A Presentation Lesson From Dr. Wayne Dyer

As a presenter, have you ever walked into a packed room with lots of energy and couldn’t wait for your chance to take the stage? It is exciting! On the flip side, have you ever walked into a room with only 25% of the seats filled and no energy? How do you feel? Does it affect your presentation? It used to hurt mine terribly.

First, do you know who Dr. Wayne Dyer is? If not, he is a very spiritually based motivational author and speaker. Some of his favorite quotes are: “You’ll see it when you believe it” and “Stay focused on what you are for rather than what you are against.” When I was first introduced to the world of motivation, I loved listening to Zig, Tony, Brian, and Dr. Dyer.

I was at a church last week watching his new film: Ambition to Meaning. The quote at the top of this article comes from that movie. It took me a while to understand what he meant by that. As we grow in life (or as a presenter) we must realize that some of the things we believed and lived by are not true anymore. We must let go. As Craig Valentine would say, “What got you here, won’t get you there.

As I was watching the film, he reminded me of a lesson I learned from him at one of his live presentations. A lesson I still need to be reminded of on occasion.

Dr. Dyer came to Worcester, MA early in my career. I had read his book, Real Magic, and could not wait to see him live. As a new speaker, as I entered the room I was getting excited. This is what I want to do for a living; here is a celebrity in the business. Cool. The seats were set for a thousand people. One of the local insurance companies had brought him in to speak to their company and decided to open it up to the public to help cover the cost of bringing him in.

Seven minutes before show time, I looked around and saw that only about twenty-five percent of the seats were filled. Oh my! What a difficult setting. How uncomfortable for the speaker. I was embarrassed for him, that there were so few people there. It was weird, I felt bad for him and I had nothing to do with the promotion of the event.

As Dr. Dyer took the stage, he had a certain calmness about him. He carefully looked around and noticed the turn out. Someone must have said something to him, or apologized to him for the low turn out. The first thing he said to the audience was “It is OK”. He said, “The people who are supposed to be here are. That’s all we need.” Wow. It took me a while to absorb what he said.

At that point in my career I would have freaked out. I would have been upset with someone. Bottom line, to him, it did not matter. He was OK with it. He did not let it affect him. In fact, he was excited to help whoever was there, even though the “setting” was not perfect. We all need to remember that, yes, we want to have a full room with lots of energy. But, sometimes it won’t be. Once we optimize the setting for our presentation, our goal as a speaker is to help the people in front of us the best we can, no matter what the setting, or how many people are there. As much fun as a full room can be, we are there to change the lives and inspire the ones that are present. Don’t let your own ego get in the way of your connection with your audience like I used to.

Dr. Dyer, thanks for helping me to “grow up” as a speaker. Thanks for helping me to see that confidence on stage is good, ego is not. How will you look at the next presentation when there is a low turn out?

The Sales Negotiation Process

Your negotiation skill is vital for the negotiation process

Regardless of what you are selling or who your customer is, your negotiation skill is what allows both you and your customer to succeed in the end.  A strategy is only as effective as the techniques used.  You should view your negotiation skill as the tools for implementing your sales strategy.  The following are some helpful tips on how to succeed at sales negotiations:

Be prepared. Effective sales negotiations begin before you come to the bargaining table.  This means doing your research and planning ahead of time.  You need to consider your customer’s situation and ask yourself what they really need from the deal as well as list what you are willing to compromise and what you cannot. Being prepared also allows you to remain relaxed throughout the negotiation. 

Set Standards. In order to reach a mutual agreement, there are rules that have to be followed.  Setting some guidelines before the negotiation will ensure that each party works under the same standards. For example, you can approach your customer with your competitor’s price and use what they have paid in the past as a standard. 

Work together.  A good negotiation allows all involved to leave the sale feeling good about their final decision as well as about each other.  By approaching the negotiation with mutual satisfaction in mind, your customer will be a lot easier to work with.  If a customer feels as though they are being taken advantage of, they will become defensive. If they know that you are playing fair then they will most likely do the same.

Finalize and follow through. The point of a sales negotiation is to come out with the best deal for everyone involved so you should ask many questions.  Be sure to address important details and listen to your customer’s concerns.  After you have arrived at a mutually beneficial solution, negotiated and signed an agreement, you need to follow through.  This involves doing what you said that you would do.  For example if you promised a certain delivery date, make sure your product or service is delivered by that date. If something unexpected arises that will affect the delivery date, make sure that you contact your customer and make other arrangements.

