Monday, December 7, 2015

You Already Have ‘NO', Go For ‘YES'

#SridharPeddisetty #PreSales #Negotiation #Project #BestPractices #Agile #ProjectManagement 
"You already have NO, go for YES!" is possibly the best advise shared by my colleague to sum up a hectic 10 days PreSales trip. In the last ten days, we travelled extensively across North America meeting with various clients, which worked out to be an enriching experience for both of us. Coming from a delivery background, this PreSales trip was a learning experience in many ways for me. More often than not, when you are selling your services, its the preconceived perception that is normally challenging to change. By definition, perception is the way in which something is regarded, understood, or interpreted. So when my wise colleague shared with me the wisdom he got from his mother, it truly reflected the challenge we mostly overcome during our PreSales meetings. The challenge of going for ‘Yes’ when we already have a ‘No’. 

In my earlier blog posts, 5 Tips Delivering Quality Services To Your Client and 7 Tips Having Good Times In A Client Relationship, I had shared tips on maintaining robust client relationships and how to ensure providing quality services to your client. This post is more applicable for PreSales phase, which precedes before starting work with a new client or on a new project. In the book "Getting to Yes, Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In", based on the work of the Harvard Negotiation Project, authors Roger Fisher and William Ury outline four parameters for principled negotiation:
  1. Separate the people from the problem
  2. Focus on interests, not positions
  3. Generate a variety of possibilities before making a decision and 
  4. Define objective standards as the criteria for making the decision

All of above four parameters are applicable when transforming the perception of people into a positive outlook. Below I am sharing five tips on how you can go for ‘Yes’ when you have already have a ‘No’.

Tip#1: Identify the people for whom you would want to change perception - Its an important first step to identify the people and their positioning of strength. Have a clear understanding on who are the influencers whose change of opinion would matter the most. Its more on focusing on their respective needs rather than their positions. 

Tip#2: Identify the reasoning of perception - Understand the background to get some context behind the perception. Its important to understand whether the perception is a direct result of personal experience or its an opinion formed by hearing other’s experience. This would help while devising the plan on transforming.  

Tip#3: Plan to transform the perception - Identify and establish some common grounds while planning the transformation. There is a reason why a perception is formed so plan to be assertive without being argumentative. Prepare yourself with ideas, logics and rational reasoning to counter the perception.  

Tip#4: Execute on the plan - Its important to keep emotions under check while executing the transformation. Keep in mind to respond and not to react. Always keep me in mind that you build relationships and connect with others by listening to understand and not listening to respond. 

Tip#5: Have Follow Ups - Its important to have regular follow ups with the individuals you are trying to change the perception. Closing the loop is very critical in ensuring a trustworthy relationship. 


To summarize, going after ‘Yes’ is more about knowing what you want, going after it and in the process respecting the person on other end of the deal. Go after ‘Yes’ to build long lasting relationships rather than burning bridges on your way out of the meeting room.

“Place a higher priority on discovering what a win looks like for the other person.” – Harvey Robbins

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