Archive: Nov 2019
7 basic skills for personal effectiveness
Posted: November 28, 2019 11:21 amPersonal effectiveness depends on a range of different factors, from the experiences you’ve had so far to the talents that you have developed and the knowledge that you have acquired. Being more effective can help you to get closer to your goals in life and may help you to identify ways to achieve those goals that are smarter and more efficient. You can develop personal effectiveness by nurturing 7 basic skills.
Thinking outside the box
Being able to generate original ideas
How to improve negotiation skills for buyers
Posted: November 21, 2019 10:47 amWhen it comes to negotiation advice this often seems to be aimed at the salesperson. But what if you’re the one looking to acquire as opposed to sell? Whether you’re a manager or an entrepreneur running your own business you are likely to have a whole range of pressures that make it important to get a great deal. So, how do you improve your negotiation skills as a buyer to ensure that you achieve a positive result?
Go in well preparedThat means finding out as much as you can about the product or service and the company or person who is selling it to you. In particular, do what you can to establish the actual value of what you’re purchasing – research online, look at competitor pricing and read information and reviews from other customers. This type of knowledge will be useful when working out where you might have leverage in negotiations – and avoiding an inflated starting price – as well as demonstrating that you’ve done your research.
Avoid timing issuesIt’s well known that salespeople will often try to inject a sense of urgency into a situation with deadlines and schedules. The idea of this is to put pressure on a buyer to agree to purchase at a specific price and without further negotiation. If you want to avoid feeling this pressure don’t let yourself be rushed through the sales process, take your time. It’s also a good idea to look out for other common sales tricks, such as ‘this discount is only available today’ or the suggestion that your business might start losing money if you don’t buy within a specific time limit.
Be aware of your physical cuesIt’s very easy to accidentally give things away in negotiations, for example by the facial expressions you use when certain figures are suggested. Try to keep your expressions and reactions mute during a negotiation and adopt a confident posture and gestures.
Know your limitsBefore you go into the negotiation decide what your upper spending limit is going to be and then don’t move from it. Start from a lower price and, if necessary, gradually move towards that top limit but don’t allow yourself to be pushed over it.
Ask for what you wantIf there’s something missing from what’s on the table that you feel should be there then ask for it. If you’ve been pushed higher and higher on the price then don’t be afraid to look for value add ons that will justify paying more for the product or service. If you don’t ask for what you want then there is no way for the salesperson to know what that is.
Walk away if you need toThe ultimate fallback for any buyer is having the ability to walk away from the deal. If you’re really just not getting what you want and the seller isn’t going to change their position then cut your losses and start researching other vendors to deal with. Negotiating as a buyer takes a lot of skill and the ability to stand firm when necessary. It’s something that anyone can learn with the right training. Find out more by booking onto our Negotiation Skills course
Top 10 business writing skills you need to learn
Posted: November 14, 2019 10:44 amBusiness writing is an essential ability to have if you want to be able to communicate professionally and get your ideas across. Doing it effectively requires mastering a number of key skills.
- Be clear and to the point. Particularly in business writing, the ability to be concise is incredibly important. Say what you mean with as few words as possible and you will be much more effective as a result.
- Who are you writing for? It’s essential to bear in mind your audience when you’re business writing. This will affect everything from the tone and detail to the language you use. You can also personalise what you’re creating by tailoring it to the individuals or demographic you’re aiming at.
- Learn how to structure your writing. If the document you’re producing is unstructured and unwieldy you may find that people struggle to get to the end. Bear in mind that a good structure will help a reader to absorb the information in the piece – and also that many people will make a judgment about whether to read on based solely on the first paragraph.
- Set yourself a goal. Crucially, before you start writing whatever it is you’re producing, make sure you know why you’re doing it. What’s the reason for the writing you’re about to begin and what are you hoping to achieve with it?
- Steer clear of an overly formal tone. Business writing needs to be professional but also accessible. It’s very easy to slip into formal writing that can be dull and mean that people switch off. A conversational tone ensures that a reader can engage with, and enjoy, what you’re writing and won’t be put off by too formal an approach.
- Use the right language. Most important is to use accessible vocabulary that is easy to understand – jargon and trending terms don’t usually add much.
- Switch from the passive voice to the active voice. Your writing will be more powerful if it’s framed in active terms e.g. switch from “if you want to know more we can be reached at” to “if you want to know more call me on this number.”
- Write for the appropriate channel or platform. Business writing for a blog is very different to writing web content or producing a report or white paper. Take the time to appreciate what the differences are between each and to tailor what you produce accordingly.
- Stick to the facts. The more facts, statistics and hard data your writing contains the more credible it will be. If you want to integrate opinions use facts to support them and avoid including those that don’t have a factual basis.
- Check everything you write – twice. Bad grammar, spelling mistakes and missing punctuation can detract from the point that you’re trying to make.
How to manage budgets
Posted: November 7, 2019 10:42 amManaging a departmental budget is often a skill that goes untaught. If you’ve recently been promoted into a managerial position then you may have the people skills and industry knowledge to excel in the role – but perhaps not the budget know how. A corporate budget is similar to a personal budget except that there are different stakeholders involved. There are some simple ways to approach the process to ensure that you get it right.