Your level of negotiation skill can determine whether you are able to close a sale as well as how profitable the sales transaction will be. An important element of effective negotiation is being able to ensure that everyone can leave satisfied rather than feeling as if they have been short changed. In order to prevent a situation like this, you need to have a good negotiation strategy.

Negotiate Successfully by Using Debating Techniques

In the last negotiation lesson, I expounded on the benefits that proper positioning has and the role it plays, before, during, and after negotiating. This lesson expands upon that theory and takes into account how any negotiator can enhance the outcome of a negotiation by using a few debating techniques.

Positioning:

First, I’d like to cite an experience I encountered at a conference at which I recently spoke. There was a very powerful speaker who spoke on the topic of leadership. I heard him speak in the past, but this time I was moved by his words to the point that I wanted to purchase the DVD set he offered for the continuation of the expansion of one’s mind. As luck would have it, a lady in front of me purchased the last set. She heard me exclaim how I couldn’t believe the bad luck I had to miss purchasing the set. Then, this well poised and well spoken women, turned to me and said, ‘you can have it’. I looked at her suspiciously for about 30 seconds and in my mind, I was wondering what she might want in return (read between the lines if you wish. she had already paid for the set and she was giving it to me for free). It was as though she read my mind when she said, ‘there are no strings attached’. She gave me her contact information and said I could send the set to her after I’d listened to it. As it turned out, this woman whose name is Tori really didn’t want anything in return, but due to her generosity, I’ll assist her in her endeavors in the future.

In the above example of positioning, Tori was not seeking anything from me, but think of what you can do before entering into a negotiation that can endear you to whom you’re negotiating.

After you endear yourself, how can you utilize debating techniques to enhance your negotiation position? The following are a few debating techniques and how they are related to negotiation tactics and strategies.

Debating Techniques:

When debating and negotiating, there are certain principles you should follow …

Clarity: When debating, you should understand the argument.

When you negotiate, you should always confirm your understanding of why you’re negotiating. You should also confirm the other person’s understanding, and get their perception, of what is being negotiated; the reason for doing so is to make sure everyone involved in the negotiation is ‘on the same page’.

Accuracy: When debating, you need to ask yourself if what you hear is true and can it be proven.

When you negotiate, you should at a minimum, mentally question the validity of information presented to you. You should also observe the body language and manner in which information is presented. If you observe the body language of the person you’re negotiation with, you could discern hidden or additional information in the message.

Precision: When debating vague assertions can be assumed to be true until exceptions disprove them.

When you negotiate, if the person’s words that you’re negotiating with are not synchronized with their body language, you can allow the person to continue to unveil their method of ‘bending the truth’ to the point that you’ve gathered enough knowledge of how they use their body when lying. In so doing, you’ll acquire insight into how they lie and you’ll be able glimpse the inner workings of their mind and the mannerisms displayed when doing so.

Depth: When debating, you should observe the comprehensiveness of an argument. In essence, listen for that which is not stated that could prove to be a benefit to your position.

When you negotiate, you should listen for the unspoken word, observe body language, and take note of how unspoken words are used (this is not an oxymoron). In a lot of negotiation situations, that which is not said can speak more loudly than the words that are spoken. You should also take note of words used that could contain dual meanings. Keep in mind when negotiating, just because someone offers a comprehensive rebuttal to a request, doesn’t mean you have to subjugate your position to theirs.

Breadth: When debating, give consideration to whether the argument covers all of the possibilities.

When you negotiate, initially, you should not display your full intentions until you’re somewhat sure that you can get that which you seek from the negotiation. In essence, you cannot allow yourself to become enveloped in a haze when it comes to disclosing your intent of the negotiation less you lose your negotiation advantage.

Logic: When debating you should consider the impact of fallacies in an argument.

When negotiating, a good negotiator can make a plausible argument using false or invalid inferences, the purpose of which may be to heighten the appearance of red herrings. It thus behooves you to be very cognizant throughout all phases of the negotiation.

When negotiating, the more strategies and techniques you’re aware of, and can utilize during negotiations, the better you’ll be at negotiating … and everything will be right with the world.

The Negotiation Lessons are …

- Before negotiating, consider the tactics you’ll employ. Proper planning will give you an additional edge as the negotiation progresses.

- Understand the illusion and value that red herrings can create. When used effectively, they create the opportunity to give something that has perceived value to the person with whom you’re negotiating, but that which has little value to you.

- When negotiating, as is the case when debating, a synchronized plan, aligned with the path that you’ll take to achieve the outcome of the negotiation you seek, will allow you the insight of more maneuverability throughout the negotiation.