“Hacking is a way to discover new value. View the value in what you have for multiple purposes.” –Greg Williams, The Master Negotiator & Body Language Expert
“5 Ways To Hack Your Way To Winning Negotiations”
When you hack something or a process, you discover new ways to use new insights to obtain new values. In a negotiation, you can hack your way to winning negotiations by using techniques, strategies, and tactics in different ways.
Hack 1: Define your words. In the above statement, I gave the definition of how I was using the word ‘hack’ in this article; it means to uncover ways to negotiate better by using existing techniques and strategies in different ways. Since the word, ‘hack’ can have negative connotations (e.g. “he’s a hacker”; meaning, he’s not good), I needed to define it for you so you’d understand my intent. Thus, even if a word or procedure has an existing meaning, you can alter it to serve your purposes in a negotiation. If you’re successful, that will give you greater control of the negotiation. It’s akin to the wizard behind the curtain changing the color of the day to suit his needs.
Hack 2: Consider how you can spin an outcome to appear favorable to your position (e.g. after losing a point badly – “they didn’t win. we were positioning ourselves so we’d be in a favorable position for the next phase of the negotiation.”) When spinning an outcome know your intent. If not, you run the risk of appearing foolish or completely out of touch with reality, which in some cases can prove to be advantageous for you, too (e.g. “I don’t know if he’s crazy, or crazy like a fox.”)
Hack 3: Depending on the severity of a negotiation, think of how you can frame someone (i.e. how you wish them and/or their position to be viewed/perceived). In really tough negotiations, some negotiators will take their opponent to the school of dirty tricks. By doing that, they determine how the opponent and/or their position will be unfavorably perceived; you see this occurring more in high-level institutional negotiations, but you also see it occurring in negotiations between individuals that have winning as their sole source of motivation.
Hack 4: Confusion will usually lead to inaction. If you find you’re losing a point that’s vital to your position, try confusing the issue. You can do this by citing sources of disinformation; in a best-case scenario, you would have fomented the disinformation prior to the negotiation. If nothing else, confusion will slow the negotiation down. It can also serve as a bridge to a point that’s more favorable to your position. To be effective, plan how and when you might use confusion as a tactic in your negotiation. Hack 4 can also be incorporated into hack 3.
Hack 5: If you’re knowledgeable about reading body language, there are ways you can send nonverbal signals that enhance or detract from what’s been said. You might intentionally want to introduce doubt into a statement made by the other negotiator, even if you believe what he’s said to be true; do this by tilting your head to the side in an inquisitive manner. Then, allow him to convince you that he’s sincere. Psychologically, he’ll feel good about convincing you, which means you can use his good feeling to keep him endeared to you.
There you have it. Five hacks that you can use to enhance your negotiation efforts. Try them out and observe how your negotiation win rate soars … and everything will be right with the world.
Remember, you’re always negotiating.
After reading this article, what are you thinking? I’d really like to know. Reach me at Greg@TheMasterNegotiator.com
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