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Killer Negotiator 101 – Framing a Killer Sales Pitch

Killer Negotiator 101 – Framing a Killer Sales Pitch

All of us are trying to be a killer negotiator every day. Whether it is talking your way into a million dollar deal or negotiating permission from your parents for a night out, a killer negotiator gets his way.

Your doors will keep opening if you have the ability to convince people. This series of posts is targeted at the techniques of being that killer negotiator. Over the last few posts, we have discussed how to master the basic rules of negotiation, knowing that everybody is a good guy, breaking the self-serving bias, saying less and listen more, and using the Benjamin Franklin effect and Foot in the Door technique to your advantage during negotiation. I have also discussed the reasons behind a NO and how to change that into a YES.

As a killer negotiator, you just bypassed the rat race, and that’s not all. People remember you. When you create your space in people’s minds, you touch their lives. Let me now introduce the next hack in the series – how to put your idea across to an audience and make them listen to it.

Make your presentation bold and distinct

Even in the most professional environment, people are primarily moved by emotions. You need to move people. Remember the concept of Divergence?

Bold and interesting statements make you prominent and draw attention.

Remember that one teacher in school who used to make you want to fall asleep in class as opposed to the one who kept you glued to his / her voice and presence? What do you think was the difference between the two?

Knowledge? Competence? Wrong!

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A killer negotiator or a public speaker knows that if you want an attentive audience, you will have to slip in ideas which will keep them glued to your voice. Give your audience thoughts to feed upon at regular intervals and they will listen to you!
You do not need to be a people pleaser to get attention. In fact, the most effective statements are those who differ from the concepts of the people around you. They do not have to believe in those statements when they hear it.

But yes, you need to believe what you are saying.

Here is an example from a holy man:

“Do you need to mug up all scriptures and Holy textbooks to be a saint?

Maybe it’s time we stopped teaching faith and start learning it. Every person who is above you in age or rank or social stature is trying to teach you what has not worked in their lives. Why do we love teaching others those things which we could not learn in own lives?

Look at a child. The kid is happy, happy with simple things. You give him an ant, and he will make a whole universe out of it and feel happy. We have given you a whole universe, yet you are making nothing out of it. People roam around in gloomy faces. Yet we try to transform that child into us. Who should be the teacher here? The one who is happy or the one who is not? The child or the adult?

When you meet a child, it isn’t time to teach. It is now time to learn!”

Whether you believe him or not is not important here. If you think like a killer negotiator, if you judge purely from the eyes of a person who is trying to persuade, you can see:

  1. He made several bold statements in that short extract.
  2. They were all held up later by strong arguments.

The listener may be taken aback by the concepts at first, but has to agree to it eventually when he listens to the rest of the explanation. The killer negotiator has to open with confident, bold statements, keeping the audience glued, and then back it up by sound arguments. He needs to believe those statements and should be ready to support them against counter arguments if necessary.

Examples from real life

While speaking to an audience on a podium, most speakers would open with something like:

“Thank you for the kind introduction. I have always wanted to speak.”

That is what everyone expects, and that’s why you should not start like that! Consider these opening lines:

“Look at the person on your left and now the person on your right. One of the three of you is going to disagree with me tonight, while the other two will agree. My aim is to get all three of you in agreement.”

Or a question:

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“Can you remember the most embarrassing thing ever happened to you?”

It is beneficial to place bold and interesting concepts at the start. People will listen to you when you tell them something they did not expect to hear. And this works like a charm in negotiation. If you sell people on what they already know, you are in for a lot of competition. Make people believe in your individuality rather than your similarity with the rest, and you can sell them anything! They will buy if you are trustworthy. Think of these opening lines:

“The car I am about to show you has a latest passive entry system, with a sliding sunroof, which you can control remotely. The features are unheard of!”

OR

“This proposal is a result of two years of effort and has already started turning heads in the industry. Pay close attention to what I am about to say to you.”

Be trustworthy, well-founded, and confident. Do not fight the shadows. Professionals usually like independent thinkers as long as they are confident and can back up what they are saying. But they can call your bluff just as fast.

If you say: “I can prove that the Sun goes around the Earth” just to sound bold, but then fall flat when it is time to prove it, you cannot expect much interest from your audience in the long run. Your statements will then become cheap gimmicks.

