shoulders when negotiating peace; peace and war have always been linked to misunderstandings, lack of communication, negotiation successes or failures; 
  • when an executive negotiates a decisive sale, he/she builds the company’s future; in fact, it also influences the future of the families of those who work in the company. His every move, his every action will have a consequence. 

The vital importance of these skills is not a metaphor, it is something tangible, real. We bumped into it in every job interview, where we were more or less good at presenting our strengths, more or less good at understanding who or what others were looking for, and why. 

The negotiation work is certainly not limited to the business level. 

The importance of communication skills can also alter (for better or for worse) the course of one’s love life; it can bring us closer to the people we love, or create distance, it can generate understanding or misunderstanding, passion or sadness, joy or pain. 

On one hand, good communication can give life to friendships and relationships that last a lifetime, but, on the other hand, bad communication determines the malfunction or irreparable breakdown of human and professional relationships. 

For every human being, the ability to communicate emotions, to open up to others, without letting these emotions being suffocated in an inner mental rumination, is a main factor of physical and mental health. 

Communication skills can even determine life and death, such as in military negotiations or for hostages’ release operations. 

In the business field, the abilities to analyse, present and listen are the core of every sales and partnership project and the heart of every complex negotiation. 

In this context, details also matter, for example: 

  • understanding who the real decision makers are, can change the life of a company; it may or may not let you win a competition, a tender, or the heart of a key customer; 
  • a typing error in an offer’s crucial point can produce a sense of carelessness and raise evaluation barriers, making the sale more difficult; but again… 
  • being distracted in the listening phase can make us lose important “signals” expressed by the interlocutor; 
  • catching or not catching a glance or a facial expression of approval or disapproval is also crucial. 

Concerning negotiations and human relationships, It is an exceptional achievement to understand each other, break the barriers of incommunicability, find ways to achieve cooperative success, and grow together. 

In fact, communicators, professional negotiators, salespeople, represent an active part of society and “put many things into motion”. Without them, companies cannot live. 

A company, where there is no one capable of selling, is a company on the edge of the abyss. All salaries come from a single source: sales. 

We must therefore prepare ourselves: the key is to develop our communication skills and support others’ growth. 

Communication skills must become a real asset (strategic resource) and not a weakness to be covered by discounts, rebates, humiliations, concessions and losses. 

This is why we must act with a fighting and strategic spirit, with a ready and resolute mind – an analyst’s mind – and “legs” ready to meet people everywhere. 

An ancient phrase, expressed by a Japanese Samurai, offers us a beautiful representation, which explains this attitude in a few words: 

Kenshin said: “Fate is in heaven, the armour is on the chest, the result is in the feet” (from the work “Cleary, Thomas. The Mind of the Samurai” by Adachi Masahiro, written from 1780 to 1800) 

The words of Samurai Masahiro help us understand that there are many areas of life that we cannot dominate, and others that are in our hands and that we must manage both personally and as a team. 

Kenshin’s “paradise” refers to global scenarios, for example the choices of the competitors, our armour is our preparation, our feet are the actions we choose to adopt. 

To conclude, we must absorb the fighting spirit proposed by Masahiro and adapt it to our purposes and our profession. 

There is no doubt that operating in sales today means having courage.

The courage of someone who goes out with a suitcase to win over a customer. 

The courage of those who face the world, of those who enter different cultures, new and unknown companies, of those who fight against stronger, more funded or powerful competitors, the courage of those who move on the front line. 

And even greater courage is needed to direct people, standing beside those men and women who work in the front line, especially in times of difficulty and greater need. 

This is leadership. This is a way of life. 

Negotiation is certainly a difficult game, but not a gamble. Serious negotiation never aims to produce free damage to the counterpart, but it is based on building “helping relationships”, that create value for all, and “winning relationships“, that benefit both parties. 

This also applies to marriage, where two people succeed in setting their own spaces of freedom for personal interests (sports, culture, gardening, travel, etc.), without letting marriage become a cage, but rather a springboard that can give power to both. 

This also applies to companies, when, thanks to a good negotiation, a project emerges, that no one, alone, would have been able to create. 

No result, however, is achieved by magic. We need negotiation activities and painstaking work to clarify roles, and roles boundaries. Relationships must be cultivated if we want to reap the fruit of our labour. 

In our everyday life we can negotiate consciously or unconsciously: for example, deciding which film to watch with friends can be considered a negotiation. In projects between companies, negotiation takes on an amplified, enormous importance, and can last for months. Months during which we must never loose our focus on the result. 

These needs require adequate training. 

Communication starts from a main need: the need to enter a relationship, to get in contact with someone or something, and – for those who work with negotiation on a professional level – preparing as professionals is the least that can be done. 

We have been negotiating since we were born, and we will do so for our entire life. 

"Strategic Selling" by Daniele Trevisani

© Article translated from the book “Strategic Selling: Psicologia e Comunicazione per la Vendita Consulenziale e le Negoziazioni Complesse” (Strategic Selling: Psychology and Communication for Consulting Sales and Complex Negotiations) copyright Dr. Daniele Trevisani Intercultural Negotiation Training and Coaching, published with the author’s permission. The Book’s rights are on sale and are available. If you are interested in publishing the book in English, or any other language, or seek Intercultural Negotiation Training, Coaching, Mentoring and Consulting, please feel free to contact the Website on Intercultural Negotiation

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