“He who hesitates may win in a negotiation. When considering options, be cautious about whose support you accept.” -Greg Williams, The Master Negotiator & Body Language Expert
Are you aware that you should be cautious when accepting negotiation support? When thinking of negotiation support, what do you consider? There could be a high price to pay if you’re not mindful of the support you receive and from whom it comes in a negotiation.
Most negotiators are very happy to receive support that leads to a successful negotiation outcome. At times, they’ll accept it from any source from which it arrives, not taking into consideration the potential quagmire that such may cause them in the future.
Consider the following insights before accepting support in your future negotiations. The insights will heighten your sense of awareness per the cost of the support you receive today and the impact it may have on you tomorrow. After all, you’re always negotiating (i.e. what you do today impacts future negotiations).
- Be thoughtful about, the people who support you are also the people that could cause you to lose the support of others. That could occur because when you’re supported by one side, you could be opposed by those that oppose the side that supports you. Thus, those that oppose your supporters may oppose you. Before accepting support in a negotiation, weigh the value of that support. In particular, assess to what degree you’re gaining more value from your supporters than what you might lose if you didn’t accept their support. Once you accept their support, you could be tied to that support (i.e. their side) for future negotiations.
- When you accept support, if what is sought in return is not stated, you issue an invisible chit whose reckoning could be substantial; be mindful of that. You may not realize it at the time, but that chit is valuable to its holder. Depending on its perceived value and when it’s called due, it could prove to be worth more than the support you received in the negotiation. “You should do this for me because you owe me; remember how I helped you out?” Those words could be the ringing sound of despair that pummels your mind when it comes to repayment if the price is too high.
- If you find yourself in a negotiation position whereby you have to accept support from a source to whom a repayment will be high, negotiate with that source before accepting the support. That may be akin to having dual negotiations occurring simultaneously, but it will be better for you in the long run if you do so. To offset potential angst, attempt to place the initial negotiation on temporary recess while addressing the second one.
- Be aware of the image your supporters cast. As stated about opposing sides and the value, or lack of, associated with one side versus the other, the wrong image can cause you to be viewed in a bad negotiation light in future negotiations. You’ve heard the cliché, ‘birds of a feather, flock together’. If you don’t want to be cast in a particular image and your supporters project that image, forgo their support.
Never engage in a negotiation whereby you seek leverage from a source that’s too costly to obtain. Always weigh your options cautiously before accepting an offer of support. Even if you have to lose the current negotiation by foregoing the costly expense of the leveraged offering, you’ll be better off. That may turn out to be a situation in which you lose in order to win in the long run … and everything will be right with the world.
What are your thoughts? I’d love to hear them. You can reach me at Greg@TheMasterNegotiator.com
Remember, you’re always negotiating!