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5 Lessons on Negotiation You Didn’t Learn in School

Today’s schools were designed to churn out cookie-cutter workers and citizens. This is because it’s much easier to manage 500 compliant children, as opposed to a school of 500 individualistic negotiators. Rather than teaching rote learning and compliance, schools should be teaching our children the all-important skill of negotiation. In some ways this model is necessary. After all, our economy requires workers of all skill levels to function. But that doesn’t mean you need to fall in line like everyone else. Deep down you know you’re special, and to get everything you want out of life you must reclaim your inborn negotiator, starting with these five lessons. 1. Entitlement is Over: Negotiation is Everything Like it or not, the post World War II world order has come to an end. America isn’t the best in the world by default in industry, medicine, or education. Globalization and the Internet have shrunk the world and made every industry ultra-competitive. To be competitive for the next 10 or 100 years, we must focus on what makes us truly valuable: our companies, products, and our people. Whether we have the best talent or not we must now negotiate to protect what we currently have, and procure what we need. 2. Learn to Negotiate or Get Taken Advantage Of There are two types of people in this world: good negotiators, and those who get taken advantage of. The history of humanity is dark and brutal, ever since stronger caveman beat up their weaker counterparts for their food, shelter, and women. Today you need to know how to negotiate to protect your position in life and business. Many of history’s most successful leaders had little technical knowledge of negotiation. However, they possessed a deep understanding of human nature. In many ways, an understanding of human nature can outweigh all technical skills at the bargaining table. 3. All Is Fair in Love and War In negotiation, as in war, there are no rules, but there are guidelines to help make order out of the chaos. Throughout history, great generals and leaders, such as Alexander the Great, have…

Putting the Visitor First: Tips for Consumer-Centric Website Optimization

Online searching and shopping are as second nature to some as shopping in traditional brick and mortar stores. And in today’s world where Google processes over 40,000 search queries every second and 3.5 billion searches per day, consumers are pretty demanding when it comes to their online experience. They expect to find the information, services or items for purchase quickly and easily. If they don’t, they simply move on, which can result in lost business opportunities and sales.   In this environment, it’s no longer enough to simply have a nice-looking website. Small businesses and online retailers need websites that are eye-catching, easy to use and ultimately websites that make it simple for the customer to find what they’re looking for… and fast. Bottom line: they need sites that put the consumer and their online experience first. When working to optimize their online presence, small businesses need to make sure they’re taking a consumer-centric approach to their website. Below are just a few key factors to consider that influence how visitors will interact with your site and brand: Honor the Need for Speed Not only will a quick site help get you found in search results (Google ranks faster pages higher in search results), it is a central factor in determining how visitors engage with your site and whether they stick around at all. More than half of mobile users will leave a site that takes more than three seconds to load, yet many mobile pages take 15 or more seconds to load. If your site is too slow and people leave dissatisfied with their online experience, and sales opportunities go out the window with them. With Google’s Revenue Impact Calculator, you can see how site speed impacts business results. An e-commerce site that loads in eight seconds, has 500 visitors a month, an average order value of $50 and a conversion rate of two percent could earn $471 more per year by reducing the page load time to four seconds. Another blog that loads in five seconds gets 20,000 monthly visitors, has an average order value of $100 and a…

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