“How to Resolve Conflict, Satisfy Customers, & make Better Deals in Business & Life”
Topics: Research, no Hurry, Ask, other’s Needs, Pressure, Shut-up & Listen, Aim High, Giving, Walk-Away, Personally
Author, Ed Brodow is a keynote speaker and negotiation guru on PBS, ABC & Fox News, + Inside Edition. He is the author of this book “Negotiation Boot Camp”. “The ability to negotiate successfully in today’s turbulent climate can make the difference between success & failure”. With this in mind, Ed has updated his list of top 10 Negotiation tips.
- Do your Research. This is what detectives do. Gather as much pertinent information prior to your negotiation. What are their needs? What pressures do they feel? What options do they have? Doing the research is vital to successful negotiation. You can’t make accurate decisions without understanding the other side’s situation. The more info you have about the people with whom you are negotiating, the stronger you will be. People who consistently leave $$$ on the table probably fail to do their research.
- No Worry. Don’t be in a Hurry. Being patient is very difficult for Americans. We want to get it over with. Anyone who has negotiated in Asia, South America, or the Middle East will tell you that people in those cultures look at time differently than we do in North America & Europe. They know that if you rush, you are more likely to make mistakes and leave $$$ on the table. Whoever is more flexible about time, has the advantage. Your patience can be devastating to the other negotiator – if they are in a hurry – because they start to believe that you are not under pressure to conclude the deal. So what do they do? They offer “concessions” as a means of providing you with an incentive to say YES.
- Don’t be afraid to Ask for what you want. Successful negotiators are assertive & challenge everything – they know that everything is negotiable. I call it “negotiation consciousness”, which makes the difference between negotiators and everybody else on the planet. Being assertive means asking for what you want and refusing to take NO for an answer (most of the time). Practice expressing your feelings without anxiety or anger. Let people know what you “want” in a non-threatening way.
Assertive vs Aggressive. You are assertive when you take care of your own interests while maintaining respect for the interests of others. When you persue your own interests with a lack of regard for other people’s interests, you are aggressive.
“Your Challenge” means not taking things at face value. It means thinking for yourself. You must be able to make up your own mind, as opposed to believing everything you are told. On a practical level, this means you have the “right” to question the asking price of that new car. It also means you have an obligation to question everything you read in the newspaper or hear on CNN. You cannot negotiate unless you are willing to challenge the validity of the opposing position.
- Show the other person “How their needs will be met”. Successful negotiators always look at the situation from the other side’s perspective. Everyone looks at the world differently, so you are way ahead of the game – if you can figure out their perception of the deal. Instead of trying to win the negotiation, seek to understand the other negotiator & show them ways to feel satisfied. My philosophy of negotiation includes the firm belief that one hand washes the other. If you help the other side to feel satisfied, they will be more inclined to help you satisfy your needs. That does not mean you should “give in” to all their demands. Satisfaction means that their basic interests have been fulfilled, not that all their demands have been met. Don’t confuse basic interests with positions/demands: Their position/demand is what they say they want; their basic interest is what they really “need” to get.
- Focus on the other side’s Pressure, not yours. We have a tendency to focus on our own pressure – on the reasons why we need to make a deal. If you fall into this trap, you are working against yourself. The other side will appear more powerful. When you focus on your own limitations, you miss the big picture. Instead, successful negotiators ask, “What is the pressure on the other side in this negotiation?” You will feel more powerful, when you recognize the reasons for the other side to give in. Your negotiation power derives in part from the pressures on the other person. Even if they appear non-chalant, they inevitably have concerns. It’s your job to be a detective and find these out. If you discover that they are under pressure – which they surely are – look for ways to exploit that “pressure” in order to achieve a better result for yourself.
- Shut-up & Listen. I am amazed by all the people I meet who can’t stop talking. Negotiators are detectives. They ask probing questions, then shut up. The other negotiator will tell you everything you need to know – all you have to do is listen. Many conflicts can be resolved easily if we learn how to listen. We are so busy making sure that people hear what we have to say that we forget to listen. You can become an effective listener by allowing the other person to do most of the talking. Follow the 70/30 Rule – listen 70 % of the time, and talk only 30 % of the time. Encourage the other negotiator to talk by asking lots of open-ended questions – questions that can’t be answered with a simple “yes” or “no.”
- Aim high & “expect” the best Outcome. Successful negotiators are optimists. If you expect more, you’ll get more. A proven strategy for achieving higher results is opening with an extreme position. Sellers should ask for more than they expect to receive, and buyers should offer less than they are prepared to pay. People who aim higher do better. Your optimism will become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Conversely, if you have low expectations, you will probably wind up with a less satisfying outcome.
- Don’t “give” anything away, without “getting” something in return. Unilateral concessions are self-defeating. When-ever you give something away, get something in return. Always tie a string: “I’ll do this, if you do that.” Otherwise, you are inviting the other negotiator to ask you for additional concessions. When you give something away without requiring them to reciprocate, they will feel entitled to your concession, and won’t be satisfied until you give up even more. But if they have to earn your concession, they will derive a greater sense of satisfaction than if they got it for nothing.
- Always be “willing” to Walk-Away. Never negotiate without options. If you depend too much on the positive outcome of a negotiation, you lose your ability to say NO. When you say to yourself, “I will walk if I can’t conclude a deal that is satisfactory,” the other side can tell that you mean business. Your resolve will force them to make concessions. If you recognize that you have other options – the other negotiator will sense your inner strength.
- Don’t take the Issues or the other person’s Behavior personally. All too often negotiations fail because one or both of the parties get side-tracked by personal issues unrelated to the deal at hand. Successful negotiators focus on determining: “How can we conclude an agreement that respects the needs of both parties? Obsessing over the other negotiator’s personality, or over issues that are not directly pertinent to making a deal, can sabotage a negotiation. If someone is rude or difficult to deal with, try to understand their behavior & don’t take it personally.
Conclusion. You can go pretty far with these 10 basic Tips. If you want to dig deeper, read my book, Negotiation Boot Camp.
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from Negotiation Boot Camp 5/17 enhanced by Peter/CXO, Wiz4biz
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