What are the Biggest Mistakes Professionals Currently Make When Networking and Negotiating?

In July, Doug Gentilcore published a book entitled Getting from the Bar to the Boardroom: 25 Proven Sales Techniques for Relationship Building, Networking, Negotiating, and Dealmaking in which he shares his firsthand experiences and knowledge for developing a promising business career. He clearly explains why any business professional, whether in sales or not, will, at some point, have to persuade an individual or group to change their current course of action in favor of a new one. 

I had the chance to speak with Doug this past month, and I asked him: "What are the biggest mistakes professionals make currently make when networking and negotiating?” Here is his full answer:

There are many things that can inhibit your success when it comes to negotiating and networking.  In my experience, allowing emotion to enter into your process is the most detrimental to achieving your goals.  

Too many people use passion and emotion interchangeably, but as I say in my book, "With passion also comes respect for others and their opinions.  Emotion is usually accompanied by closed-mindedness and disrespect." Every poor decision or overreaction I have ever made in my life has been emotional.  Even if I am faced with a challenging situation, my passion allows me to remain driven, logical, and positive. It is important to understand the effects that emotion can have on your mental state, decision-making process, and ultimately, your success. 

Whether it is a client you are hoping to sign or a contact that you need to make to win a deal, there will be barriers and challenges you face to accomplish your goal.  In order to properly assess, plan and execute to conquer these impediments, you must check your emotion “at the door” so to speak.  A customer challenging you during a negotiation is not a personal attack, it is a chance to demonstrate your ability to deliver when it means the most, and your client will remember how you react. To again quote my book, “Behind passion there is reason and logic, behind emotion is ignorance."

In short, don’t be emotional and as a result, ignorant.  This is a negotiation, not a prize fight and logic will always keep you on the proper path.  To prevent an emotional outburst, you must have a solid accounting of your performance and mental state, so be sure to check in on both and even ask your colleagues and friends for their assessment.  Being too close to the situation will cloud your judgment and everyone can use another set of eyes and ears from time to time.

What do you think of Doug's perspective? Have there been times when emotions have ruined an important negotiation or affected a networking opportunity for you?

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