The Art of the Negotiation
The ‘Art of Conversation’ sometimes includes the ability to make a pitch and participate in a negotiation. This morning, students had the unique opportunity to learn from a live, negotiation meeting!
Students are in the heart of their Badge Business Venture, figuring out how to create and order CEO badges and lanyards. 3 of our brave students volunteered to lead the pitch presentation to our generous program investors at First Mid Bank (Abel Anderson and Steve Cooper). They also agreed to allow this entire meeting to be live streamed to the rest of our class, so that everyone could see and feel how the conversation went.
Following the meeting, Steve and Abel joined the entire class to “workshop” what went well, what could have gone better and suggestions for future meetings. This discussion brought incredible tips that students can take with them for not only future sponsorship discussions, but for future professional and personal conversations as well.
A few of students’ key takeaways:
• Present a clear ASK.
• Present a clear GET. What are these businesses getting in exchange for what they are giving?
• Know ahead of time where your line is. Understand your value and the value in what you are offering.
• Don’t sell yourself short.
• Sometimes, you have to take a risk.
• Consider offering non-tangible benefits (doesn’t always have to be money or a cost savings).
• Research and be ready to provide specific data to back up your claims.
• It is OK if a business says “no!” Be prepared to walk away. Don’t look at this as a failure, sometimes it just is not the right fit.
• You can always offer alternative options, but know where your line is ahead of time and be ready to stick to it.
• Above all, show appreciation, stay polite, and be genuinely grateful for a business' time and offers.
A special thank you to First Mid Bank & Trust, Abel Anderson (Edwardsville Community Bank President) & Steve Cooper (Division President, Eastern Division) for not only your continuous support as program investors, but for allowing us to use your Goshen location office space and resources for our students and program. You dedication, time and unending generosity are phenomenal!
Special shoutout to Caroline Marcus (Edwardsville High School, Emma Lorenz (Metro-East Lutheran High School and Katie Gilbertson (Father McGivney Catholic High School) for bravely volunteering to lead the negotiation meeting! Your diligence and preparation led to not only lessons learned for our entire crew, but a successful badge sponsorship!! Bravo!