Valentine’s Presents – Delight Someone Special With A Thoughtful Valentine’s Gift Idea

Few people know the real origins of Valentine’s Day and it always amazes me how quickly celebrations of any kind become so very commercialised. Whose idea was Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and more recently Grandparent’s Day. Is it because we are so busy with our lives that we need a ‘special’ day to be reminded to think about and be grateful for our families and loved ones and all they do in our lives? What about a son’s day or a twin sisters day? We should be able to express our emotions and show how we feel about the people we care for any day of the year. That aside it is nice to have an excuse and in the case of Valentine’s Day can be a good way to let someone know how you feel who you may not have had the courage to approach otherwise.

So, one of the most traditional Valentine’s gifts are red roses. Have you ever noticed how some retailers double or even treble the price of red roses around Valentine’s Day? Extortion is the word that comes to mind – although they are under great pressure to deliver vast quantities in a short period of time. Why not consider for a refreshing change sending someone flowers other than red roses? Perhaps choose a bouquet in their favourite colour or an arrangement featuring their favourite flower – orchids are a popular choice and they are grown in a huge variety of colours. Even more thoughtful would be a rose-bush for their garden or a miniature one for indoors – that way they can have roses every year and for more than a week!

As popular as red roses for a Valentine’s present is chocolates! Instead of just buying commercially available boxes of chocolates with foil wrapped hearts in a red-heart shaped box, ‘nice but not very personal’, try instead making your own sweet treats. Strawberries dipped in chocolate, heart-shaped biscuits or a heart-shaped cake, or even buy some chocolate moulds, melt their favourite chocolate and make your own – you will be pleasantly surprised how easy it is.

How many ways can you say I Love You? Nine if you choose this really great gift idea of nine stones carved with “I love you… ” on the front, and a different “reason” on the back:
… for always getting my jokes
… because you’re an inspiration
… because you are so much fun
… because of your great smile
… for being so giving
… because I just do!
… because you love me
… because you rock
… for your honesty

The stones are presented beautifully in a red faux-suede drawstring pouch – why not give your sweetheart one each day leading up to Valentine’s. These stones actually make a great gift for any friend or family member you feel strongly about and should not be reserved just for Valentine’s Day.

How To Control Your Bias Right In Negotiations

How do you control your bias in negotiations? Do you even lend thoughts to how you’re being influenced by your biases in your negotiations?

Everyone is biased to a degree. It’s the degree that we recognize our biases and how they affect our thoughts that allow us to benefit from them. Since our biases can shield us from harm or prevent us from experiencing opportunities, we have to be very mindful of the influence they have on our actions during a negotiation.

The following are ways in which you can improve your negotiation efforts based on the recognition and control you maintain over your biases.

  1. “… but that’s not what he said!” When you’re involved in a negotiation, consider how your biases impact your interpretation of what’s discussed. To the degree you have preconceived notions and/or opinions about what’s being negotiated, you’ll seek confirmation of what’s stated to match your notions. Stated in another manner, you’ll seek to define in your mind what’s said based on what you ‘want’ to be the truth. That can be dangerous; you may miss vital insight and information because what’s being said doesn’t meet your expectations.
  2. To thwart the effects of what’s known as confirmation biases first, recognize the fact that you are predisposed to certain beliefs then, reflect on how keeping an open mind will allow you to assess new data without initially being judgmental about it. In essence, think about the way you’re thinking per the biases you possess. If you alter your thoughts and place your biases in a ‘time out’ area of your mind, you’ll be able to see offers/counteroffers from another perspective. That altered perspective may be what’s needed to get you past an impasse.
  3. Understand your emotional state when assessing your biases. During the flow of a negotiation, things may get heated. At such times, unknowingly you may subconsciously refer to a time in your mind when someone took advantage of you in such a situation. As such, this time, you dig your heels in and become very determined to fight like heck. Your subconscious thought is, I won’t let what happened to me before happen again.
  4. Be mindful of your point of reference. To add additional insight to point number 3 above, always consider your point of reference as to what you’re comparing your current situation (offer/counteroffer) to and why. Understand the point of comparison reference will give you more insight per why one aspect of an offer may be more or less appealing.

When analyzing and assessing offers/counteroffers in a negotiation, every negotiator is biased to some degree. So, when contemplating offers/counteroffers, consider if you’re being biased and if so, why. By doing so, you’ll be more alert to the degree of influence biases are having on your decisions. You’ll be able to also identify the source of your biases per how they’re influencing your decision-making process. That will prove to be a point from which you’ll be able to make better negotiation decisions… and everything will be right with the world.

Remember, you’re always negotiating!

Hidden Needs Drive Sales Negotiations

All sales negotiations are driven by both public and private needs. If you can understand and deal with the other side’s hidden needs, then you’ll have more power during the negotiation.

It’s What Lies Below The Surface That Really Matters
When we enter into a sales negotiation, we like to kid ourselves that we know what the other side is looking to get out of the negotiation. At least on the surface, all sales negotiations look the same.

The easy-to-see desires of the other side generally come down to one of three things: money, goods, and / or services. This is what we can see and this is what we spend our time preparing to negotiate. However, that’s really only part of the story.

Knowledge Of Hidden Needs Boosts Your Power
I’m sure that you’re probably already agreeing with me that knowing the other side of the table’s hidden needs would be advantageous when you are getting ready to negotiate. However, did you know that this knowledge will increase your negotiating power?

Remember that power in a sales negotiation is a difficult thing to nail down. However, the more that you know about the other side and their hidden needs, then the more negotiating power you’ll have.

The Search For Hidden Needs
If we can all agree that identifying the other side’s hidden needs is a good thing, than all that is left for us to talk about is just exactly HOW you can go about doing that. The key is to have a good set of questions.

These are the questions that you need to ask yourself BEFORE you enter into a sales negotiation. Not every question will pertain to this specific negotiation and your list will evolve over time. Here’s a good set of questions for you to start asking yourself:

  • Do they want to make their lives easier?
  • Do they want to appear to be competent?
  • Do they want peace of mind?
  • Do they want to be listened to?
  • Do they want freedom of choice?
  • Do they want to keep their job?
  • Do they want recognition?
  • Do they want to be liked?

Final Thoughts
As you enter into a sales negotiation, you need to realize that the other side of the table probably has more hidden needs than they have publicly known needs. What this means for you is that the other side of the table won’t say “yes” to your requests until after at least some of their hidden wants have been fulfilled.

In the end, all negotiating is about making sure that you have enough power to be successful. One of the most important keys is to realize that we need to also address the other side of the table’s hidden needs in order reach an agreement that both sides can live with.

If you can learn to spot these hidden needs before you enter into your next negotiation, then you will be able to close better deals and close them quicker.