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White House's experts have developed clients' negotiating abilities well beyond what is achieved by traditional training.

Most readers will have no difficulty in following the ensuing argument which recognises that successful sportsmen demonstrate a parallel skill set to that needed by every would-be salesperson.

Both must first learn the rules of the game. In selling, this is represented by an understanding of the sales cycle which, in simple terms, requires that a client's needs are identified, the product or service in question is shown to provide a solution – or benefit – the order is requested ( a trial close) and, if the close fails, the obstacles to the sale are labelled objections and these are isolated and handled with various appropriate proofs before a further close is attempted.

Of course, simply knowing the rules does not make any of us an expert exponent of a sport! We need skills too. The tennis player must master the drive, the serve and volleying not to mention the smash and drop shots with slicing and top spin all needed to finesse a performance. In selling, the equivalent of possessing game-playing skills is the ability to apply one or a combination of some fourteen key negotiating skills, or ploys.

A simple such ploy is ‘never make a concession without getting one in return’. ‘Never be the first to offer to split the difference between your asking price and the buying figure offered by a prospect’ is another ploy. Failure to apply this latter ploy merely declares your willingness to sell at a lower price and set your intended customer a reduced figure from which to negotiate an even lower purchase price!

This is as far as many organisations take their sales and negotiating skills training. This is surprising since we are all familiar with instances where a leading sportsperson – who knows both the rules and who also possesses a proven track record of consistently demonstrating all the necessary skills – loses against all expectations.

This problem happens in business, too, when an experienced negotiator concludes a sales at nothing like the profitable terms that had been anticipated or even fails to secure a sale in the first place. White House's research into this syndrome has established that the key component in this failure is based upon the interaction of the two parties concerned. Consequently, White House's training in recognising personality types and understanding associated behaviour patterns can now provide exponents with a distinct competitive advantage in any negotiating situation.

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