Here are six tips for successful negotiation. For more, check out What CEOs Need to Know About Hardball Negotiating.
The longer a negotiation drags on, the less likely it is to get closed, Ann Lawrence, a partner in the law firm DLA Piper, says.
“All negotiations need to have a deadline or they may never finish,” according to Huthwaite’s John Golden. “This is not to say that the deadline can’t be extended with the agreement of both parties. If you are buying a fleet of jet fighters, for example, you want to make sure that the service contract meets all contingencies. That could take a while. It doesn’t need to preclude a deadline, however.”
Negotiations that seem endless can create frustration and cause the negotiators to act out. Call attention to the bad behavior, suggests Michelle Lederman of Executive Essentials, an employee training firm. “Not with a pointing of a finger, though,” she adds. Acknowledge that the circumstances are difficult. Schedule a break. Sleeping on it overnight might be helpful.
When anxiety and anger threaten a negotiation, Michael Bechara, managing director of Granite Consulting Group, suggests that the parties put their positions on the shelf and come up with three alternative solutions. This can open the door to a new approach that works.
A stubborn impasse can be resolved with a move to another location. Mark Jankowski, president of Shapiro Negotiations Institute, was involved in a bitter negotiation that pitted the Baltimore Police Chief against his top lieutenant, with each using the media to further his cause and increasing the tension. Mr. Jankowski moved the negotiation from the city to a farm. In the reopened talks he took the position of the lieutenant while his partner represented the police chief. A negotiation that had been deadlocked for months was resolved in an evening.
Creative approaches to making the pie bigger also can keep sales negotiations from reaching an impasse. The Haas School’s Prof. Moore says a buyer or seller who says “This is my final offer” might be stuck in that position because to change it would cause a loss of credibility. “The best approach might be to say I’ll pay the price but I want this and that and that,” he says.
Linda Richardson, the author and sales trainer, suggests that a customer who insists on a 10% discount can be given it — in return for a three-year contract, up-front payment, or changes in terms for delivery or service.
Though a ninth-inning zinger likely is a hardball negotiator’s tactic, don’t assume it is. Mike Schultz, president of the Rain Group sales consultancy, tells of a friend who was selling his midsize technology company to a larger business. The parties agreed in principle on the buyout but after thinking about it the seller realized he was under-pricing his company. He explained his position at the next meeting. The other company grumbled but said fine and the deal was done at the new number, Mr. Schultz reported. With openness and flexibility on each side both enjoyed a satisfying resolution.
“CFOs’ outlook for the future has finally emerged from the depths of the recession.” – John Graham, Professor of Finance, Duke’s Fuqua School of Business
According to a quarterly Global Business Outlook survey conducted by Duke University and CFO Magazine, CFOs in the United States and Asia are more optimistic this quarter and expect to see an increase in hiring.
873 CFOs from global and public companies participated in the survey which has been conducted for 64 consecutive quarters and result in the following findings:
Additionally, there is a stronger employment outlook. “The expected increase in employment is a welcome improvement over last quarter’s 1.5 percent forecast growth rate,” said Kate O’Sullivan, director of content development at CFO Magazine. “It indicates that national unemployment should fall below 8 percent in 2012.”
Perhaps lack of growth is not considered failure by some business owners, but Jay Goltz has a different view. Partially based on his own personal business experience, he discusses how working harder and not realizing the benefits of growth can be the downfall of a company, “there is an uncomfortable place between big and very small, where the owner is still doing a lot of the work and still not making much of a living,” states Goltz. Read the full article “10 reason why some businesses can fail by failing to grow.”
The CFO Connection is pleased to announce the expansion of service to the state of Florida – the following news release went out this week:
THE CFO CONNECTION ADDS DAVID SCHLOTTMAN
Expands Presence to Florida
Naples, Florida – March 5, 2012 – The CFO Connection has added David Schlottman to its growing team of part-time CFOs serving companies with extensive financial and business management expertise.
Based out of the Naples/Ft Myers area, Schlottman expands the presence of The CFO Connection to the state of Florida.