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Remember, you are not trying to fool anyone with cheap publicity stunts. Being a killer negotiator means that you have a firm and confident idea and the intention to create a Win-Win for both of you.

Which sales tagline appeals more to you?

“I have a smart watch with a remote operated 13 MP camera.”

OR

“Look at your watches. What would you say if I said that I could turn it into a 13MP camera which you can activate remotely with your smartphone?”

The idea is interesting and bold, and you have the interest of the room instantly. Provided that you are able to back up your statements, you will sell your watch!

Action plan

  1. Make sure your pitch for whatever you are negotiating on contains certain aspects that the person on the other side did not think about.
  2. You need to put this across boldly and briskly.
  3. The idea needs to be supported by well-formed logic, and you should be able to convince people of it.
  4. In addition to above, try answering the questions:
    • How can I find a solution for them which will be even better than they expect?’
    • My logic seems great, but how do I put it across in a way that will make them glued.
    • How can I do better than showing pie charts and graphs? How can I put across the same thing in various ways?

More by this author

Silence Can Solve Problems That Words Cannot Motivate ourselves Motivate Yourself: Three Tricks to Kick Your Own Ass 4 Steps to Learn from your Mistakes 8 Killer Negotiation Tricks Clients Don’t Want You To Know Killer Negotiator 101 – Framing a Killer Sales Pitch

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Last Updated on December 3, 2020

15 Strategies for an Effective To-Do List

15 Strategies for an Effective To-Do List

One of the age-old productivity techniques around is the classic and effective to do list, and for good reason. It’s one of the most productive ways for you and everyone else to get anything done. Whether it’s a mental list or something that you are writing down, a to do list is an essential productivity tool.

At the same time, it is one of the most confusing productivity tools around. Many people discredit this for various reasons and don’t believe that a to do list is any good. But my argument is that maybe you and other people aren’t making an effective to do list, so here we will go over how to get one done right.

Why Bother With an Effective To-Do List?

You’ve Been Using Them Wrong

Before jumping into strategies to make an effective to do list, it’s worth knowing why you should bother making one. The first important point is that many people have been making to do lists all wrong.

Two of the most common mistakes are:

  • People use lists as a measurement of whether they are productive or not.
  • They put too many items on the list.

It’s understandable why you or other people do this, though. A to do list is a productivity tool, so it makes sense to pile on tasks. However, the brain doesn’t work that way. If you have a lot of tasks on your list, it feels like torture as the list never ends.

At first, it can feel nice that you always have something to do, but keep in mind that you only have so much time in a day. It’s important that you place more value in quality work rather than sheer quantity.

On that same note, if you are someone who has a tendency to seek validation, a to do list can be tough. There will be days where you won’t get everything done due to life events. This creates unnecessary pressure and sends you into a stress whirlwind.

It Helps You Stay Focused

When you build an effective to-do list, the main goal of these lists is to provide clarity and focus. If you’ve been doing them wrong, you may have noticed that you are focusing in on a task on your to do list and getting it done.

This may be overshadowed by the multiple items on your list, but you are focusing on a task during a given time. You really see this in action when you consider having a shorter to do list, though.

I understand that a to do list isn’t for every single person, but this focus is helpful to people when starting out. You’re still not certain about your goals or the path that you want to take. You may also struggle to determine the next step to work towards.

A to do list is a guide you can refer back to it whenever you need it. Furthermore, the techniques that I’ll be mentioning below will make to do lists more effective for you.

15 Strategies for an Effective To Do List

You’ll begin to see how powerful a to do list is when you consider the various strategies you can incorporate in one. This is your to do list, so pick from the strategies below to find what suits you. If you’re not certain, don’t be afraid to experiment and mishmash several combinations.

Remember that the road to success is one with many branching paths, so the methods you use are your choice.

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1. Break the List Into Two Parts

The first strategy is to break a list into two parts. These two parts are called dailies and to do’s.

Dailies are the everyday tasks that you want to develop more. For example, if you want to make a habit out of exercising in the morning, a daily task could be following a 15-minute workout routine or going for an hour-long walk.

