How to Produce Good Negotiators - #3 Reinforce training

This is the third of a 4-part series of blogs addressing negotiating ability in the sales arena.  If someone other than you would be a better fit for this, please pass it along.

If you have missed the first two articles in this series: #1 (Hire the Right People) or #2 (Be Sure They are Trained) you may want to refer to them first. 

#3. Reinforce the training! 
It doesn’t matter how good the training is, how quality the seed that is planted, it has to be watered, and fertilized, and be exposed to sunlight. As any good golfer can tell you, it doesn’t matter how good the instructor, one lesson is not enough. Sales is no different. After the training has taken place, for new behaviors to become part of the salesperson’s bag of tools, for it to become internalized, those behaviors must be repeated again and again and again. That’s especially true of negotiation. I tell salespeople in our seminars, “The study of negotiation is more akin to the study of golf or karate than any other discipline. You don’t learn negotiation by reading about it. You become a good negotiator by negotiating - by doing it. Repetition is the mother of skill.”

I’ll bet you remember a movie from years ago (1984, actually) called, “The Karate Kid”.  A wise teacher named Mr. Miyagi (played by "Pat” Morita) took a young boy named Daniel, played by Ralph Macchio under his wing, and taught him martial arts.  Miyagi had Daniel spend quite a bit of time with “wax-on, -wax-off”, until it was a reflex action, something he didn’t even have to think about.  How many times have professional football teams, baseball teams and basketball teams run plays?  Thousands!

That being the case, professional salespeople by the thousands are walking into offices unprepared, “winging it” in negotiating situations.

As part of our programs at Negotiation Wisdom we take the sales manager through a session designed specifically to educate them on how to water and fertilize the ideas and concepts and techniques we teach the sales force to assure that they “sink in” - so that a year later - 18 months later - they are still at work, and the company is getting great return on their investment.
Reinforce the training!

Next week’s blog will address area #4 Reward What You Want Done, the final in this series.