War Gaming Your Sales Negotiations

Are you constantly looking for ways to predict your buyer’s next move and calibrate your own strategy to maximize your negotiation outcome. By War Gaming your upcoming negotiation you can do just that.

A Negotiation War Game has 3 main steps:

  • Intelligence
  • Simulation
  • Debriefing

Intelligence

1. Organize your team into two teams- One “Home Team”, and one “Away Team”.

2. Collect some basic information on the actual people you will be meeting. Google your counterpart’s two most important people, have a look at their Facebook page etc. Look for information that tells you “who” they are. Please note: a War Game is an analytical way of using less data and more inferences.

The collected info. is the Away Team’s briefing material. Don’t bother collecting info. on the Home Team as this is your own people – they already know who they are.

3. Decide how many simulations you feel like doing and how long they should be. Rule of thumb – in a Sales-negotiation I would do several short simulations in rapid succession (each simulation interrupted by a strategy break). Strategy breaks are used to evaluate the progress (Teams are kept apart).

4. Get the physical lay-out right. Once the teams are set, the briefing material is done and the simulations are structured, it is important to structure your War Game.

To do a proper War Game you need access to 3 separate rooms:

Room no. 1: Have one large room in which a pre-simulation briefing will be held (briefing material will be handed out). This room will also be used for the negotiation simulation. Last but not least, this room will be used to debrief the participants.

Room no. 2: Have a smaller room in which the Home Team can prepare and evaluate proceedings in peace.

Room no. 3: Have another small room in which the Away Team can prepare and evaluate proceedings in peace.

Simulation

5. Run the simulations

As the simulations get going the Home Team will get a sense of how well their strategy is working against this specific counterpart. In the strategy breaks, the Home Team will re-group, calibrate their strategy and come back to the negotiation table.

Think about adding a feedback system if needed.

Debriefing

6. Gather your team and collect Lessons Learned, when the simulation, or rather the series of simulations are done.

At this point, you and your team will know what your actual counterpart will most likely do when confronted by your original and subsequent (increasingly calibrated) strategies – and better yet, you will have developed a tailor-made negotiation strategy.

Please note that the above mentioned method does not, in advance, prescribe to any particular strategy or tactic. A Negotiation War Game is simply an incredibly accurate, risk-free environment, in which any strategy or tactic can be tested.

So if you are doing anything before your next big Sales negotiation – it better be war gaming!

Whether liquid funds are a good option for building emergency corpus?

Liquid funds in India, as the name suggests are liquid. This means they can be easily converted from invested money into useable money. They have minimum 7 day’s of exit load. .

Before focusing on why to use liquid funds in India for emergency corpus, let’s focus on how to build an emergency fund.

Examine your Cash Flow:
First and foremost, check if can maintain the income which meets your monthly expenditure or basic needs. Due to pandemic-induced economic deceleration, salary cuts and business losses have affected the majority of the population throughout the world. If you have a surplus left after meeting your emergency corpus, you may then consider investing money.

Understand your risk-taking ability:
Before you invest your money, gauge your risk taking abilities. If you are an investor reaching your retirement, then you might want to take a conservative stand. This means holding a bigger emergency corpus, say 24-36 months equivalent of expenses into a liquid mutual fund. Liquid fund returns may be lesser compared to a longer-term debt fund or other funds such as equity mutual funds, however, they can serve the main purpose of an emergency fund; which is offering you safety and liquidity at the time of need.

When selecting the liquid funds to invest in, note that the focus should not be on return but the safety and liquidity aspect, especially if you are building emergency funds.

Liquid Funds may not vary a great deal in returns. Invest in liquid funds which invest completely in short-term government securities of not exceeding 91 days and have no private party risks. Due to the short maturity period, they are not subject to volatility in interest rate fluctuations.

Liquid funds taxation is as per the holding period. For short term capital gains of lesser than three years, the gains are taxed as per the income tax slab of the investor. For long-term capital gains exceeding three years, liquid funds are taxed as per 20% with indexation benefit.

Traits of Liquid Funds in India that makes them an excellent choice for the Emergency fund:

Liquidity:
Liquid funds can be easily converted to useable money. They can be easily redeemed and in just T +1 time the money gets credited to your account.

Risk:
Liquid funds are less risky as compared to equity mutual funds. This helps to minimize the downside risk of your investments due to from market volatility to a certain extent.

Last but not the least, always choose mutual funds to create the emergency corpus you desire as the Mutual Fund industry is managed by professionals and regulated by SEBI..

Common Areas for Improvement When Delivering Presentations

It is very common for sales staff to use tools like PowerPoint to deliver information to sales prospects during a sales cycle. What is also very common are areas where we can tighten up our message and execution while giving sales presentations to deliver huge improvements in our sales effectiveness.

Below are a few examples of areas where tweaking our approach could be the difference when delivering presentations:

Number of Slides

It is very common for us to include too many slides when we build presentations. This is very natural because there is so much that we want to share with the prospect and so much that we think they are interested in. And we maybe correct that there prospect is very interested. But what is also correct is that they are likely very busy individuals and have a limited attention span. If you factor that in as you finalize your presentation, it can be helpful to trim any slides and tighten the message to make it as concise and powerful as possible.

Amount of Words on Each Slide

Not only do we typically put too many slides in our presentations, we also often put too many words on each slide. The problem with this is that most people cannot read and listen at the same time. When you put a large number of words on each slide, you are creating a competitor for yourself when trying to keep the audience’s attention when delivering presentations. If the audience is reading the slide, it is likely that they are not fully listening to you.

Focus the Presentation on the Prospect

It is also very common for us to build presentations that are too focused on ourselves We start out talking about who we are, what we do, where all of our offices are, our history, etc. While this is important information for the prospect to have to ultimately make their decision, if you are at an early stage of the sales cycle, you can make a bigger impact on the prospect by shifting the message from being on you to being more on them. The way to accomplish this is to talk more about their challenges and their interests and how you can help with those.

Shorten the Introduction

As sales people, we can be very good at being hosts when delivering presentations. This is where we perform very thorough introductions, detailed agendas, and then sometimes roll into our corporate overview. The challenge with this flow is that there are two points where you have the highest level of attention from the audience and those are the beginning and at the end of the presentation. In the middle of the presentation is naturally a lull or low point in terms of attention and comprehension and it is during this lull where we often deliver our key messages. Trim up the introduction portion so that when you are taking advantage of the high level of attention that you have at that time.

Trial Close Regularly

Trial closing is checking in with the prospect to see what their thoughts are and we can often not do this enough while delivering presentations. This is such a powerful sales tactic to use as it will give the sales person very valuable information. When applying to presentations, if you trial close regularly through the presentation to check in and see what the prospect’s thoughts are, the feedback provided could help you to tailor your message and flow throughout the rest of the presentation to improve your sales effectiveness.

Present an Evaluation Plan

We often wrap our presentations by asking for questions and then try to get the next meeting. If we present an evaluation plan when delivering presentations, we can map out all of the needed steps and actions that remain and get the prospect’s agreement or feedback on the direction forward.