Persuading Customers

Osama from United Kingdom asked:

"How do I persuade customers and write a report to my manager? My customers is not convinced with my VoIP product, hes more convinced with a VoATM product. I want to report this situation to my manager."

A Negotiation Expert Answered:

Thanks for providing sufficient information. A senior executives once told me "My people come to me with one of two things, results or reasons". I believe he was being kind, that reasons was really a euphemism for excuses or problems. So if you want to be a valuable resource to your manager, dont go to see him until you have thought through various options - dont bring him this issue as a problem . So we would first of all urge you to re-frame your question, to at the very least replace the word problem with challenge.

From a negotiation point of view, we would like to ask you to take a step back to the VoIP to VoATM issue . The number 1 question that springs to mind to ask your client is "Why?". The question "Why?" uncovers motivations - and also what your client is permitted and restricted from doing. So write down all the reasons why he is convinced by VoATM, and the reasons why he perceives VoIP to have shortcomings. These are his Interests and they should address his business needs. Your clients interests are gold-dust to you, so the more you know about them the better a chance you have of either satisfying your clients needs from your portfolio, or recommending them the right solution from a competitor (thus winning you trust, and maintaining the relationship). So once you have as completed a list of interests as possible, ask your client to rank their choices in order of descending importance. If you cant satisfy their number 1 requirement for example, then you can save both of yourselves from investing further time talking about an unsuitable solution. Very often your clients will gain clarity through this process - and their objections will be put in proper context. They will appreciate your interest and skills in aiding them to gain clarity. This is a rich and deep area we invest a great deal of time addressing and exploring in our award winning Advanced Negotiation Training course.

If after this process you have not created a value proposition that meets yours and your clients interests / needs, then you may do well to enlist your managers assistance. How soon do you approach your manager? If you only have one possible solution to offer your boss, you are stuck and dont yet have choice. If you bring him 2 choices, you could be facing a dilemma and risk being torn in two. You only have a real choice when you report back with 3 or more options. You dont need to have the answer, you just dont need to take the problem to your manager. Many professionals are surprised to hear us say that they are unlikely to find the solution by focusing on the problem. Albert Einstein summed it up well by saying: "The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them". So your solution is most often found by creatively thinking through a number of different possible options. We recommend you enlist the cooperation of your manager and perhaps other members of your team who have experience in this domain. You will be enhancing your brainstormed ideas, and hopefully be adding to your list. I would hope your manager expects you to be asking the right questions, rather than to already have the right answer. Its no surprise that an empowering questioning framework is core to successfully implementing our Negotiating to Win More! methodology.

So we would recommend you to not present your manager with the solution, but rather present your manager with 3 or more brainstormed options, and enlist their and other colleagues assistance in expanding and then refining your best solution for your client.

Reader Comments

Average Rating:

Total Comments: 0

View or Write a comment

Back to Negotiation Questions and Answers

Please feel free to share this article by republishing the contents of this page in part or full. All that we ask is you include a regular link back to this site, preferably to our page.

Reader Comments

Average Reader Rating:       Comments: 0

share your comment

No comments

Negotiation Newsletter