Elena Lysykh: “It depends on the first meeting with the Client whether we will have a contract”

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Our guest today is Elena Lysykh, who has been preparing entrepreneurs for the most difficult negotiations for 13 years now. Elena is a business coach in negotiations, helping to build open communications within the company and external negotiations with clients and partners. She is the founder of the negotiation club.

– Elena, thank you very much for agreeing to the interview.

Hello! I want this interview to be really useful for you so that you can make positive changes in your negotiations and your relationships with people both in business and in your personal life.

– Elena, tell me, in your opinion, is it possible to become a successful entrepreneur without being able to negotiate? If not, why not.

This is a rather difficult question because I begin to remember my clients. Indeed, now they have built a good business, but always “good” is a relative concept. For example, suppose our entrepreneur’s name is Maxim. He comes to me for a consultation and Maxim’s classmates look at him ten years after graduation. Maxim is super successful, he has such a business! But there is someone whom Maxim looks at with admiration, because he is only at the beginning of his journey, he still has a lot to grow and develop.

Always the one who knows how to communicate, the one who understands people, people’s motivation, knows how to competently calmly convey his thought, set tasks, it will be easier for him to live.

How much time we sometimes lose just because we are misunderstood. For example, the client misunderstood and thought that everything was free. Similarly, for employees, if you know how to sparkle with your ideas, then you will attract the best people who come to you for an interview.

Successful communications help you choose for yourself, help you earn more and gather around you those people who are close to you.

– Elena, this topic is very close to me, since I myself am the owner of a business, but I believe that there is no limit to perfection. Even with some experience behind you, there is still room for growth, including in negotiations. In continuation of this topic, I would like to say that if we allow me to communicate with Ukrainian companies quite simply, because perhaps the mentality is the same, the situation on the market is the same. But we have foreign clients. Tell me, are there any pitfalls in communications with foreign clients?

Елена Лысых - бизнес-тренер по переговорам

Elena Lysykh – negotiation business coach

Certainly there is. This is not exactly my topic, but I can talk about it, because. we are already preparing for negotiations with my clients for negotiations, for example, with the Americans. They attract additional experts who either live in this country now or who have done business with this country for a long time, because there are a lot of nuances. In Israel, people are not accustomed to praise, they will speak to the point and will choose the best conditions for themselves. If you’re working with Americans, the most common culture you’ve encountered is when you’re told, “Thank you, that was great.” We so lack praise in Ukraine. One of my clients had a rather unfortunate experience. They worked with the Americans for half a year on the project, and every time an American checked how the work was done, the product, they were told “thank you, you are great”. The team was inspired, it is constantly praised! Six months later, the American said, “We are closing the project, we will not work with you.” When asked why, he said that the team was not professional enough. The demotivation of employees was enormous. Management had to work on motivating the team because they felt cheated. We were praised for six months, they said that you are great, but it turns out that this is not true and we are not professional enough. If we had known the feedback earlier, we would have done something differently. And now it is quite difficult for this team to trust customers, and they are always in such an atmosphere of distrust already with other customers.

– A very interesting case. But back to your first comment. You said that at the initial stage it is necessary to immediately agree. Let’s talk about some improvements. I understand that the first meeting with a potential client is the most important? So is it or not? Maybe you can somehow highlight toxic customers?

Now I will clearly give advice and recommendations for the first meeting. Let’s start with that and then go back to toxic clients, the so-called terrorist clients.

So, if we go to the first meeting, it is really incredibly important, because what impression we create: an atmosphere of trust and interest in these negotiations, depends on whether we will have money, whether we will have a contract. And there are several important points here.

The purpose of the first negotiations is to create an atmosphere of trust. We create it through a personal brand. A potential client passes you through two filters: expertise and personality. Am I interested in working with you? How easy is it for me to communicate with you, will we have something to talk about besides our work? And here we turn our attention inward. What is it about me that makes Clients want to work with me? Search, ask your friends, ask your colleagues what you have that attracts their attention to you. What makes communication with you comfortable? Maybe you travel a lot and you are an interesting interlocutor in this regard. Maybe you are a good listener. Maybe you know how to get around sharp corners. We each have our own magnet. Here is what you need to know. And the second filter is expertise. We always check if I can trust this person with my business, am I ready to pay this particular person for expertise? Please write down the knowledge and skills that a person who works in your place should have.

Now, if tomorrow some other person came to your business as a leader, as an owner, and if this person doubled your business in six months, what qualities should he have? Write down this list.

Елена Лысых

And another moment that emphasizes your expertise. You are not describing the client’s problems, but solutions, what risks you are ready to prevent or take on. Because most often we start talking about what we do. We make a website for you, marketing promotion programs. But what customer problems do we solve? Naturally, it is necessary to study the client and his business.

Take the real estate industry, what do you know about the real estate market? You will say to the client: “Look, we see that there is a lot of competition in the real estate rental market and prices have fallen during the crisis. Therefore, we will build such a program for your promotion on the Internet that you can sell more expensive than others. Or clients will come to you who are ready to rent for a long period. And you already talked about the problem.

