Updated: Jan 25, 2022
Due to the covid-19 pandemic, many people switched to remote work. This influenced the way in which companies conduct business, and it also influenced the relationship between project managers and their teams.
Goals had to be readjusted to the online environment, while collaboration between employers and employees had to be redefined. Switching to a virtual business model also changed the relationship between the company and the client. Trust was rebuilt and conversations became even more effective to ensure that online transactions happen.
If you’re working in sales or simply looking to expand your virtual negotiating skills, here’s a comprehensive guide on how to improve your negotiation style during online meetings. Let us know how this goes for you and come back with comments, we look forward to hearing from you.
How To Plan a Virtual Negotiation
Yes, virtual negotiations need planning, just like in-person ones do. Check out the next points to plan your virtual negotiation the right way.
§ Know what your team’s attributes are. Assign roles to all of the people involved in your meeting. Know who opens the conversation, who continues it, and who explains the detailed slides, for example. Also, know who proposes the sale and how they communicate with the customer. If you’re the one proposing it, make sure you’re writing down clear goals.
§ Practice and chat with teammates offline. Send private texts to your teammates if you need to and practice the presentation beforehand, if possible.
§ Choose video. Video conferences are way more effective than impersonal (phone) ones, so choose Zoom or Skype to chat with your client and negotiate the offer.
§ Prepare a short, structured video. If you need to explain something in more detail, a video might be the best way to go about it. It is structured and helps you express your ideas in a clear and concise manner. Plus, your client won’t lose interest and will keep up with the information presented.
How to Ace Your Virtual Negotiation
1. Get personal
Nobody likes to negotiate with a person they barely know, so get to know your client before starting the actual negotiation. Make small talk, break the ice, make a joke, ask about the weather, or ask deeper questions if you feel like it.
You could start your conversation by asking your client about their family or their health. Research conducted by Michael Morris shows that online negotiations where people made small talk beforehand resulted in better financial gains for the negotiator. Becoming more personal with someone you don’t know – especially during this pandemic – is really powerful and can be used as an advantage.
2. Clarify the goals and explain the assumptions
Your meeting must be well-structured in order to keep your clients attentive and focused along the way. This is why you’ve got to clarify the meeting’s goal from the very first start.
Clients appreciate knowing where the meeting is headed or what they should expect from it. Plus, everyone is busy, so letting them know how much time they should set aside for the meeting is another thing to consider.
Don’t hesitate to speak about the assumptions that could be made and ask your clients if they’ve already made any. Clarify any wrong assumptions and be completely transparent about all of your goals.
3. Turn off self-view
The last piece of advice, turn off self-view if you’re self-conscious. Seeing yourself during online calls can increase self-criticism and influence the interaction with your clients.
Getting personal with your customers is essential, as it will build trust between parties and open the door to more meaningful conversations. You should also remember to clarify any incorrect assumptions that your clients might’ve made and explain the goals of the meeting. If your self-consciousness increases when self-view is on, turn it off to make your virtual meeting more efficient.
Jake S. Platt is 31. He has a master’s degree in marketing and currently started his way as a content writer. Wrote his first story at age 15, now he brings his decades of experience to inspire people to explore the world while he volunteers for a popular essay writing service online.