The CFO Connection is a national firm that provides part-time CFO services to small and mid-sized companies in North and South America. The addition of Schlottman to the firm’s team comes as The CFO Connection ramps up operations to meet increased demand for innovative CFO services that deliver value at reasonable cost. The CFO Connection meets this market need through the part-time CFO model. This model pairs smaller organizations that cannot justify the expense of a full-time CFO with the expertise of seasoned CFOs who provide services on a permanent, part-time basis.
“Dave’s experience steering numerous companies toward more profitable growth makes him the kind of CFO our customers are looking for,” said Bob Thompson, founder and CEO of The CFO Connection.
Schlottman brings more than 30 years of experience to his new role. Before joining The CFO Connection, he served as CFO for a national distributor and manufacturer of custom formwork and shoring equipment. There he helped the company increase its borrowing capacity, implement a cash forecasting system, and set new prices to optimize profitability – all as part of a campaign to facilitate growth and transition from distribution to manufacturing. The following year the company grew by 40%.
Schlottman has had similar success elsewhere. Working with the largest electrical subcontractor in Florida during a time of rapid growth, he put the company on a sound financial footing by introducing strict financial controls and reporting mechanisms. He also implemented a purchasing system that saved the company millions of dollars. And his analysis and ideas to overcome the impact of crushing increases in copper prices allowed the company to continue to grow.
As the CFO for one of the fastest growing burglar alarm companies in Florida, Schlottman also managed 30 acquisitions ranging from $100,000 to $12 million. This enabled the company to grow its account base from 10,000 to more than 72,000 – while increasing revenues by more than 600%.
“I’ve never met a company that doesn’t want to grow,” said Schlottman. “And my focus has always been on helping reach their highest possible potential. I look forward to helping my clients in Florida manage their finances to open up new opportunities and optimize long-term business performance.”
Recent studies show that it takes 100 or more applicants to find one qualified candidate. Finding the time to sift through all of the paperwork and emails is one luxury (and skill) few small businesses have these days. An online applicant processing system helps small business cut through resume overload faster and smarter.
Today’s job market is tough, not just for prospective employees, but for employers as well. Recent studies show that it takes 100 or more applicants to find one qualified candidate. Finding the time to sift through all of the paperwork and emails is one luxury (and skill) few small businesses have these days.
Discover tips on how to adapt to the new delivery schedule by the U.S. Postal Service:
The U.S. Postal Service’s decision to end next-day delivery could tie up millions of dollars in working capital.
Delivery by letter carriers seems so old-fashioned that it’s been called “snail mail” for years. Yet, as it turns out, most of Corporate America’s invoices still get delivered that way. And the U.S. Postal Service’s December 5 decision to move first-class mail to a two-to-three-day standard seems sure to slow down bill collection for companies large and small.
Indeed, the move could cost a U.S. company with $10 billion in revenues up to $100 million in working capital as a result of its impact on accounts receivable, according to Veronica Heald, a practice leader at REL Consulting, a division of The Hackett Group that focuses on working capital. (CFO is developing a working capital benchmarking product in partnership with REL.)
The impact of the mail delay will be felt in at least two ways, says the consultant, who estimates that 60% of payments received in the United States are via checks in the mail. There will be lags in both the distribution of invoices and the receipt of payments, she adds. Click here to read full story.
Published by Miami Herald, January 16, 2012 by James Cassel
Small businesses have a responsibility to evaluate their lending relationships and to look for signs of lender fatigue.
Earlier this month, it was reported that Bank of America capped credit lines and restructured repayment plans for an undisclosed number of its small business customers. The move came as a complete surprise to some of these business owners. After all, the capital market is supposedly rebounding, and economic forecasts for 2012 have been encouraging. So, could these small business owners have predicted a falling out with their bank?
Perhaps. Small businesses, more vulnerable and considered more risky by lenders, have a responsibility to evaluate their lending relationships and to look for signs of lender fatigue – signals that their ability to borrow capital may be threatened. I have identified some of the reasons why your bank might consider changing its relationship with you. Some may be the result of what you do, and some may be out of your control. Stay aware of these signs, so you’re not caught by surprise.