About the risks. What will you do if something goes wrong? Will you bring in an expert? Will you return the money? When you know the answers to these questions, it is an indicator of your expertise. Then clients choose you because you are a pleasant person and as an expert you can be trusted. This distinguishes us from competitors, because now the main competitive advantage is you yourself.

A couple more points about the first meeting. What else you need to know when you go to the first meeting and training of employees who go to the first meeting with the client. You should have a checklist that says:

  • what to ask the client
  • what to say to the client.

It must be taken to every meeting.

What to ask. For example, you should ask questions that will help you get to know the client more. For example, why did you choose us. Why did you decide to do the project right now. You have to ask questions about the budget. Say how often you can change the budget. How flexible can he be? We need to agree on it now, given that it can be expanded or a little more laid down, because this company has budget approvals every six months. How critical are the deadlines and what will happen if the deadlines have to be slightly extended? How long can we extend them? Who makes the decision in the company? Who will accept the project: you or someone else? Who will be the user of the product? And then you understand with whom you will have to negotiate later. We are looking for those issues that are critical for your business.

And the second thing to say. For example, how does payment work? We work on a prepaid basis and that changes are made for a fee or free of charge.

Tell us what first steps you will take, how you will contact, how quickly you expect feedback and much more related to this.

So here are two lists of questions that will help you be calm in your first meeting and avoid having to call back and say, “I forgot to tell you one more thing.”

– Elena, I would like to move on to the topic of toxic clients. Tell me, do you think the statement that “not every client is our client” is correct?

I agree 100%. First, look, there is such a thing as a client-terrorist. This is when the client starts to find fault, call, conflict, demand more. And this harms the business so much that employees do not want to communicate with it, and the owner no longer thinks about the company. He goes to bed thinking about this client and worries about what will happen tomorrow.

This problem is so urgent that we even created a special online course where we work through all the steps: how to understand first in a conversation that a client is a terrorist. And here are two points. There are such people, and there is the fact that we create such people with our relationships.

As for the topic, that not all of my clients. Now this trend is already there and I am sure that in the next 5 years we will see how the market of focus changes dramatically to the fact that not customers choose a company, but companies choose a client.

They come to me for a consultation and say: “Clients who don’t like us already at the first meeting call us, because they start saying something like “so, in short, I told you at 11 we’re going, pick up all your people there, I’ll tell you I’ll tell you how to work with me. We do not want to work with such a client. And when we refuse him, he starts calling from another phone, starts writing negative comments, and we understand that if we start working with him, then this will be a problem for everyone!

How can we competently refuse a client so as not to cause aggression and so that he understands that it is better for him to work with someone else? How to refuse if you see that the client is not yours because it is difficult for you to communicate, because he is overly demanding. Ask questions: has he worked with a similar business before; whether ordered such a service; how he relates to the result now. Listen to the answers: “guys don’t do anything; They totally lied to me.” So the same will apply to you. In addition to the fact that we have intuition, we like or dislike something, check your customers.

If you need to refuse, you can say: “Look, we see that it is very important for you that you can call and get feedback at any time. Set a task so that the task is completed urgently and quickly. Unfortunately, this is not possible in our company. The guys work from nine to six. You may not receive an answer after that time. Several clients work with us, so time will be allocated according to priorities. I recommend that you use another company. You will be more comfortable. Thus, you emphasized that you understand the client.

Елена Лысых

– Elena, could you tell us a little about your idea of a negotiation club. We told you how you work with clients during the quarantine period. It would be nice if you told everyone a little more about your company, about the club, about your services.

Thank you for this question, I’m happy to share. Our negotiation club works online and we are very glad that during this time we have developed exactly the system that helps to make the practice much more than it was given offline before. This club was created specifically for people who work with clients, for whom they have their own business, who constantly interact in this business with partners, clients and employees. We study there once a week, play cases and get feedback. You see how in the same situation different people behave differently and achieve different results. For example, today we will have classes in a club dedicated to work in the metropolis. What to do if a client always complains, what to do if an employee who shows good results is not liked by the team, etc. We will analyze these situations. The participants have already received a video lesson in which they took all the theoretical points about this. Tomorrow they will play a scene where there will be one negative, and the task of the second is to make a positive out of this and achieve better results.

The negotiation club helps you build a new negotiation strategy, new skills, establish contact, attract, show the benefits of your offer, develop the ability to talk with a client so that he does not feel that he is being sold a service, so that he feels cared for him. He is ready to pay dearly for it. It’s a conversational skill.

– Elena, thank you so much for your time and interview.

I am always happy to talk about what can really be useful for business, because in my opinion everything that we are doing in Ukraine now, those who have taken responsibility, risks and the desire to build something of their own, really changes the country . Therefore, we will be happy to support you, help you make our business comfortable, more profitable due to the fact that we will build new communications with new people. Have a good day.

More information on negotiations, videos, articles and answers on the professional page http://www.facebook.com/klubperegovorov/

In the telegram channel you can read short recommendations and negotiation cases – https://t.me/peregovor_spargalka

If you want to come to a trial lesson in the online negotiation club, practice and get recommendations, write to clubperegovorov@gmail.com or call: 0990968424 or 0686403112