4 Types of Negotiators: Which Are You?

Jeff Cochran


In the sales world, there are several types of negotiators, each with their own approach, habits, and tools. Negotiations with different companies usually call for different types of negotiators. The “people pleaser” tactic might not work on someone who wants to play hardball. Therefore, the key to understanding how to customize your negotiation skills is to first determine the type of negotiator you naturally are. Find out which negotiator type you are, and hone your skills.

The Competitor

Competitors are assertive and in it to win. In fact, winning is the main goal and motivator for this negotiator type. They have no qualms letting you know when you are wrong and they are right, and they know their decisions are the best ones. These types of negotiators work best in “quick, on your feet” scenarios where a fast decision is paramount. They are also helpful to have in a tough situation, where they may need to defend themselves or protect against others who might try to take advantage. If you are negotiating with a competitive type, use specific language and “tricks” to make them feel like they are winning, even if they are not.

The Pleaser

Pleasers love to feel liked and want to make others happy, too. They are unassertive and very cooperative. They thrive off of solving other people’s problems, often at the expense of their own needs. They know how to admit when they are wrong and will do so if it is important to the other person. The pleaser is a great asset to have when negotiations start to go sour; they are experts at mitigating disruption. However, it is important to not get too emotional, as this can lead to an assertive negotiator taking advantage of the situation.

The Teammate 

The teammate loves to work in conjunction with others to find a creative solution that benefits everyone. These negotiators are confident in their assertiveness and the epitome of cooperation. Teammates look at a disagreement as a challenge to learn something new and find a resolution. They are great for negotiations involving opposing viewpoints or when merging two perspectives together is critical.

The Analyst

Analysts like to sit back and drink in all the details before coming to a decision. At times, their unassertiveness and uncooperativeness can come across as aloof. They tend to avoid negotiations or will withdraw if a situation starts to heat up. If you are entering into a negotiation where you want to get more details, the analyst is a handy person to have. His or her perceived aloofness will get the other side to divulge information, so you can make an informed decision.



How to Build Value in Your Customer Relationships

Jeff Cochran


The goal of every successful salesman is to turn leads into customers and customers into long-term relationships. This may come naturally to some, but to most, it is an ongoing effort. The key is in the baby steps. Give your customers multiple opportunities to “win” along the way. Throughout the customer lifecycle, make sure you appreciate and engage your customers every step of the way. If you can make your customers feel special and appreciated from the beginning, they will continue to reward you with their loyalty.

Make Them Feel Like They Are Winning From the Start

Everyone wants to feel like they are “winning” something, especially in sales. Whether it is a good deal, inside information, or a product that can solve their problems, customers want to feel like they have come out on top. You can provide them with winning situations right from the first pitch. Do this by leading with how your product or service benefits them, instead of leading with information about your company. Your customers are probably busy; they will be more interested in hearing how your product makes them the winner, right from the beginning.

Let Them Win During the Sell

One of the easiest ways to let your customers know they are appreciated is to offer them free perks. If they buy your product, can you offer free shipping? How about discounted upgrades? Send them a “care package” of product samples; this is good for marketing and building relationships. If you give your customers little free perks like this every time they do business with you, they are likely to continue to buy from you in the future.

Let Them Win Upon Fulfillment

Now that you have made the pitch and closed the sale, you can stop worrying about all this “winning” stuff, right? Well, not if you want to build a long-term relationship. Details are essential. Why not hand-deliver the product they ordered? Or make personalized thank you cards to send along with the package? Use your personality and creativity to come up with unique ways to say thank you for every order.

Get to Know Your Customers for a Winning Relationship 

Your customers want to feel special. Pay attention to their likes and dislikes. Know their family’s names. Send them a card or gift at Christmastime or a welcome package if they move to a new home. Invite your favorite customers to industry inside events, like a luncheon at your office or a company baseball game. Basically, treat your customers like you would a friend. These little efforts to get to know them will make them feel greatly appreciated. And when customers feel appreciated and close with you, they will be loyal to your company.



How to Conduct a Successful Employee Review

Jeff Cochran


Bosses and their employees alike fear the dreaded performance review. While it is an extremely useful tool for corporate managers and employees, any criticism delivered incorrectly can easily backfire and cause a loss of motivation. The main purpose of a review is to give your employees feedback, offering them advice on their weak points and praise for their strengths. If you are feeling anxious about giving your employees a review, here are a few tips that will help mitigate the stress for both parties.

Create a Balance Between Formal and Informal

While an annual formal review is your designated time to give detailed and individualized feedback to an employee, it should not be the only time you offer critiques. One formal review per year can hang over an employee’s head like a cloud. Instead, offer casual reviews throughout the year. Check in with your employees regularly and let them know what they are doing right and where there is room for improvement. This is particularly helpful for new employees, who appreciate a bit of structure. If your employees are accustomed to getting your feedback in a casual setting, an annual formal review will not seem so stressful.

Make It Into a Conversation

A performance review should not be one-sided because this may leave your employee feeling berated. Keep conversation lines open throughout the review. It should be a mutual process to grow and learn. You have valuable information to give to them, and they might have some to give to you, as well. A performance review lets your employees learn how to be better workers, but it also might give you insight into ways to streamline workflow or job duties. Consider holding the review in a low-key environment, like a coffee shop or a quiet corner of the office. It can be much easier to get a message across when you have broken the formality barrier.

Address What Your Employee Is Doing Right, Too

If your employee is lacking in some areas and thriving in others, make sure to outline both. Of course, a performance review is about how employees can improve, but most people are motivated by praise. Tell your employee what his or her strong points are in addition to pointing out areas that need improvement. The added praise will give him or her the boost needed to do better in other ways.

Build a Performance Improvement Plan 

If your employee is not performing to expectations, he or she may benefit from a performance improvement plan. Simply handing a plan over to your employee may make him or her feel punished. Instead, create one together. Identify key areas where your employee needs to show improvement, and then identify concrete ways for him or her to achieve it. If you develop the plan together, your employee will be more engaged, have a better handle on expectations, and be much more motivated to improve.



What Not to Say: Slang Terms Over the Last 100 Years

Jeff Cochran


In any situation, the appropriateness of cursing, slang, and other forms of taboo language always hinges on questions of time, place, and manner. With all forms of persuasion, context is crucial. In the context of negotiation, emotionally charged appeals can be a slippery slope, most often better to be avoided.

There are always exceptions, but consider this. In the wrong context, swearing may constitute bullying, emotional abuse, or sexual harassment. Slang terminology can either imply a spirit of inclusion into certain social groups, or exclusion. It can be taken as a sign of respect, or it might imply a reductive, dismissive attitude toward the audience. It all depends.

So, while it may sometimes be true that cursing, and slang language have their appropriate time, place, and manner in the world, a negotiator who feels like that rhetorical style is the most persuasive approach probably needs to brush up on their sales negotiation training, or risk cursing themselves later for failing to perfect their pitch the right way.

As a word of caution, before you go into a negotiation armed with a slang vocabulary, make sure you know your audience, your message, and the real meaning of the language you’re going to use. Here’s an infographic to help with that.

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