Way back in my early career as a Castrol Retail Sales representative, I bowled into an account in Dorchester to wow my customer with my latest promotion on Castrol GTX. Ten minutes later I left, holding back tears and biting my lip.
It would seem that the owner was less than impressed with the level of discount I had offered, or certainly the way that I had explained it. He shouted, he bawled, bits of spit flew from his mouth and his eyes blazed. Such was the level of vitriol aimed at me.
The following day I drove back the 50 miles, walked back again, and explained it again. I left with the order, and an apology. Interestingly, it seemed I had received the brunt of his frustration about a number of issues that day.
That was about 30 years ago, and I remember it vividly. Fundamentally, I had returned as I wanted to ensure that I knew how to handle the situation, and not become intimidated or dissuaded by this. It’s not easy.
These days I am a lot older (and I hope a little bit wiser) and I have fifteen years of experience training, teaching and consulting for Scotwork, but I don’t mind admitting that a few years ago I was treated in a similar way, and it still caught me off guard.
A seemingly decent gentleman greeted a colleague and me in the reception area of his company. He chatted convivially as we made our way to the informal chat about how we might help their business. We had been asked to have this meeting with one or two members of the commercial team.
We entered the room to be greeted by about a dozen stony-faced people, sitting in a horseshoe, facing the two chairs placed front and centre which were to be the focus of the interrogation. Suffice to say, we left an hour later, fuming with anger but battered, bruised and belittled. More than anything, I was determined never to find myself unprepared again for such a situation. It was a timely reminder of the very real pressures and behaviours that negotiators face.
My cheeks still burn when I think about both these events, twenty-five years apart. We can’t necessarily stop this happening to you, but Scotwork, Ann Allfrey and I will do all we can to give you the ideas, structure and confidence to head it off where you can and handle it if it does. Come and share your thoughts and hear our tips and ideas.
Please join us for our International Women's Day webinar on March 8th at 1pm.
Learn how to prepare for your upcoming negotiations, with a specific focus on how to deal with difficult negotiators.
Join the webinar here: https://bit.ly/3IDan9F
All proceeds from the event will be donated to Refuge.org.uk - A charity against domestic abuse