What’s the secret to negotiation? Relationships. This was one of the key messages delivered by negotiation guru Linda Potgieter at her event on Friday night, and part of our Producers Masterclass. Nearly 200 filmmakers and producers took part in her interactive workshop, and engaged in deal making exercises, the results of which were quite eye opening.
One theme that kept resonating through the evening was listening and chatting. Most of us start by telling a person ‘why’ they need to buy our stuff, or why they should agree to our proposals. Instead, develop a relationship, ask questions and seek a common ground, so that the deal is not a ‘hard sell’ but a conversation. When people feel like you are listening to their needs, they are more inclined to engage. Moreover, you may discover something that could lead to a more valuable deal or relationship, simply by taking the time to engage and inquire. A powerful breakthrough that many of us experienced was the realisation that we are always engaged in negotiation, these skills are used every hour of every day, in both our businesses and in our personal lives.
Another breakthrough revealed in the workshop was that people can have radically different value systems, different needs and different expectations. How on earth can you make any deal if you don’t understand these radically differing values? And if you do engage in deal making too early, without understanding these values, you often end up haggling, which is not negotiation, or with complete collapse.
It was a great eye opening session and we now have plans for a two day business negotiation workshop later this year.
Here’s what some of our delegates said…
‘Dynamic, focused, approachable and a real tour-de-force in negotiation training. Every one who ever meets anyone else should take her advice and courses’
Fuad Omar, Producer
‘Seems to me this stuff is not only great for hammering out deals but also just getting people on-board with your projects in general. In fact the principles seem applicable to any form of communication in any situation’
Chris Bhurrut, Writer Director
Onwards and upwards!