Call Center Life: Principles of Negotiation

Posted 4:16 AM by Mezhal Ulao in Labels: , ,

As a call center agent one is going to be faced with a lot of conflict, which is only natural especially if you are an inbound or tech support agent as you primarily deal with issues. Summarized below is the basic principles one should remember when dealing with a sticky situation:

1. Don't get personal.

Many business negotiations are not about befriending the other side. Always be courteous and kind, but you need not develop a relationship outside of the negotiation. If you dislike the other side, you don't have to express that dislike. Don't make the other side choose between self-respect and self-interest in order to deal with you.

2. Control your emotions.

Don't get overheated emotionally. This means expressing anger if the negotiations don't go your way. If you feel you've come out a winner don't show it. No one likes to feel they've lost and maybe you'll have to face them again. It very difficult when you face some who wants to get even.

3. Don't talk out of school.

If you discuss your deals in elevators, you have definitely pushed the "down" button. It's a small world ... and the walls have ears.

4. Leave something on the table for the other guy.

Peace treaties are made between enemies, not friends: It usually takes a war to get them to the bargaining table. Deals are made between parties who seek mutual advantage, not unilateral victory. Both sides have to win something, or you don't have a deal, you have a homicide. One way or another, your counterpart will see to it that crime doesn't pay.

5. Your first offer should never be your final offer.

Don't create a situation in which your opponent can't justify his value to his principal by accepting your offer. Give the person on the other side of the table a chance to knock you down a little. Remember the previous point: He or she needs to win something, too.

6. Don't negotiate with yourself.

Once you've made an offer, if the other party doesn't accept it, don't make another offer. Wait for a counteroffer. Don't lower your own demands without getting them to lower theirs.

7. Don't be afraid to take a risk.

Sometimes it's risky not to take a risk. The trial lawyer who says he or she never lost a case settles too easily. Don't let yourself be bluffed by artificial deadlines or "final offers." And don't run bluffs, either. If you are called and you don't follow through, your credibility is shot.

8. Don't be afraid to go to an expert when you're over your head.

You don't know everything. Trying to pretend to your opponent, your client or yourself that you are knowledgeable in some area or have some vital information when you don't harms your position. It makes you appear weak and foolish.

9. Don't attribute more strength to the other side than it possesses.

Remember, in any negotiation, both sides are under pressure to perform. They have bosses, deadlines, pressures, fears and objectives, the same as you do.

10. Sometimes you can get what you want by calling it by another name.

Let's say your opposite number does not "renegotiate" contracts. OK, what if we call it a contract "extension"? They say no to severance pay? OK, it's a "consulting contract." A potential employer does not want to ire you on a permanent basis? OK, it's an "internship."

11. Take your time.

Don't let the other side force a deal. The more time you give yourself, the more information you can gather about their true needs.

So bear in mind that negotiations take place first in your mind prior to the actual meeting. You have to learn to do a lot of research and know the other party. More importantly you have to fully understand yourself as well, both your strengths and weaknesses and find ways to see the consequences of each of your choices.

If you have time to watch here is a video that further discusses the topics on Negotiations:

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5 comment(s) to... “Call Center Life: Principles of Negotiation”

5 comments:

Liz said...

Hopping in to wish you a great weekend. :)

A Simple Life
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Call Center Philippines said...

You should always aim to speak in first person, carrying on a conversation normally as you would every day. Don't say to the interpreter "ask her if she is feeling OK." Likewise, it is an unprofessional interpreter who would say "she said that she's OK." You simply carry on a normal conversation by asking "Are you feeling OK?" The interpreter will translate accordingly.



Tundra Biome said...

Good solid advice. Certainly speaking in the first person is most important.



Joaana said...

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