“Everyone believes negotiations are easy until one becomes difficult.” -Greg Williams, The Master Negotiator & Body Language Expert (Click to Tweet)
“Do You Know How To Easily Win More Negotiations”
People don’t realize; they’re always negotiating.
That was one of the easiest negotiations we’ve had. Yeah, especially when you compare it to the one two weeks ago, when a member of the opposing team insulted me by referring to my mother as a female dog. I wish all of our negotiations were as easy as the one today. That was the exchange between two negotiation teammates, as they reflected on the talks they’d just concluded.
Some negotiations are more laid back, relaxed, and comfortable than others, due to several factors. The following information will allow you to control a discussion better by understanding the variables that shape its flow. The insights you’ll gain will give you the tools needed to shift gears quickly in a negotiation when such is required.
The first step towards a successful negotiation is understanding the variables that shape your bargaining session. Such variables as the perceived value of what you’re negotiating, the negotiation style of the other negotiator, the allotted time, body language displayed, and how both of you address possible impasses, will impact your engagement.
Thus, the outcome will be determined by how you approach those variables and how adaptable you are during the negotiation. Do it right, and you’ll have more of a haggle-free interaction. Do it wrong, and your talks will become fraught with drama, dismay, and impasses that’ll lead to a dead-end outcome.
Variables To Consider
1. Allotted Time
The time set aside for the negotiation is a factor to consider seriously. Because it impacts the actions that negotiators will engage in as time begins to run out. And thus, not only will it affect the mentality of the negotiators, it could become the factor that determines when people start to negotiate in earnest, along with the source of stress that can lead a negotiation to impasses.
2. Peak Performance Time
Everyone has peak times when they’re most alert, creative, and productive. And that’s the time you should negotiate. It’s even more important to do that when you’re at critical points in the negotiation. To maximize peak time performance, attempt to uncover the other negotiator’s peak performance times, too. With that information, you can attempt to negotiate when he’s off his peak, and you’re on yours. Having discussions during his off-peak periods will give you an added advantage because he won’t be as alert.
3. Opponent’s Variables – Consider:
- How much leeway does he have without having to consult someone else?
- To whom must he prove himself that may not be at the negotiation table?
- What horrors must he avoid, at all costs in the talks, to make the outcome a win for him?
The insights gained from the answers to those questions will illuminate the degree of self-power he has in the negotiation, and how you might control him as the result of knowing his limitations.
4. Style of Negotiators
Negotiators use different approaches in a negotiation. And their attitude determines if they’ll play the part of someone tough or easy. With those less knowledgeable about negotiations, they may haphazardly enter a talk unaware of the persona they’re about to engage. And that puts them at a disadvantage.
Always attempt to understand the mindset of the person with whom you’re negotiating. By recognizing his mental makeup, you’ll have more insights into how he thinks. That’ll allow you to predict somewhat how he might act to offers you make, based on how you present them.
5. Style of Negotiation
Every negotiation has a particular flow and style to it. You can attribute that to the characteristics of those involved in the talks. Accordingly, you should note the ebb and flow of all of your negotiations. For one, it affects how you’ll engage in future discussions. And it’ll give you feedback about how to make a session easier to participate in, in the future.
6. Timing of Choices/Offers/Counteroffers
Be mindful of your choices, along with the offers and counteroffers you extend. The value and perception of your offerings are explicitly tied to when you make them. Therefore, always consider the impact that an offer will have on the ones that will follow.
7. Order of Offers
To give the appearance of an offer being more valuable, first, position it. You’d do that by making your introductory offer less appealing than the present one. Be mindful when adopting this approach. If the other negotiator senses you’re making better offers as the result of him rejecting them, he may hold off on committing until he believes he’s heard your best offer.
You can also increase the perception of an offer by taking it off the table. The ‘takeaway’ is a powerful motivator. Because once someone embraces a proposition, that person doesn’t want to lose it.
There’s an abundance of information conveyed through someone’s body language. That information entails what a person says and what they do. Thus, it would help if you always were observant about why a person uses their body in the manner you witness. What you observe are signals indicating what’s going on inside their mind. The following are a few signals to note.
1. Mood – When someone’s mood shifts, it’s caused by a sensation they experience. That may be due to them reflecting on your offer, wondering if they should have made a different offer or a feeling that they’re not where they want to be in the negotiation. When you see someone’s mood shift, if it’s not to your liking, question them about what has happened. Better to address it then than allow it to be the cause that disrupts the negotiation later.
2. Hand movement – What someone does with their hands can be one of the most revealing aspects of their inner thoughts. If they cover an eye, rub an ear, put their hands in their pockets, those could be signals that they’re less committed to what you’re discussing, versus what they may say verbally. As is true when reading body language signals, you must first observe how someone uses gestures before you can accurately identify why they displayed them at a particular time. And it would be best if you watched the cluster of their actions. One action alone is not definitive to what they’re thinking.
Negotiations can be as easy or difficult as the parties involved chose to make them. By arming yourself with the information mentioned, you’ll become positioned better to engage in your negotiations from a position of strength and control. And everything will be right with the world.
Remember, you’re always negotiating!
Listen to Greg’s podcast at https://anchor.fm/themasternegotiator
After reading this article, what are you thinking? I’d like to know. Reach me at Greg@TheMasterNegotiator.com
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