Your to do’s are non-daily tasks that you need to be getting done at some point. Maybe you need to prepare a report at work or make a presentation. You can put that into your to do column.

This is an effective strategy because it saves all the clutter that most people gravitate towards. As mentioned before, people stuff their lists, and a lot of it is usually tasks they you would do anyway, like going grocery shopping or dropping the kids off at a friend’s place.

2. Put a Limit on Items

If you find breaking your list into two parts too much, I’ll suggest brevity to be a virtue when making these lists. You can set any number of items, but the key is that you do have a set limit in mind. Some people have no more than seven while others go as low as three. Do what makes you feel comfortable.

The idea behind this is to narrow in on the most important tasks that you need to accomplish that day. Of course, there are other things that you’ll be doing during the day, and that’s fine, but you want to prioritize the items that on your to do list before the day is done.

3. Use Checklists for Complex Tasks

If you’re already making narrow lists but are putting in tougher tasks, my suggestion is to break that task down. Whether it’s full-on steps you need to take or jotting down important details that need to be present is up to you.

Either way, this allows you to ensure that you’re getting everything done the proper way and that you’re not missing any key details or steps.

4. Tackle MITs First

MIT is the “most important task.” Another way to look at this is to tackle the largest and most intimidating task first[1]. Why you want to do this goes back to how our brain works.

You may feel compelled to do the easier tasks first before getting to the bigger task, but the problem is that these tasks—even the easy ones—drain your energy. Furthermore, if you have a really big task to complete, chances are that’s going to be on your mind over the course of the day. That means you’re spending more energy just thinking about it.

All of that wouldn’t be a problem if that big intimidating task was dealt with first thing in the morning.

5. Create a “Done” List

Another interesting approach to consider is to have a “done” list. This is a list of the tasks that you’ve completed from your to do list. Many people find it satisfying to merely cross an item off their list and be done with it, but depending on what you’re putting on those lists, a done list could be inspiring.

Imagine if you are someone who places above-average difficult tasks on your to do lists, activities that require an hour or two to complete properly. This can inspire you to do more if, after a day of working, you notice just how much you accomplished over the course of the day via this list.

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6. Make Your List Easy to Spot

From colorful paper to posting it in an obvious spot, you want your list to be in a place where you can spot it easily. Mind you, you don’t need to have this list in front of you all the time as it could create unnecessary stress. But setting it to one side is a nice idea—a glance to the side and you know exactly what needs to get done.

7. Add Gaming Elements to It

If pen and paper isn’t your thing when making to do lists, there are several apps that can guide you along as well. The beauty of to do list apps is that there is more room for creativity, and some of the developers incorporate games into them.

For example, Todoist has an achievement system where individuals earn badges as they complete more tasks. There’s also Bounty Tasker, which makes you feel like your tasks are side quests in a video game.

8. Give Yourself Deadlines

Work expands to fill time allotted.

It’s an old philosophy that still rings true with how we are productive. For example, say you’re assigned to write a report, and you’re given a week to do it. You’ll likely work on it steadily throughout the week. Or if you’re a procrastinator, you’ll put it off until the night before and finish it.

But what if you’re given that same task and only allotted an hour to complete it? You’ll likely get the report done, but you’ll prioritize the main, important points and highlight those rather than fill it with unnecessary fluff.

The whole point of this is that with your goals and the items on your to do list, you want to have deadlines. When it comes to to do lists, my suggestion is to give yourself a day to complete the tasks there. This is enough pressure and incentive for you to work hard on them.

9. Add Tasks When They’re Fresh

Another strategy is to assign yourself tasks even when you are working on something else. Keep in mind it’s not something you have to do right now, but this can help with people who are struggling to think about what to focus on next.

This is along the same lines as when you hear something interesting and you write it down. It’s a wise thing to do as it saves you the bother of having to dwell on that idea rather than focusing on the task at hand. It also saves you from having to recall what the task is if you’re the type to write up the next day’s to do list at the end of the day.

10. Be Comfortable With Revising Your To-Do List

Depending on your overall mindset, another good strategy is to look at your to do list and make changes to it. If you’re practicing the previous strategy, there may be a possibility that your to do list is getting lengthy and you’re setting unrealistic expectations that you can finish it all.

