Using Fire Pits to Negotiate Fairly and Effectively

As fire pits become increasingly common in both homes and corporate offices a growing number of businessmen are making the surprising move of returning to the ancient tradition of negotiating around a fire. While this may seem a bit unusual, the fact of the matter is that human beings have been negotiating around a fire pit for tens of thousands of years. While some people like to think that modern man has somehow evolved passed the point where traditions like this are useful, this really is not true in the psychological or neurological sense. In fact, negotiating over fire pits is still a crucial part of the culture in many parts of the world, including some societies that we might consider quite advanced. From the aboriginals of the Australian outback to nomadic tribes in Africa and the Middle East, many leaders and merchants continue to find it useful to negotiate over a roaring fire, and they have a number of good reasons for doing so. While society may have changed a great deal, we are still hardwired with the same basic instincts as our ancestors, and this is what makes negotiating over a pit so effective.

Negotiating over a pit helps clear the air for everyone involved in a given negotiation. Because sitting around a fire appeals to our most basic instincts, they remind everyone involved in the discussion that we are all just human beings and have the same basic needs and desires in life. There is also something about a fire that calms to the nerves of everyone who watches it, as anyone who has been hypnotized by a campfire can attest to. This helps everyone involved in the negotiation clear their mind of the other stressful personal and professional problems that might be at hand and discuss the various factors involved in the negotiation in a calm and constructive manner.

Due to the fact that fire pits are becoming more and more common in people’s homes, it seems likely that people will begin using fire pits for negotiations outside of work as well. Whether it is a controversial negotiation that your family needs to work through or there is a problem in your community that could be solved if everyone would just sit down and talk about calmly, inviting everyone over to negotiate over a fire pit can really break down some walls and lead to a peaceful conflict resolution.

Powerful Presenters Close More Sales

For many professionals (consultants, designers, architects, etc.), presentations are a key aspect of the sales cycle that can’t be ignored. Let’s face it, you’ve got a lot riding on how you look, what you say, and the way you answer questions. In order to get more new clients, you must become a master of the art of a quality presentation.

A successful presenter is one who comes across as confident, creative, and convincing. Here are some key features of a winning presentation:

1. Be prepared: Know your subject intimately. Be ready to answer questions and describe the benefits to your client in detail. Well in advance, brainstorm your client’s potential objections and have a solution prepared.

2. Create rapport: Don’t be so focused on the presentation that you forget to nurture the relationship you are building with your clients. They want to know what type of person you are.

3. Present by objectives: With each component that you present, explain its advantages and how it will help your client achieve their specific goals.

4. Show one concept at a time: Don’t place all your cards on the table. Each idea deserves special attention. If a client looks at work before it’s formally presented, he or she may form negative opinions before hearing its merits. 5. Describe, then show: It’s important to take it slow, giving your audience time to absorb each concept. Explain the details of each idea BEFORE you display it.

6. Let ‘em hold it: Once you put something in someone’s hands, they begin to feel ownership. Let your client get involved in your creative process. Encourage questions and discussions.

7. Keep it simple: Keep your description direct, clear, and concise. Don’t oversell with long-winded explanations. Good ideas don’t need to be pushed.

8. Leave informed: Make sure you are clear on how you will move forward. You may have to be the one to say, “So, what are our next steps?” Your client may not have a definitive answer, so be prepared to define this. For example, you may suggest a specific date for a follow-up call or meeting.

Practice makes perfect. If you aren’t comfortable with making presentations, role-play with an associate or friend. You can also perform in front of a mirror. Observe your posture and mannerisms. Are you fidgeting? Do you maintain eye contact? Are you ready to persuade and make a call to action?

ACTION ITEM: Examine your presentation style by asking for a second opinion from someone you trust. This isn’t easy to do, but if you use this feedback to improve your skills, you will reap the rewards.

Copyright 2006 Marketing Maven

The Problems With Ordering Your Christmas Presents Online

More and more of us every year are choosing to do our Christmas shopping online. It’s convenient, quicker and a lot easier to browse and buy online than it is to trail through the high-street looking for gifts, while fighting the crowds.

Although online shopping has many positives, as it gets closer to Christmas shopping online can have many negatives attached to it. Mainly the issue of whether you will receive your items in time for the big day. For couriers Christmas time is undoubtedly the busiest time of year and even with their best efforts, deliveries can be late and other mishaps can happen. In 2010 26% of Christmas orders were late. Out of this 57% was only a day late, however 20% had delays of over a week. The weather will play a big part of whether your parcel will be delivered on time or not. We all know winter weather can be unpredictable and the smallest amount of snow can send the whole of the UK to a standstill. This is something to consider if you live in very rural areas, as these are usually the worst affected areas. Postal strikes are another issue you may face when doing Christmas shopping online, again these are unpredictable and could mean late deliveries.

Figures show that 40% of online shoppers expect their deliveries to be late during the Christmas period and 27% expect last minute orders to be delivered late. So although shoppers continue to spend online, delivery expectations are still relatively low. Even if your Christmas orders arrive late, some would call it lucky as in the UK around 1 million Christmas presents go missing in the post every week in the lead up to Christmas day.

It’s not just late deliveries that are a problem, or even parcels not turning up at all. Another problem faced by the online consumer is items being delivered and left in unsecured locations for the recipient. If you have ever missed a parcel before, you may have received a notification telling you that it is at your local depot for collection or to call the courier to rearrange. Others have been less fortunate with this experience, returning home to find that their parcels have been left in the bin by the courier or left on doorsteps for passers-by to see. In the UK 1.5 million parcels are stolen from doorsteps every year, this is around 280,000 a week, meaning that these mishaps and the lack of care are a regular occurrence.

The potential loss of ordered items, late deliveries or the items being stolen is a risk worth considering when purchasing Christmas presents online, especially if these items are of high value. These cons may outweigh the pros of shopping online. If you decide to do your shopping online, always give yourself plenty of time for delivery, check the delivery options and make sure the best suit your needs and be sure to check your rights if your parcel fails to turn up or gets lost.