By giving yourself the opportunity to revise your to do list, your allowing yourself to spread out your tasks rather than have them clumped up. This helps your mindset as you’re not overwhelmed by the list.

11. Write Tasks, Not Goals

You should have separate lists for your tasks and your goals. The idea is to not put goals on your task list at all.

While tasks can help you lead to your goals, goals are larger desires and not something that you can achieve over the course of the day. For example, “learn to speak French” is a goal; however, you can break that into a task by saying “read French content for 15 minutes” or “watch a movie in French.”

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This also extends to objectives, too. You can see these as milestones. Going back to the example of speaking French, an objective can be, “discuss my favorite foods with someone in French.” It’s the desired outcome that you’re looking for from your practice.

12. Keep To Do Lists Brief

Here, brief means scannable in that you can quickly look over at the list and know what needs to get done. How you can do this is by focusing on the keywords of specific tasks and not dragging them out. For example, say your garage is a mess and you want to clean it up. Instead of writing a lengthy sentence, keep it short and write something like “clean garage for 30 min.” or simply “clean garage.”

With this strategy, you’re spending less time writing the task down when making the to do list. Furthermore, you’re relying on trigger words to get your mind to recall specific details for that task.

13. Have Multiple Lists

As mentioned above, it’s a good idea to have separate lists for various things, like having a separate list for goals, objectives, daily tasks, and to do’s. Another way you can look at it is to have a system where you are consulting from three lists.

These lists are:

A Master List

This is where any of your long-term goals are, things like moving to a new house, getting out of debt, or building a business. These are things that will take a year or more to accomplish.

A Weekly Project List

These are things that you want to accomplish by the end of the week. These are things that will move the needle slowly towards some of the items on your master list. From the previous example, these could be doing research on getting a business loan, house hunting, or setting up a savings account.

A High-Impact List

Lastly, these are tasks that need to be accomplished today. Whether they are related to the previous two lists or not doesn’t matter. This is where high priority tasks are placed. Examples can be calling specific people or working on a project or a report that’s due soon.

By having these lists in place, you’ll be referring often to the weekly project list and the high-impact list and determining whether a weekly task should be moved to that list.

As you do that, you’ll begin to notice how much your daily life has an impact on those goals that are written on that master list. That can be inspiring since what you are doing is actively bringing you closer to your goals.

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14. Don’t Ramp up Difficulty Until You’re Ready

Some of the strategies mentioned can seem easy on the surface, but they require a lot of mental fortitude. Motivation is an unusual thing, and our brains are wired to process a certain way. If you’re looking for genuine change and something that sticks, the best principle is to keep things simple and easy at first.

It may be a drag, but you don’t often realize how those baby steps can play a crucial role in you being able to start running and chasing your dreams. Don’t be ashamed if you have to start off with simple tasks for yourself. Even going back to daily tasks that you do anyway like showering, doing the laundry or shopping for food is a good way to start.

Putting those items on the list at first makes you feel like you’ve had a productive day. From there, you can challenge yourself with more difficult tasks. Incorporate an exercise routine or spend a half-hour on a task that means something to you.

The idea is to ease yourself into a routine so you don’t feel overwhelmed.

15. Measure Your Time

The last strategy that can help you is to measure your time. How long does it take you to finish a specific task? You don’t need to go for specifics, but make a point of timing yourself over the course of a week and get the average time spent on that task.

Why is this important? This information can be broken down in two ways.

The first way is to use it as a marker to boost efficiency. Depending on the task, you can find new ways to achieve the same results in a shorter time.

It also allows you to know what you can do in a given day. If you know that it takes you an hour or so to go through your entire morning routine, you’ll be more conscious about how you move through that routine.

Furthermore, if you know what tasks you’ll be doing the next day, you can better manage your time since you know roughly how much time it’ll take to get everything done.

Final Thoughts

Building an effective to do list is not as easy as it seems. There are all kinds of unique strategies to try out, some more challenging that others. However, if you are motivated to use this productivity tool to make your life easier, then it will get easier. All that you need to do is keep putting effort and experiment and reevaluate when necessary. So get started with your to do lists today.

More Tips on Using an Effective To Do List

Featured photo credit: Emma Matthews Digital Content Production via unsplash.com

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